Dr Louise Belfield

Dr Louise Belfield

Lecturer in Biomedical Science

Peninsula Dental School (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)


In April 2013 I was appointed as lecturer in biomedical sciences at the Dental School, where I am involved in the planning and delivery of the new, 5 year BDS degree, and carrying out research in oral immunology.

I first became involved with Dentistry when I began working as a dental nurse in 2001, spending 3 years in general practice, followed by 4 years working as a locum in dental specialties at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.  At the same time as locum nursing, I undertook a BSc in Human Biosciences at Plymouth University. Keen to maintain my dental background, my dissertation focused on the effects of titanium dioxide and calcium phosphate on macrophage responses to Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide. After graduating with my BSc,  I continued to study oral immunology in a joint Plymouth University /PCMD PhD entitled - “Interactions between pathogenic bacteria and macrophages in oral pathology” . 


2001 - NEBDN National Certificate in Dental Nursing
2008 - BSc (Hons) Human Biosciences
2013 - PhD "Interaction between pathogenic bacteria and macrophages in oral pathology"
2014 - Post graduate Certificate in Clinical Education

Professional membership

International Association for Dental Research

British Society for Oral and Dental Research

Teaching interests

  • Biomedical Sciences including immunology, cell biology, cell signalling and microbiology. 
  • Inter-professional education for undergraduate dental professions.

Research interests

My research interests lie in how oral bacteria can modulate the normal function of the immune system and drive conditions that lead to development of diseases, such as chronic periodontitis and oral cancer. 

Current projects include: 

  • Modulation of osteoclast differentiation and activity by endotoxin tolerance
  • Modelling single infections and dual biofilms of Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus on threedimensional oral mucosal models
  • Effects of mechanical strain on mesenchymal stem cell fate
  • Regulation of tumour angiogenesis in response to periodontal bacteria

Exposure to Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS during macrophage polarisation leads to diminished inflammatory cytokine production. Belfield LA, Bennett JH, Abate W, Jackson SJ. Arch. Oral. Biol. 2017 Sep;81:41-47.

Zaric, S. and Belfield, L (2015) Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) with Immediate Feedback in Early (Pre-clinical) stages of the Dental Curriculum). Creative Education, 6, 585-593

Merry R, Belfield L, McArdle P, McLennan A, Crean S, Foey A. Oral health and pathology: a macrophage account.Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Jan;50(1):2-7.