Sarah Council

Postdoctoral Fellow, Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab

11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • Ph.D. in Oral Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
  • B.S. in Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, 2005


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, North Carolina Central University in Center for Science, Math and Technology Education

Research Interests

Dr. Council is a microbiologist currently studying the skin microbiome. The microbiome includes bacteria, fungi, and other single celled organisms that live on and inside of you. In particular, she studies the microbe composition of multiple skin sites (Armpit and Belly button) and the interaction between communities of bacteria. Her goal is to explore the skin bacterial community and identify chemical signals that affect bacterial growth. She hopes to better understand microbial community organization and to develop therapeutics using the natural protection our microbes give us. Previous investigations include the oral microbiome and the lung microbiome, studying an oral anaerobe in the context of cystic fibrosis chronic lung infection.

Current Projects

Armpit Microbiome (

Identify chemical molecules that affect growth of skin associated bacteria

Teaching research-infused undergrad classes and laboratories at NC Central University through Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) funded Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Council, S.E., Savage, A.M., Urban, J.M., Ehlers, M., Skene, P., Platt, M., Dunn, R.R. and Horvath, J.E. In review. Diversity and evolution of the primate skin microbiome. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences.

“I love being able to share science and scientific discoveries with those who aren’t trained scientists. From 1st graders to museum guests, their excitement is infectious.”

Twitter: @SarahCouncil

Fields of Research