Nezar Al-hebshi, PhD


Associate Professor

Research Program


Dr. Nezar Al-hebshi is a Research Associate Professor at Tempe University Kornberg School of Dentistry where he co-directs of the newly established Oral Microbiome Research Laboratory.  He has extensive experience in the field of oral microbiology, namely characterizing the oral microbiome using real-time PCR and next generation sequencing (NGS). He, in collaboration with Dr. Tsute Chen at Forsyth Institute, recently developed an algorithm for classification of 16S rRNA NGS reads from oral microbial samples to the species level. Dr. Al-hebshi currently focuses on the study of bacterial and fungal communities (bacteriome and mycobiome, respectively) associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) as well as those found in ready-to-use smokeless tobacco products. His work with collaborators from USA, Australia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Yemen provides the first epidemiological evidence for association of certain bacterial species, such as Fusobacterium nucleatum, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, campylobacter spp. and prevotella spp. with OSCC. His work also is the first to suggest presence of a proinflammatory microbial community within OSCC tissues. He is currently exploring this further using a metatranscriptomic approach.


Selected Publications

Perera M, Al-hebshi NN, Perera I, Ipe D, Ulett G, Speicher DJ, Chen T, Johnson NW. The Inflammatory Bacteriome and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Journal of Dental research 2018, 97: 725-732

Perera M, Al-hebshi NN, Perera I, Ipe D, Ulett G, Speicher DJ, Chen T, Johnson NW. A Dysbiotic Mycobiome Dominated by Candida albicans is Identified within Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Journal of Oral Microbilogy 2017, Article: 1385369

Al-hebshi NN, Nasher AT, Maryoud MY, Homeida HE, Chen T, Idris IM, and Johnson NW. Inflammatory bacteriome featuring Fusobacterium nucleatum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa identified in association with oral squamous cell carcinoma. Scientific Reports 2017, 7: 1834

Al-hebshi NN, Alharbi FA, Mahri M, Chen T. Differences in the bacteriome of smokeless tobacco products with different oral carcinogenicity: compositional and predicted functional analysis. Genes 2017, 8: 106

Al-hebshi NN, Nasher AT, Speicher DJ, Shaikh MH, Johnson NW. Possible interaction between tobacco use and EBV in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Oncology 2016;59(8):e4-e5.

Al-hebshi NN, Li S, Nasher AT, El-Setouhy M, Alsanosi R, Blancato J, et al. Exome sequencing of oral squamous cell carcinoma in users of Arabian snuff reveals novel candidates for driver genes. International Journal of Cancer. 2016;139(2):363-72.

Nasher AT, Al-hebshi NN, Al-Moayad EE, Suleiman AM. Viral infection and oral habits as risk factors for oral squamous cell carcinoma in Yemen: a case-control study. Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology. 2014;118(5):566-72.

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