Dr Helen Colley

BSc, PhD

School of Clinical Dentistry

Senior Lecturer in Oral Bioscience

+44 114 215 9352

Full contact details

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

I was appointed as Lecturer at the School of Clinical Dentistry in 2012 after working as a post-doctoral research associate within the department for 5 years on developing novel tissue engineered oral mucosal equivalents for research and translational applications. Previous to this I completed an undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology and a PhD in Tissue Engineering.

Research interests

My main research interest is in tissue engineering of the oral mucosa in particular the generation of novel 3D in vitro models to assist in understanding the cause and progression of oral diseases, the development of next generation therapeutics and drug delivery mechanisms, and as tools for testing novel diagnostic technologies.

  • Defining epithelial xenobiotic metabolism using a combined in vitro/in silico approach.
  • Tissue engineered oral mucosa to investigate optimal temperature to prevent adverse effects of chemotherapeutic agents.
  • Understanding the role of the extracellular matrix in oral cancer progression.
  • Investigating novel drug delivery systems using in vitro 3D tissue engineered models of the oral mucosa.

Research team

  • Dr Sarah Smith (PDRA) Xenobiotic Metabolism in the Epithelium (funded by NC3R’s).
  • Kate Naylor (Research technician) The use of 3D oral mucosal models for use in the development of oral care products (funded by Colgate Palmolive).

Journal articles

Research group

PhD students:

  • Amy Harding - Understanding the role of the extracellular matrix in oral cancer progression.
  • Lucie Hadley (co-supervisor with Dr Craig Murdoch) - Developing tissue engineered models to investigate the role of tumour-associated macrophages in oral cancer progression.
  • Nibras Hamdan (co-supervisor with Dr Craig Murdoch) - The role of scavenger receptors in oral cancer.
  • Zulfami Said (co-supervisor with Dr Craig Murdoch) - Investigating drug delivery system in in vitro 3D tissue engineered model of the oral mucosa.
  • Dirar A Quassim (co-supervisor with Dr Gwen Reilly) - Culture conditions for bone tissue engineering.
  • Andrew Sneddon (co-supervisor with Dr Steven Webb Liverpool John Moores University) - Mathematical evaluation of drug delivery across the oral mucosa.

Placement Student:

  • Klaudia Slowik (Undergraduate Placement Student) - Xenobiotic metabolism is the oral mucosa.

Teaching interests

My main teaching interest is in human anatomy. I am the co-ordinator for two modules (HCS156 and HCS6142) as part of both the BMedSci in Speech and MMedSci in Clinical Communication Studies for the Department of Human Communication Sciences.

I also teach and assess on the Bachelor of Dental Surgery as part of the first year themes DEN103: The Human Body and DEN104: The Oral Cavity in Health and Disease.

Professional activities
  • Member of the faculty ECG committee; acting-champion (2016-)
  • University of Sheffield Ethics Review Panel (2015-)
  • PhD Selector for Integrated Biosciences Research Group (2014-)
  • Member of the School of Clinical Dentistry Postgraduate Research Committee (2014-)
  • Chair of Oral Pathology Courses Review Group (2013-)
  • Human Communication Sciences Board of Clinical Studies (2012-)
  • Journal reviewer for Tissue Engineering, PLoSOne, etc.