Dr Sarah Kohe PhD

Dr Sarah Kohe

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Sarah Kohe is a Research Fellow within the Children's Brain Tumour Research Team based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She has a strong research interest in the biological and metabolic underpinnings of central nervous system tumours in children, with a particular focus on medulloblastoma, the second most common brain tumour that affects children.


  • PhD (Neuroscience), University of Otago, New Zealand, 2010 
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Science (Neuroscience), University of Otago, New Zealand, 2006 
  • Bachelor of Science (Anatomy & Structural Biology), University of Otago, New Zealand, 2005


Sarah is originally from New Zealand where she completed a PhD in Neuroscience that involved the development of a model of hypoxic brain injury suffered by infants that were born extremely prematurely.

Since moving to the United Kingdom in 2011 after the completion of her PhD, Sarah was appointed as a Research Fellow based in the Children's Brain Tumour Research Team at the University of Birmingham. Since then she has worked on several childhood cancer projects including retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, and medulloblastoma. Sarah is interested in exploring the biological and metabolic processes that underlie these tumours, and much of her research involves investigating the potential for the metabolic stratification of tumours into the biological and/or genetic sub-groups that may aid in predicting prognostic outcome and survival. She also has an interest in the identification and evaluation of potential biomarkers of clinical outcome in paediatric tumours along with an interest in the interaction between lipids and glutamine in cancer metabolism.

Sarah is experienced in several key laboratory techniques including standard histology procedures, immunohistochemistry in both frozen and paraffin embedded tissue, microscopy, cell culture, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of tumour tissue, specifically high resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS). 


Current Research (2014 - present):   

  • “Non invasive identification of medulloblastoma genetic subtypes using metabolite profiles and imaging features”. Sarah is currently working on a 3 year project funded by Children with Cancer under the supervision of principal investigator Professor Andrew Peet. This project is a collaboration with Nottingham and Newcastle Universities. 

Ongoing Research (2013 - present): 

  • “A histological and immunohistochemical investigation of lipid droplets in brain tumours”. Research Fellow on a research project funded by the Andrew McCartney Trust for Brain Tumour Research to investigate the relationship between lipid droplets and brain tumour metabolism. 
  • “Metabolomics for risk stratification in neuroblastoma”. Research Fellow on a project funded by the Birmingham Cancer Research UK Centre to investigate metabolomics as a means of risk stratification & biomarker identification in neuroblastoma. Lead Investigator: Dr Carmel McConville. 

Previous Research (2012): 

  • “Clinical Validation of a Molecular Classification of Retinoblastoma” . Worked as a Research Fellow on a 12 month BCHRF funded research project investigating metabolomics and histological features in retinoblastoma.  Lead investigator:  Dr Carmel McConville.


  • Kohe, S.E., Brundler, MA., Jenkinson, H., Parulekar, M., Wilson, M., Peet, A., and McConville C. (2015). Metabolic   profiling in retinoblastoma identifies novel clinicopathological subgroups. British Journal of Cancer. 1-9, doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.318. 
  • Cameron, S., Alwakeel, A., Goddard, L., Hobbs, C., Gowing, E., Barnett, L., Kohe, S., Sizemore R., and Oorschot, D.. (2015).Delayed Post-Treatment with Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Is Neurorestorative of Striatal Medium- Spiny Projection Neurons and Improves Motor Function After Neonatal Rat Hypoxia-Ischemia. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 68: 56-72. 
  • Oorschot, D.E., Voss, L., Covey, M.V., Huang, W., Birchall, P., Bilkey, D.K. and Kohe, S.E. (2013). Spectrum of Short-and Long-Term Brain Pathology and Long-Term Behavioral Deficits in Male Repeated Hypoxic Rats Closely Resembling Human Extreme Prematurity. The Journal of  Neuroscience. 33 (29);11863-11877. 
  • Oorschot D.E., Voss L., Covey M.V., Bilkey D.K., and Saunders S.E. (2007). ADHD-like hyperactivity, with no attention deficit, in adult rats after repeated hypoxia during the equivalent of extreme prematurity. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 166; 315-322. Invited paper for a special issue on ‘Animal models of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)’.

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