Dr Helen Colley

BSc, PhD

School of Clinical Dentistry

Senior Lecturer in Oral Bioscience

h.colley@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 215 9352

Full contact details

Dr Helen Colley
School of Clinical Dentistry
S10 2TA
19 Claremont Crescent
Sheffield
S10 2TA
Profile

I completed my PhD in 2007 in the Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield specialising in tissue-engineering. After several years working as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate within the School of Clinical Dentistry, I was appointed Lecturer in Oral Bioscience in 2012 and then Senior Lecturer in 2019.

My current research combines my interests in tissue-engineering and epithelial biology where I supervise a range of translational and interdisciplinary research projects. I teach Human Anatomy to Dental and Speech Therapy students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Research interests

My main research interest is in tissue-engineering of the oral mucosa and skin, in particular the generation of novel three-dimensional in vitro models to assist in understanding the fundamentals of disease processes and the development of next generation therapeutics and drug delivery mechanisms.

Current Projects

Tissue-engineered three-dimensional in vitro models in health and disease:

  • The use of induced stem cells in modelling skin disease (funded by EPSRC).
  • Development and characterisation of an in vitro immuno-competent oral mucosal model to evaluate xenobiotic metabolism and inducible allergic responses (funded by MRC).
  • Modelling T-cell interactions in oral inflammatory disease.
  • Understanding the role of the extracellular matrix in oral cancer progression.
  • Development of an immune competent human skin equivalent model of atopic dermatitis for pre-clinical drug testing (Industrial studentship with Almirall, S.A).
  • Exploring the role of extracellular vesicles in chemotherapy resistance in head and neck cancer.

Novel drugs and novel methods of drug delivery:

  • Fabrication and toxicity testing of drug-loaded oral patches to expedite wound repair following tooth extraction (funded by EPSRC with Industrial collaborators AFYX Therapeutics, APS).
  • Novel strategies for the transmucosal delivery of biofunctional peptides using electrospun polymer patches (funded by EPSRC with Industrial collaborators AFYX Therapeutics, APS).
Publications

Journal articles

Research group

Post-doctoral Research Assistant:

Dr Amy Harding - Development of the Next Generation of Skin Models (funded by EPSRC with Industrial collaborators). 

Postgraduate Research students:

Helal Alanazi (co-supervisor with Dr S Hunt) Exploring the role of extracellular vesicles in chemotherapy resistance in head and neck cancer.

Catherine Park (co-supervisor with Dr S Hunt) Targeting extracellular vesicle-mediated intercellular communication in cancer through the use of 3D tissue engineered models.

Klaudia Slowik (primary supervisor with Dr R Bolt, Prof C Murdoch and Prof P Hatton) Fabrication and toxicity testing of drug-loaded oral patches to expedite wound repair following tooth extraction.

Jake Edmans (primary supervisor with Dr S Spain, Prof C Murdoch and Prof P Hatton) Novel strategies for the transmucosal delivery of biofunctional peptides using electrospun polymer patches.

Asma El Howati (primary supervisor with Prof C Murdoch). Modelling T-cell interactions in oral inflammatory disease.

Inmaculada Barragan Vazquez (co-supervisor with Prof C Murdoch and Dr S Danby). Development of an immune competent human skin equivalent model of atopic dermatitis for pre-clinical drug testing.

Claire Johnson (primary supervisor with Prof C Murdoch). Development of a multi-cellular tissue engineered model of T-cell inflammatory disease.

Witchayut Sasimonthon (co-supervisor with Prof G Reilly and Dr F Claeyssens). The role of the extracellular matrix in bone tissue engineering.

Bethany Ollington (co-supervisor with Prof C Murdoch). Development and characterisation of an in vitro immuno-competent oral mucosal model to evaluate xenobiotic metabolism and inducible allergic responses.

Teaching interests

I am the Theme Leader for the Human Body theme (DEN11001), which forms part of the 1st year programme for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery.  I am also the Module Lead for Biomedical Science (HCS1010, HCS6301), 20 credit modules on the BMedSci in Speech Therapy and MMedSci in Clinical Communication Studies for the Department of Human Communication Sciences.

My main teaching interest is in Human Anatomy. I currently teach and assess on:

DEN11001 - The Human Body

DEN11002 - The Oral Cavity in Health and Disease

DEN616 – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Dentistry

HCS1010 - Biomedical Sciences

HCS6301 - Biomedical Sciences

Professional activities
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Local organising committee for BioMedEng2021.
  • Committee member of the School of Clinical Dentistry Undergraduate Teaching Committee.
  • Member of the Committee for the Use of Tissue in Teaching (CUTIT).
  • Postgraduate Research Coordinator for Integrated Biosciences Research Group.
  • Committee member of the School of Clinical Dentistry Postgraduate Research Committee.
  • Chair of Oral Pathology and Medicine Courses Review Group.
  • Committee member of the Human Communication Sciences Board of Clinical Studies.