Nezar Al-Hebshi is an associate professor at the Kornberg School of Dentistry and co-director of the Oral Microbiome Research Laboratory. He earned his dental degree from the University of Science and Technology (UST), Yemen in 1999, followed by a direct PhD in oral microbiology from Bergen University, Norway, in 2005. Before joining Kornberg, he held faculty positions at Jazan University in Saudi Arabia (2012–2016) and UST (2005–2011). Dr. Al-Hebshi has authored more than 40 international publications, and he holds an h-index of 23. He also serves as a reviewer for several international journals and has presented his research findings at meetings across four continents. 

Dr. Al-Hebshi’s current research focuses on two areas.

  • Modelling and modulation of the oral microbiome.
  • Deciphering the role of the microbiome in oral diseases and in oral cancer in particular.

He has received over one-million dollars of funding to support his work.

Recent Funding

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, R21

Effect of piezoelectric charges on oral microbiome modulation
April 2021 – July 2023
Role: Co-Investigator Nezar Al-hebshi
Amount: $ 456,810

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, R03
“Microbiome-host interactions in oral squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-transcriptomic exploratory study”
July 2019–June 2021
Role: PI Nezar Al-hebshi
Amount: $371,858

National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, R03
“In vitro reproducible model of subgingival microbiome for high throughput screening for microbiome modulators”
July 2019–June 2021
Role: PI Nezar Al-hebshi
Amount: $342,790


Pennsylvania  Department of Health
“In Vitro Effects of Commensal Oral Bacteria on Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines”
June 2017–June 2019
Role: PI Nezar Al-hebshi
Amount: $200,000

Selected Publications

Baraniya D, Chitrala KN, Al-Hebshi NN*. Global transcriptional response of oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines to health-associated oral bacteria - an in vitro study. Journal of Oral Microbiology 2022; 14(1): 2073866

Chen T, Marsh PD, Al-Hebshi NN*. SMDI: An Index for Measuring Subgingival Microbial Dysbiosis. J Dent Res 2021;220345211035775.

Baraniya D, Jain V, Tam V, Vanderveer L, Puri S, Yang J, AL-hebshi NN*. Screening of health-associated oral bacteria for anticancer properties in vitro. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020; 10:575656.

Halboub E, Al-Ak'hali MS, Alamir AH, Homeida HE, Baraniya D, Chen T, Al-Hebshi NN*. Tongue microbiome of smokeless tobacco users. BMC Microbiol. 2020;20(1):201

Baraniya D, Chen T, Nahar A, Alakwaa F, Hill J, Tellez M, Ismail A, Puri S, Al-hebshi NN*. Supragingival mycobiome and inter-kingdom interactions in dental caries. Journal of Oral Microbiology 2020, 12(1): 1729305.

Baraniya D, Naginyte M, Chen, Albandar JM, Chialastri SM, Devine DA, Marsh PD, Al-hebshi NN*. Modeling Normal and Dysbiotic Subgingival Microbiomes: Effect of Nutrients. Journal of Dental Research 2020; 99(6):695-702

Al-hebshi NN*, Baraniya D, Chen T, Hill J, Puri S, TellezM, Hasan NA, Colwell RR, Ismail A. Metagenome sequencing-based strain-level and functional characterization of supragingival microbiome associated with dental caries in children. Journal of Oral Microbiology. 2019;11:1557986.

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 Microbiology 2017, Article: 1385369.

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, 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

Complete list of publications

Dr. Al-Hebshi: