Dr Louise Belfield
Profiles

Dr Louise Belfield

Lecturer in Biomedical Science

Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)

Role

I am a dental nurse and a lecturer in biomedical sciences. My key roles are to lead the  development of the  life science curriculum in our innovative BSc Dental Therapy & Hygiene programme, specifically focused on inter-professional education, and to lead research activities in both education and scientific fields. 

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.   I have always been fascinated by how bacteria in the mouth can exert effects in other sites in the body, and so both my undergraduate dissertation and my PhD focused on the role of one particular bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, in modulating the host immune response. I continue to study the role of this particular bacterium in oral and systemic diseases as part of our Oral Microbiome Research group at Peninsula Dental School. 


Qualifications

2001 - NEBDN National Certificate in Dental Nursing
2008 - BSc (Hons) Human Biosciences
2013 - PhD "Interactions 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
British Microcirculation Society
General Dental Council

Teaching interests

My subject specialties are:
  • Biomedical Sciences including immunology, cell biology, cell signalling and microbiology. 
  • Dental nursing including infection control, decontamination and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Inter-professional education for undergraduate dental professions.

My current roles within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry include: 

  • Module lead: Integrated Dental Science, BSc Dental Therapy and Hygiene
  • Lecturer: Bachelor of Dental Surgery, BSc (hons) Biomedical Sciences, BSc (hons) Nutrition, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.
  • Curriculum development (Science): Developing the UKs first, fully integrated DTH/BDS programme.


Research interests

Current research focuses on both scientific and educational elements required for excellence in research informed teaching. My major research interests lie in how oral bacteria can modulate the normal function of the immune system and drive conditions that lead to development of oral and systemic diseases, such as chronic periodontitis, oral cancer, and hypertension.

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
  • Investigating the role of the oral microbiome in regulation of blood pressure

McIlwaine C, Brookes ZLS, Zahra D, Ali K, Zaric S, Jones G, Belfield LA. A novel, integrated curriculum for dental hygiene-therapists and dentists. Bdj. 2019;226:67

Zahra D, Belfield LA. Mcilwaine C, Bennett, J & Zaric S. the benefits of integrating dental and dental therapy & hygiene students in Undergraduate Curricula. European Journal of Dental Education. 2018.

Strachan A, Harrington Z, McIlwaine C, Jerreat M, Belfield LA, Kilar A, et al. Subgingival lipid A profile and endotoxin activity in periodontal health and disease. Clinical Oral Investigations. 2018.

Belfield LA, Bennett JH, Abate W, Jackson SJExposure to Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS during macrophage polarisation leads to diminished inflammatory cytokine production. 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.

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
McIlwaine C, Brookes ZLS, Zahra D, Ali K, Zaric S, Jones G & Belfield LA 2019 'A novel, integrated curriculum for dental hygiene-therapists and dentists' British Dental Journal 226, 67-67 Author Site PEARL
Strachan A, Harrington Z, McIlwaine C, Jerreat M, Belfield LA, Kilar A, Jackson SK, Foey A & Zaric S 2018 'Subgingival lipid A profile and endotoxin activity in periodontal health and disease' Clinical Oral Investigations Author Site , DOI PEARL
Zahra D, Belfield L, Bennett J, Zaric S & Mcilwaine C 2018 'The benefits of integrating dental and dental therapy and hygiene students in undergraduate curricula' European Journal of Dental Education Author Site , DOI PEARL
Belfield LA, Bennett JH, Abate W & Jackson SK 2017 'Exposure to Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS during macrophage polarisation leads to diminished inflammatory cytokine production' Archives of Oral Biology 81, 41-47 , DOI PEARL
Zaric S & Belfield LA 2015 'Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) with Immediate Feedback in Early (Preclinical) Stages of the Dental Curriculum' Creative Education 585-593 , DOI PEARL
Merry R, Belfield L, McArdle P, McLennan A, Crean S & Foey A 2012 'Oral health and pathology: a macrophage account' Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 50, (1) 2-7 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Chapters
Belfield L 2016 'Dental plaque and calculus' in Creanor S Essential Clinical Oral Biology John Wiley & Sons 136-143