Oral Cancer Research Initiative

Oral cancer is one of the most pernicious epithelial malignancies in the world, whose incidence is on the rise. Despite progress in diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer, the 5-year survival rates over the past twenty years have remained at about 50%. Oral cancer disproportionately affects underserved minorities in the US and in the developing countries.

The Oral Cancer Research Initiative (OCRI) is a focused multidisciplinary collaborative that brings together basic scientists, clinicians, public health researchers, engineers, chemists and computational biologists to work on diverse issues related to oral cancer.

Our mission: to elucidate the mechanisms of oral cancer development and progression and to expedite translation of research findings toward diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure of oral cancer. Our multidisciplinary effort will align research on oral cancer with societal needs. For more information regarding the Oral Cancer Research Initiative please contact ocri@bu.edu

Internal Advisory Board

Rhoda M. Alani, M.D.
Herbert Mescon Professor & Chair, Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine

David M. Center, M.D.
Chief, Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine
Gordon & Ruth Snider Professor of Pulmonary Medicine
Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry
Associate Provost for Translational Research
Director, Boston University Medical Campus Translational Research Institute

David L. Coleman, M.D.
Wade Professor & Chair, Department of Medicine

Ronald B. Corley, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair of Microbiology
Associate Provost for Research, Boston University Medical Campus

Jeffrey W. Hutter, D.M.D., M.Ed.
Dean, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Spencer N. Frankl Professor in Dental Medicine

Katya Ravid, D.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry
Director, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

M. Selim Ünlü, M.S.E.E., Ph.D.
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Director, Boston University Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology

Roberta F. White, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research
Professor of Environmental Health, School of Public Health

External Advisory Board

Thomas J. Glynn, Ph.D.
Director, Cancer Science & Trends
Director, International Cancer Control, American Cancer Society

Jennifer Grandis, M.D.
Director, Head & Neck SPORE
Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh

Bruce Johnson, M.D.
Chief Clinical Research Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Scott M. Lippman, M.D.
Director, Head & Neck SPORE
Chair, Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Poul Erik Petersen, D.D.S., D.O.Sc., M.Sc.
Chief, Oral Health Programme, World Health Organization

Marshall Posner, M.D.
Director, Head & Neck Medical Oncology
Director, Office of Cancer Clinical Trials
The Tisch Cancer Institute
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Jatin P. Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chairman of the Council of the International Academy of Oral Oncology
Professor of Surgery, Cornell University
Chief of Head & Neck Surgery Service,
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dong M. Shin, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Director, Head & Neck SPORE
Professor of Hematology, Oncology & Otolaryngology
Director, Clinical & Translational Cancer Prevention Program
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University School of Medicine

Gregory T. Wolf, M.D.
Director, Head & Neck SPORE
Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan


OCRI News

  • 2014 A Productive Year for OCRI ARC

    January 21, 2015

    2014 was a hugely productive year for the OCRI’s Etiology and Pathogenesis of Oral Cancer (EPOC) Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC). We are pleased to report that renewed funding has been granted by the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research for 2015. The EPOC ARC consists of a number of OCRI... [ More ]

  • Head & Neck Cancer Symposium Proceedings Published

    January 21, 2015

    The proceedings of the first annual Head & Neck Cancer Symposium, which took place at Boston University in April 2014, were published in the December 2014 issue of the Annals Reports by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). The NYAS is one of the oldest and... [ More ]

  • Researcher Spotlight: Bob Varelas PhD and Vikki Noonan DMD

    January 21, 2015

    Since its founding in 2011, the Oral Cancer Research Initiative (OCRI) has demonstrated the value of collaborative and multidisciplinary research. The goal of the OCRI is to bring together professionals from disparate fields to work together on the diverse issues related to oral cancer. Two such OCRI members at the... [ More ]

News Archive


Also See…