Dr Birthe Nielsen

Dr Birthe Nielsen MSc, PhD, AMRSC

Principal Lecturer, Analytical Science

Key details

Dr Birthe V Nielsen

Principal Lecturer, Analytical Science

Dr Birthe Nielsen obtained her MSc in biotechnology from the Department of Life Sciences at Aalborg University, Denmark (1998–2004) where she worked in the area of molecular plant biotechnology with Professor K.D. Grasser. After finishing with a distinction, she continued to University of Portsmouth, UK, where she undertook an industry-funded PhD (2004–07) in the biomaterials and drug delivery research group with Dr J. Tsibouklis. During this time, Dr Nielsen was assessing multifunctional polymer thin films for oral care.

In October 2007, Dr Nielsen joined the School of Science at University of Greenwich, where she has been pursuing her own research interests in mass spectrometry developing methods for the detection and quantification of salivary biomarkers of clinical and biopharmaceutical significance, and the development of inorganic/organic composite materials for hard tissue replacement.

Dr Nielsen is responsible for arranging the School of Science research seminars where external and internal speakers present their scientific findings. The seminars promote knowledge transfer and provide staff and students with an opportunity to establish new contacts.

Responsibilities within the university

  • Link tutor Pharmaceutical Sciences at MSA Cairo, Egypt.

Programme leader

  • BSc Hons Pharmaceutical Sciences

Course participation

  • Analytical and Advanced Protein Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis and Testing
  • Research and Practical Skills
  • Research Methods
  • Research projects for MSc and BSc.


  • Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC)

Research / Scholarly interests

Research activities involves the application of mass spectrometry for the detection of neuropeptides and steroid hormones. Over the past few years, Dr Nielsen has been working on building a deeper understanding of how specific neuropeptides ionize and behave in the gas phase.

Further, the work aims to get an understanding of factors impacting ESI and MALDI protonation in the aid to predict the mass spectrum for peptides which could be important pain and stress biomarkers for clinical research. The research includes:

  • Understanding pre-ESI factors that affect protonation
  • Understanding factors that affect ESI response (peptide characteristics such as polarity and peptide conformation)
  • H/D exchange analysis by mass spectrometry
  • Detection of steroid hormones by HPLC and LC-MS
  • Method development using nano-LC-Q-Tof MS, MALDI-TOF MS, Ion mobility MS for the detection of potential salivary biomarkers.

Dr Nielsen is also working with: Dr D. Abaye; a post doctoral researcher; master students; and PhD students.

Areas of research

  • ESI response of neuropeptides
  • Mass spectrometry (ESI and MALDI)
  • Salivary biomarkers
  • Polymer thin films for the prevention of dentine hypersensitivity, dental erosion and plaque build-up
  • Biomaterials for tissue engineering.

Dr Nielsen welcomes enquiries from potential collaborators regarding these and future projects.

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