Sarah Buchan

Dr Sarah Buchan

  • Principal Academic in Immunology
  • Christchurch House C211, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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My research interests centre on understanding the regulation of the adaptive immune system. Specific long-term interests revolve around how T cells can be exploited to enhance cancer immunotherapy and alleviate dysregulation in autoimmune conditions. Currently I am seeking to develop a team to investigate the mechanisms underpinning hyperinflammation in autoimmune conditions, sepsis and COVID-19. My research focuses largely on members of the tumour-necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF), related regulators of inflammation and linked signalling pathways and their function in health and disease.

Ongoing work seeks to explore the role of this family in COVID-19.

To facilitate biomedical research at BU I am Academic lead for the Biobank and a member of the Human Tissue Authority Licencing committee internally, a member of the Wessex Immunology Group, British Society for Immunology and COG-UK externally.

I currently co-supervise a PhD student investigating the genetics of infertility, a condition known to be linked to immune regulation.


  • Buchan, S.L. et al., 2018. Antibodies to Costimulatory Receptor 4-1BB Enhance Anti-tumor Immunity via T Regulatory Cell Depletion and Promotion of CD8 T Cell Effector Function. Immunity, 49 (5), 958-970.e7.

Journal Articles

  • Buchan, S.L., 2024. CTLA-4: Checkpoints beyond the membrane. Mol Ther, 32 (2), 279-281.
  • Buchan, S., 2024. CTLA-4 - beyond the membrane. Molecular Therapy.
  • Smith, E. and Buchan, S., 2023. Skewed perception of personal behaviour as a contributor to antibiotic resistance and underestimation of the risks. PLoS ONE, 18 (11 October).
  • Dadas, O., Allen, J.D., Buchan, S.L., Kim, J., Chan, H.T.C., Mockridge, C.I., Duriez, P.J., Rogel, A., Crispin, M. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2023. Fcγ receptor binding is required for maximal immunostimulation by CD70-Fc. Frontiers in Immunology, 14.
  • Nickbakhsh, S. et al., 2022. Genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in a university outbreak setting and implications for public health planning. Scientific Reports, 12 (1).
  • Rogel, A., Ibrahim, F.M., Thirdborough, S.M., Renart-Depontieu, F., Birts, C.N., Buchan, S.L., Preville, X., King, E.V. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2022. Fcγ receptor-mediated cross-linking codefines the immunostimulatory activity of anti-human CD96 antibodies. JCI Insight, 7 (19).
  • Willett, B.J., Mantzouratou, A., Buchan, S.L. et al., 2022. Publisher Correction: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron is an immune escape variant with an altered cell entry pathway (Nature Microbiology, (2022), 7, 8, (1161-1179), 10.1038/s41564-022-01143-7). Nature Microbiology, 7 (10), 1709.
  • Willett, B.J., Mantzouratou, A., Buchan, S.L. et al., 2022. SARS-CoV-2 Omicron is an immune escape variant with an altered cell entry pathway. Nature Microbiology, 7 (8), 1161-1179.
  • Wieland, J., Buchan, S., Sen Gupta, S. and Mantzouratou, A., 2022. Genomic instability and the link to infertility: A focus on microsatellites and genomic instability syndromes. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 274, 229-237.
  • Kläser, K., Buchan, S.L., Mantzouratou, A. et al., 2022. COVID-19 due to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant compared to B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant of SARS-CoV-2: a prospective observational cohort study. Scientific Reports, 12 (1).
  • de Silva, T.I., Buchan, S.L. et al., 2021. The impact of viral mutations on recognition by SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells. iScience, 24 (11).
  • Buchan, S.L. et al., 2018. Antibodies to Costimulatory Receptor 4-1BB Enhance Anti-tumor Immunity via T Regulatory Cell Depletion and Promotion of CD8 T Cell Effector Function. Immunity, 49 (5), 958-970.e7.
  • Buchan, S.L. et al., 2018. PD-1 Blockade and CD27 Stimulation Activate Distinct Transcriptional Programs That Synergize for CD8+ T-Cell-Driven Antitumor Immunity. Clin Cancer Res, 24 (10), 2383-2394.
  • Rogel, A., Willoughby, J.E., Buchan, S.L., Leonard, H.J., Thirdborough, S.M. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2018. Akt signaling is critical for memory CD8+ T-cell development and tumor immune surveillance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114 (7), E1178-E1187.
  • Buchan, S.L., Rogel, A. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2017. The immunobiology of CD27 and OX40 and their potential as targets for cancer immunotherapy. Blood, 131 (1), 39-48.
  • Buchan, S.L. et al., 2015. OX40- and CD27-Mediated costimulation synergizes with Anti-PD-L1 blockade by forcing exhausted CD8+ T cells to exit quiescence. Journal of Immunology, 194 (1), 125-133.
  • Willoughby, J.E., Kerr, J.P., Rogel, A., Taraban, V.Y., Buchan, S.L., Johnson, P.W.M. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2014. Differential impact of CD27 and 4-1BB costimulation on effector and memory CD8 T cell generation following peptide immunization. Journal of Immunology, 193 (1), 244-251.
  • Hardwick, N., Buchan, S., Ingram, W., Khan, G., Vittes, G., Rice, J., Pulford, K., Mufti, G., Stevenson, F. and Guinn, B.A., 2013. An analogue peptide from the cancer/testis antigen PASD1 induces CD8+ T cell responses against naturally processed peptide. Cancer Immunity, 13 (3).
  • Taraban, V.Y., Rowley, T.F., Kerr, J.P., Willoughby, J.E., Johnson, P.M.W., Al-Shamkhani, A. and Buchan, S.L., 2013. CD27 costimulation contributes substantially to the expansion of functional memory CD8+ T cells after peptide immunization. European Journal of Immunology, 43 (12), 3314-3323.
  • Buchan, S.L. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2012. Distinct Motifs in the Intracellular Domain of Human CD30 Differentially Activate Canonical and Alternative Transcription Factor NF-κB Signaling. PLoS ONE, 7 (9).
  • Buchan, S.L., Taraban, V.Y., Slebioda, T.J., James, S., Cunningham, A.F. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2012. Death receptor 3 is essential for generating optimal protective CD4 1 T-cell immunity against Salmonella. European Journal of Immunology, 42 (3), 580-588.
  • Slebioda, T.J., Rowley, T.F., Ferdinand, J.R., Willoughby, J.E., Buchan, S.L., Taraban, V.Y. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2011. Triggering of TNFRSF25 promotes CD8 + T-cell responses and anti-tumor immunity. European Journal of Immunology, 41 (9), 2606-2611.
  • Taraban, V.Y., Slebioda, T.J., Willoughby, J.E., Buchan, S.L., James, S., Sheth, B., Smyth, N.R., Thomas, G.J., Wang, E.C.Y. and Al-Shamkhani, A., 2011. Sustained TL1A expression modulates effector and regulatory T-cell responses and drives intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia. Mucosal Immunology, 4 (2), 186-196.
  • Chaise, C. et al., 2008. DNA vaccination induces WT1-specific T-cell responses with potential clinical relevance. Blood, 112 (7), 2956-2964.
  • Rice, J., Dossett, M.L., Öhlén, C., Buchan, S.L., Kendall, T.J., Dunn, S.N., Stevenson, F.K. and Greenberg, P.D., 2008. DNA fusion gene vaccination mobilizes effective anti-leukemic cytotoxic T lymphocytes from a tolerized repertoire. European Journal of Immunology, 38 (8), 2118-2130.
  • Rice, J., Dunn, S., Piper, K., Buchan, S.L., Moss, P.A. and Stevenson, F.K., 2006. DNA fusion vaccines induce epitope-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells against human leukemia-associated minor histocompatibility antigens. Cancer Research, 66 (10), 5436-5442.
  • Buchan, S., Grønevik, E., Mathiesen, I., King, C.A., Stevenson, F.K. and Rice, J., 2005. Electroporation as a "prime/boost" strategy for naked DNA vaccination against a tumor antigen. Journal of Immunology, 174 (10), 6292-6298.
  • Stevenson, F.K., Buchan, S.L. et al., 2004. DNA vaccines to attack cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101 (SUPPL. 2), 14646-14652.
  • Rice, J., Buchan, S., Dewchand, H., Simpson, E. and Stevenson, F.K., 2004. DNA fusion vaccines induce targeted epitope-specific CTLs against minor histocompatibility antigens from a normal or tolerized repertoire. Journal of Immunology, 173 (7), 4492-4499.
  • Mockridge, C.I., Rahman, A., Buchan, S., Hamblin, T., Isenberg, D.A., Stevenson, F.K. and Potter, K.N., 2004. Common patterns of B cell perturbation and expanded V4-34 immunoglobulin gene usage in autoimmunity and infection. Autoimmunity, 37 (1), 9-15.
  • Potter, K.N., Mockridgel, C.I., Rahman, A., Buchan, S., Hamblin, T., Davidson, B., Isenberg, D.A. and Stevenson, F.K., 2002. Disturbances in peripheral blood B cell subpopulations in autoimmune patients. Lupus, 11 (12), 872-877.
  • Rice, J., Buchan, S. and Stevenson, F.K., 2002. Critical components of a DNA fusion vaccine able to induce protective cytotoxic T cells against a single epitope of a tumor antigen1. Journal of Immunology, 169 (7), 3908-3913.
  • Wilkins, B.S., Buchan, S.L., Webster, J. and Jones, D.B., 2001. Tryptase-positive mast cells accompany lymphocytic as well as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma infiltrates in bone marrow trephine biopsies. Histopathology, 39 (2), 150-155.
  • Rice, J., Elliott, T., Buchan, S. and Stevenson, F.K., 2001. DNA fusion vaccine designed to induce cytotoxic T cell responses against defined peptide motifs: Implications for cancer vaccines. Journal of Immunology, 167 (3), 1558-1565.


PhD Students

  • Jack Wieland

Profile of Teaching PG

  • MRes student Sophie Willis 22-23

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Introduction to Immunology
  • Advanced Immunology
  • Pathophysiology

Invited Lectures

  • Role of vaccines for COVID-19, Remote, 11 Apr 2022 more


  • Ensuring meaningful Patient and Public Input in a clinical study tracking immunity to cytomegalovirus in allogeneic bone marrow transplant patients (British Society for Immunology, 31 Oct 2023). Awarded
  • Engaging with immunology in a time of COVID-19 (BSI, 01 May 2022). Awarded
  • Travel grant; Cancer Immunotherapy Conference (British Society for Immunology, 10 Mar 2019). Completed

External Responsibilities

Internal Responsibilities

  • Member, LES Research Committee
  • Member, Human Tissue Licencing Sub-committee

Conference Presentations

  • Keystone: Cancer Immunotherapy, PD-1 blockade and CD27 stimulation activate distinct transcriptional programs that synergize for CD8+ T-cell driven anti-tumor immunity, 10 Mar 2019, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada


  • British Society of Immunology, Member (2013-),
  • Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK), Member,
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow,
  • Institute of Biomedical Scientists, Fellow,