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"

Professional membership

International Association for Dental Research

British Society for Immunology

Teaching interests

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

Research interests

Research interests include: Innate and mucosal immunity,  macrophage polarisation and function in oral cancer/chronic inflammation, macrophage responses to pathogenic oral bacteria, chronic exposure of macrophages to LPS and endotoxin tolerance. 

Current research projects focus on P. gingivalis induced macrophage effector functions and their influence on osteoclast activity in periodontal disease, and development of an in vitro, 3-D model of the oral mucosa to study the interactions between macrophages and osteoclasts in oral cancer. 

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.

Other academic activities

2009 - 2012: Post-graduate representative, Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group.

2014 -present: Councillor, Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group management committee.