Professor Deirdre Devine

Professor Deirdre Devine


Having joined the University of Leeds in 1995 as a Lecturer, I was appointed in 2009 as Professor of Oral Microbiology in the School of Dentistry.

I first studied Microbiology at the University of Reading, graduating in 1982, and then gained a PhD in 1988 from the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London.  A period as a Research Associate in the University of Manchester (1987-1989) was followed by my appointment as a Lecturer at the University of Bradford in 1989 from where I moved to Leeds.

I am currently the Faculty of Medicine and Health Lead for Research Quality and Impact (REF), working with a team across the Faculty to prepare our submissions for REF 2021.  I am also Lead for the School of Dentistry Microbiology and Cell Biology Research Theme and the Deputy Head of the Division of Oral Biology.

In my time at Leeds I have undertaken a variety of other academic roles and responsibilities.  For example, I led a team who developed and introduced (2005) new Doctoral programmes (Integrated PhD and Profession Doctorate).  I was the School of Dentistry Director of Research & Innovation (2009 - 2015) and, from 2009-2014, the University Lead for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 Unit of Assessment 3 (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy).

I was recently elected as a member of Council of the Microbiology Society.  I have previously been elected to national committees of the Society for Applied Microbiology, Society for General Microbiology and the Oral Microbiology and Immunology group of the British Society for Dental Research.

I have been a member of BBSRC Core Committee B since 2016, having been a member of BBSRC Pool Appointments Board (Committee B) from 2012-2016 and the Medical Research Council (UK) College of Experts (Infection and Immunity Board) 2005-2010.

I currently supervise six postgraduate research students and have supervised a further 18 who graduated between 1993 and 2018.  I have acted as External PhD examiner for 14 PhD candidates from Universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.


  • Faculty of Medicine & Health Lead for Research Quality & Impact (REF)
  • Lead, Microbiology & Cell Biology Research Theme (School of Dentistry)
  • Deputy Head of Division of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry

Research interests

My research endeavours to understand the roles of microbes and host responses in health and disease; including (i) characterising and controlling oral biofilms ii) understanding host-microbe homeostasis, iii) cellular responses and innate defences in infectious and malignant disease, iv) understanding the links between oral and systemic diseases.

I have proposed, planned and edited 2 books, written >70 research papers and reviews, and numerous reports for commercial sponsors.

I have contributed to attracting grant funding of > £6.5 million from diverse sources including research councils, charities and Industrial sponsors.



  • PhD Microbiology, University of London, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, 1988
  • BSc (Hons) 2i, University of Reading, Microbiology, 2i, 1982

Professional memberships

  • Microbiology Society
  • International Association for Dental Research
  • British Society for Oral and Dental Research
  • Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group of the BSODR

Student education

I have wide experience in teaching and the management of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, mostly in Dentistry, and experience in curriculum design and planning of both undergraduate and postgraduate Dental clinical and basic science programmes, working closely with clinical Dental colleagues.  I was a member of the School Teaching & Student Education Committee from 2008-2015, and was co-opted onto the Faculty of Medicine & Health Learning and Teaching Committee.

I have in my time at Leeds been invited to join University working groups relevant to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and the student experience, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Group, Learning and Teaching Partnership Agreement; the Leeds for Life Academic Group on Values, Skills and Attributes and Curriculum Enhancement Group.

I participate in pastoral care activities and currently I am Personal Tutor to 10 Dental undergraduates.

Research groups and institutes

  • Microbiology and cell biology
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>