Dr Sarah A Kuehne

Image of Sarah Kuehne

School of Dentistry
Senior Lecturer in Oral Microbiology

Contact details

The School of Dentistry
University of Birmingham
5 Mill Pool Way
B5 7EG

Dr Sarah Kuehne is a  Senior lecturer in Oral Microbiology and the lead of the Oral Microbiology Research Group at the University of Birmingham in the School of Dentistry.

She has over 12 years experience in molecular medical microbiology and published her work in high impact journals.

Her particular interest lies in the discovery and characterisation of bacterial virulence factors.

Sarah’s lab is working on the communication between bacteria and bacteria-host interactions, studying phenomena like production and sensing of signal molecules (quorum sensing), but also metabolism, sharing of resources, competition and cooperation.

She specialises in anaerobic bacteria and their role in pathogenesis and health.

Sarah has great experience in supervising PhD students and also MSc, MRes and undergraduate research projects.

Sarah’s research group holds close links to the world-renown Institute of Microbiology and Infection (IMI), led by Prof Ian Henderson.


  • PhD in Molecular Microbiology, University of Nottingham, UK, 2008
  • MSc in Biotechnology, Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, France, 2003
  • BSc in Biotechnology, Technical University, Berlin, Germany, 2000


Teaching Programmes

  • BMedSc - Supervision of 3rd year laboratory projects
  • Elective coordinator (4th year BDS)
  • Oral Microbiology lectures and tutorial (BDS term 6, Dental Pathology and Immunology)
  • Introduction to Bacteriology (2nd year BMedSc)

Postgraduate supervision

The Oral Microbiology Group, led by Dr Sarah Kuehne, is particularly interested in bacterial communication (quorum sensing, sencond messengers) and in host-microbe interactions in the oral cavity and beyond. We work with mono and multispecies biofilms and also characterise and use 2D and 3D cell/microbe models to investigate dysbiosis and health states, as well as individual virulence factors.

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Sarah Kuehne directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mdsgradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Other activities

  • Member of the Microbiology Society (MiSoc), committee member of the prokaryotic division since 2016
  • Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)
  • Member of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) and the British Society for Oral and Dental Research (BSODR)
  • Member of the British Society of Periodontology (BSP)
  • Member of the Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry (ABSTD)


Recent publications


Simpson, M, Bilverstone, TW, Leslie, J, Donlan, A, Jashim Uddin, M, Petri, WA, Marin, N, Kuehne, S, Minton, NP & Petri Jr, WA 2023, 'Clostridioides difficile binary toxin binding component (cdtb) increases virulence in a hamster model', Open Forum Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofad040

McCallum, GE, Rossiter, AE, Quraishi, MN, Iqbal, TH, Kuehne, SA & van Schaik, W 2023, 'Noise reduction strategies in metagenomic chromosome confirmation capture to link antibiotic resistance genes to microbial hosts', Microbial Genomics, vol. 9, no. 6, 001030. https://doi.org/10.1099/mgen.0.001030

Shirgill, S, Poologasundarampillai, G, Jabbari, S, Ward, J & Kuehne, SA 2023, 'Silver-doped bioactive glass fibres as a potential treatment for wound-associated bacterial biofilms', Biofilm. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bioflm.2023.100115

Whittle, MJ, Bilverstone, TW, van Esveld, RJ, Lucke, AC, Lister, MM, Kuehne, S & Minton, NP 2022, 'A novel bacteriophage with broad host-range against Clostridioides difficile ribotype 078 supports SlpA as the likely phage receptor', Microbiology spectrum, vol. 10, no. 1, e02295-21. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.02295-21

Mohamad, SA, Milward, MR, Hadis, MA, Kuehne, SA & Cooper, PR 2022, 'Blue light photobiomodulation of dental pulp cells', Lasers in Dental Science, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 79-87. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41547-022-00152-3

Muchová, M, Balacco, D, Grant, M, Chapple, I, Kuehne, S & Hirschfeld, J 2022, 'Fusobacterium nucleatum subspecies differ in biofilm forming ability in vitro', Frontiers in Oral Health, vol. 3, 853618. https://doi.org/10.3389/froh.2022.853618

Peritore-Galve, FC, Shupe, JA, Cave, RJ, Childress, KO, Washington, MK, Kuehne, SA & Lacy, DB 2022, 'Glucosyltransferase-dependent and independent effects of Clostridioides difficile toxins during infection', PLoS Pathogens, vol. 18, no. 2, e1010323. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1010323

Mountcastle, S, Vyas, N, Villapun, VM, Cox, S, Jabbari, S, Sammons, R, Shelton, R, Walmsley, D & Kuehne, S 2021, 'Biofilm viability checker: an open-source tool for automated biofilm viability analysis from confocal microscopy images', npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, vol. 7, no. 1, 44. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41522-021-00214-7

Castro-Córdova, P, Mora-Uribe, P, Reyes-Ramírez, R, Cofré-Araneda, G, Orozco-Aguilar, J, Brito-Silva, C, Mendoza-León, MJ, Kuehne, SA, Minton, NP, Pizarro-guajardo, M & Paredes-Sabja, D 2021, 'Entry of spores into intestinal epithelial cells contributes to recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection', Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 1140. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21355-5

Hall, T, Hughes, E, Sajjad, H, Kuehne, S, Grant, M, Grover, L & Cox, S 2021, 'Formulation of a reactive oxygen producing calcium sulphate cement as an anti-bacterial hard tissue scaffold', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 4491. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84060-9

Alexander, J, Dong, H, Bose, D, Hassan, AA, Soo, L, Zhang, Z, Tao, X, Kuehne, S, Li, X & Dong, H 2021, 'Novel catalytic ceramic conversion treatment of Ti6Al4V for improved tribological and antibacterial properties for biomedical applications', Materials, vol. 14, no. 21, 6554. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14216554

Jayash, S, Cooper, P, Shelton, R, Kuehne, S & Poologasundarampillai, G 2021, 'Novel chitosan-silica hybrid hydrogels for cell encapsulation and drug delivery', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 22, 12267. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212267

Abdelsalam Mohamad, S, Milward, MR, Kuehne, SA, Hadis, MA, Palin, WM & Cooper, PR 2021, 'Potential for direct application of blue light for photo-disinfection of dentine', Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, vol. 215, 112123, pp. 112123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2021.112123

Villapún, VM, Balacco, DL, Webber, MA, Hall, T, Lowther, M, Addison, O, Kuehne, SA, Grover, LM & Cox, SC 2021, 'Repeated exposure of nosocomial pathogens to silver does not select for silver resistance but does impact ciprofloxacin susceptibility', Acta Biomaterialia, vol. 134, pp. 760-773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.07.056

Review article

Mohamad, SA, Milward, MR, Hadis, MA, Kuehne, SA & Cooper, PR 2021, 'Photobiomodulation of mineralisation in mesenchymal stem cells', Photochemical & photobiological sciences : Official journal of the European Photochemistry Association and the European Society for Photobiology, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 699-714. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43630-021-00047-5

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