Dr Rizwana Lala

BDS, MDPH (Distinction), DDPH RCS (Eng), PGCiLT, FHEA, PhD

School of Medicine and Population Health

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health

Rizwana Lala
Profile picture of Rizwana Lala

I joined the Division of Population Health in 2024 as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. 

I am a qualified dentist and have worked in general dental practice, community dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery. In 2020, I completed academic dental public health training in Yorkshire and the Humber. My clinical public health portfolio includes dentistry, the national COVID response, and climate and sustainability. I am currently an honorary consultant in Dental Public Health at NHS England. 

I am a mixed methods researcher including qualitative and quantitative methodologies. My interest in equality and diversity is reflected across my clinical, teaching and research practice. Using my research findings I make evidence-informed recommendations to widen participation and representation of women, racialised minorities and those from deprived backgrounds across health and university institutions.

Research interests

My ethnographic research integrates clinical public health and medical sociology to analyse how commercial involvement in health systems reinforces social inequalities along the intersections of race, class and gender.

My PhD in cosmetic dentistry investigated how healthcare is commercialised through beauty practices. I have been awarded a Wellcome Trust Early Career Fellowship (2023-2028) to examine how commercial involvement in sugar-related public health policies and practices impacts racialised communities.


Journal articles


  • Dyer T, Brocklehurst P, Glenny A-M, Marshman Z, Davies L, Richards D, Newton T, Godson J, Tickle M, Lala R & Robinson PG () Dental auxiliaries for dental care In Dyer T (Ed.) John Wiley & Sons, Ltd RIS download Bibtex download

Wellcome Trust Early Career Award, (PI, £990,915, 2023-2028) - Sugar-Related Public Health Approaches Analysed Through the Lens of Racial Capitalism 

Education and Research Innovation Committee (ERIC) - NHS Health Education England, Yorkshire and Humber, (PI, £10,000, 2017-2018) - The management of dental care of people living with blood-borne viruses in general dental practice

Women Academic Returners Programme (WARP) award - University of Sheffield, (PI, £10,000, 2018-2020) - The Great British Smile: An institutional ethnography of power in cosmetic dentistry 

NHS Health Education England, East Midlands - Open competition funding for PhD as part of Academic Clinical Lecturer Training Post, 2013-2020 – extended due to parental leave

Teaching interests

My teaching interests include decolonial work and inclusive teaching practice. I led on decolonial work on the Master in Dental Public Health. I arrange learning on race, equality and decolonial work in public health at NHS England. 

Teaching activities

I facilitate undergraduate tutorials in clinical governance and ethics and teach on the Master in Dental Public Health course.

Professional activities and memberships

Regional Dental Epidemiology Coordinator (East Midlands) – coordinating national dental surveys in a wide range of settings such as schools and care homes

Member of Dental Quality Improvement Group (East Midlands and East of England) — leading an audit on patient and public participation in dental commissioning 

Peer reviewer for dental, public health and education journals such as Community Dental Health, Journal of Dental Education, British Dental Journal