Avrum Spira, MD
Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

MD, McGill University
MSc, Boston University

Dr. Spira is a Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics, and the Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship at Boston University. He is founding Chief of the Division of Computational Biomedicine in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Boston University – Boston Medical Center Cancer Center. He is also an attending physician in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Spira obtained his MD from McGill University in Montreal, and completed his Internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at BMC. During his fellowship, Dr. Spira obtained a master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Boston University.

Since his 2003 appointment to the BU faculty, Dr. Spira has built a translational research program that focuses on genomic alterations associated with smoking-related lung disease, leading to a molecular test for the early detection of lung cancer that has successfully translated into the clinic (PerceptaTM) as well as a novel therapeutic for COPD that is in preclinical development. His research program is based on the paradigm that smoking and other inhaled carcinogens create a ‘field of molecular injury’ in epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. By sampling these relatively accessible airway cells, Dr. Spira’s lab has developed novel diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for lung cancer and COPD as well as a non-invasive approach for measuring the physiological response to a number of inhaled environmental exposures. He has co-founded both a molecular diagnostics company and a pharmaceutical company in order to translate these tools from “bench to bedside”.

He serves as Principal Investigator on grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI); National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD), and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Spira was a permanent member of the NIH’s Cancer Biomarker Study Section (CBSS) and currently serves as Senior Editor at Cancer Prevention Research as well as Associate Editor at the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. He was elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2010 and a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in 2017.

Boston University School of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

Section Chief of Medicine in Computational Biomedicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

Boston University School of Medicine
Cancer Research Center

Boston University School of Medicine
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Mentor for Graduate Medical Students
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Active Staff Privileges
Boston Medical Center
Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine

Boston University
Bioinformatics Graduate Program

2011-2011 ASCI: Elected member ASCI
2010-2010 Uniting Against Lung Cancer: Caine Halter Hope Now Award, Uniting Against Lung Cancer

The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy
09/30/2018 - 06/30/2023 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute

Intercept lung cancer through immune, imaging & molecular evaluation-InTime
03/01/2018 - 02/28/2022 (PI)
American Association for Cancer Research

The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab
09/20/2016 - 08/31/2021 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute

Integrated molecular, cellular and imaging characterization of screen-detected lung cancer
09/16/2015 - 08/31/2020 (PI)
University of California, Los Angeles NIH NCI

New England Centenarian Study
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2020 (Co-PI)
PI: Thomas T. Perls, MD, MPH, FACP
The William M. Wood Foundation

Detection of Early Lung Cancer Among Military Personnel (DECAMP)
09/30/2011 - 03/29/2019 (PI)
Department of Defense/Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity

Correlating Histological, Radiological, and Gene Expression Patterns in the Lungs of IPF Patients
10/16/2015 - 10/15/2018 (PI)
Genentech, Inc.

mRNA expression array analysis among subjects exposed to outdoor ambient air pollution
09/22/2017 - 09/21/2018 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute

Impact of smoking and its cessation on systemic and airway immune activation
08/15/2016 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIDA

Integrative Omics to Discover Molecular Determinants of COPD
06/01/2016 - 05/31/2018 (Multi-PI)
PI: Avrum Spira, MD
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Showing 10 of 35 results. Show All Results

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2018 The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy 1U2CCA233238-01
2018 Administrative Core 1U2CCA233238-01-8062
2018 The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab 5U01CA214182-03 6
2018 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 5U01CA196408-04 3
2017 The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab 5U01CA214182-02 6
2017 Impact of smoking and its cessation on systemic and airway immune activation 5R01DA042685-02
2017 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 5U01CA196408-03 3
2017 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 3U01CA196408-03S1 3
2016 Molecular and Imaging Biomarkers for Early Lung Cancer Detection in the Setting of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules 1R01CA210360-01 2
2016 The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab 1U01CA214182-01 6
Showing 10 of 54 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Krysan K, Tran LM, Grimes BS, Fishbein GA, Seki A, Gardner BK, Walser TC, Salehi-Rad R, Yanagawa J, Lee JM, Sharma S, Aberle D, Spira AE, Elashoff DA, Wallace WD, Fishbein MC, Dubinett SM. The immune contexture associates with the genomic landscape in lung adenomatous premalignancy. Cancer Res. 2019 May 29. PMID: 31142513.
  2. Hijazi K, Malyszko B, Steiling K, Xiao X, Liu G, Alekseyev YO, Dumas YM, Hertsgaard L, Jensen J, Hatsukami D, Brooks DR, O'Connor G, Beane J, Lenburg ME, Spira A. Tobacco-Related Alterations in Airway Gene Expression are Rapidly Reversed Within Weeks Following Smoking-Cessation. Sci Rep. 2019 May 06; 9(1):6978.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31061400.
  3. Faiz A, Steiling K, Roffel MP, Postma DS, Spira A, Lenburg ME, Borggrewe M, Eijgenraam TR, Jonker MR, Koppelman GH, Pouwels SD, Liu G, Alekseyev YO, Lam S, Hiemstra PS, Sterk PJ, Timens W, Brandsma CA, Heijink IH, van den Berge M. Effect of long-term corticosteroid treatment on microRNA and gene-expression profiles in COPD. Eur Respir J. 2019 Apr; 53(4).View Related Profiles. PMID: 30846474.
  4. Beane JE, Mazzilli SA, Campbell JD, Duclos G, Krysan K, Moy C, Perdomo C, Schaffer M, Liu G, Zhang S, Liu H, Vick J, Dhillon SS, Platero SJ, Dubinett SM, Stevenson C, Reid ME, Lenburg ME, Spira AE. Molecular subtyping reveals immune alterations associated with progression of bronchial premalignant lesions. Nat Commun. 2019 04 23; 10(1):1856.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31015447.
  5. Kadara H, Sivakumar S, Jakubek Y, San Lucas FA, Lang W, McDowell T, Weber Z, Behrens C, Davies GE, Kalhor N, Moran C, El-Zein R, Mehran R, Swisher SG, Wang J, Zhang J, Fujimoto J, Fowler J, Heymach JV, Dubinett S, Spira AE, Ehli EA, Wistuba II, Scheet P. Driver Mutations in Normal Airway Epithelium Elucidate Spatiotemporal Resolution of Lung Cancer. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Mar 21. PMID: 30896962.
  6. Billatos E, Duan F, Moses E, Marques H, Mahon I, Dymond L, Apgar C, Aberle D, Washko G, Spira A. Detection of early lung cancer among military personnel (DECAMP) consortium: study protocols. BMC Pulm Med. 2019 Mar 07; 19(1):59.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30845938.
  7. Bals R, Boyd J, Esposito S, Foronjy R, Hiemstra PS, Jiménez-Ruiz CA, Katsaounou P, Lindberg A, Metz C, Schober W, Spira A, Blasi F. Electronic cigarettes: a task force report from the European Respiratory Society. Eur Respir J. 2019 Feb; 53(2). PMID: 30464018.
  8. Teixeira VH, Pipinikas CP, Pennycuick A, Lee-Six H, Chandrasekharan D, Beane J, Morris TJ, Karpathakis A, Feber A, Breeze CE, Ntolios P, Hynds RE, Falzon M, Capitanio A, Carroll B, Durrenberger PF, Hardavella G, Brown JM, Lynch AG, Farmery H, Paul DS, Chambers RC, McGranahan N, Navani N, Thakrar RM, Swanton C, Beck S, George PJ, Spira A, Campbell PJ, Thirlwell C, Janes SM. Deciphering the genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic landscapes of pre-invasive lung cancer lesions. Nat Med. 2019 03; 25(3):517-525. PMID: 30664780.
  9. Wu AC, Kiley JP, Noel PJ, Amur S, Burchard EG, Clancy JP, Galanter J, Inada M, Jones TK, Kropski JA, Loyd JE, Nogee LM, Raby BA, Rogers AJ, Schwartz DA, Sin DD, Spira A, Weiss ST, Young LR, Himes BE. Current Status and Future Opportunities in Lung Precision Medicine Research with a Focus on Biomarkers. An American Thoracic Society/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Research Statement. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Dec 15; 198(12):e116-e136. PMID: 30640517.
  10. Seijo LM, Peled N, Ajona D, Boeri M, Field JK, Sozzi G, Pio R, Zulueta JJ, Spira A, Massion PP, Mazzone PJ, Montuenga LM. Biomarkers in Lung Cancer Screening: Achievements, Promises, and Challenges. J Thorac Oncol. 2019 Mar; 14(3):343-357. PMID: 30529598.
Showing 10 of 141 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 141 publications over 18 distinct years, with a maximum of 18 publications in 2016

In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

airway epithelium
airway gene expression
cancer biomarkers
lung cancer
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