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

MD, McGill University
MSc, Boston University
DEC, Vanier College

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 is also the Global Head of the Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) at Johnson & Johnson, which is developing solutions to prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer.

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 Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Section Chief of Medicine in Computational Biomedicine
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Pulmonary Center

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston University
Bioinformatics Graduate Program

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy
09/30/2018 - 08/31/2024 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute

Intercept lung cancer through immune, imaging & molecular evaluation-InTime
03/01/2018 - 02/28/2023 (PI)
American Association for Cancer Research

Development of a lung cancer nasal gene expression classifier in patients with indeterminate pulmonary nodules
01/15/2021 - 12/31/2022 (PI)
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab
09/20/2016 - 09/30/2022 (Multi PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Marc Lenburg, PhD
NIH/National Cancer Institute

New England Centenarian Study
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2022 (Multi-PI)
PI: Avrum Spira, MD
The William M. Wood Foundation

Integrated molecular, cellular and imaging characterization of screen-detected lung cancer
09/16/2015 - 08/31/2021 (Co-Investigator of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Marc Lenburg, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles NIH NCI

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 (Subcontract PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIDA

Showing 10 of 36 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2021 The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy 3U2CCA233238-01S2 1
2021 Administrative Core 3U2CCA233238-01S2-8062 1
2020 The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy 3U2CCA233238-01S1 1
2018 The Lung PCA: A Multi-Dimensional Atlas of Pulmonary Premalignancy 1U2CCA233238-01 1
2018 Administrative Core 1U2CCA233238-01-8062 1
2018 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 5U01CA196408-04 7
2017 The Boston University-UCLA Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Lab 5U01CA214182-02 7
2017 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 5U01CA196408-03 7
2017 Integrated Molecular, Cellular, and Imaging Characterization of Screen-Detected Lung Cancer 3U01CA196408-03S1 7
2016 Molecular and Imaging Biomarkers for Early Lung Cancer Detection in the Setting of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules 1R01CA210360-01 4
Showing 10 of 55 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.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Lamb CR, Rieger-Christ KM, Reddy C, Huang J, Ding J, Johnson M, Walsh PS, Bulman WA, Lofaro LR, Wahidi MM, Feller-Kopman DJ, Spira A, Kennedy GC, Mazzone PJ. A Nasal Swab Classifier to Evaluate the Probability of Lung Cancer in Patients With Pulmonary Nodules. Chest. 2023 Nov 27. PMID: 38030063
  2. Yanagawa J, Tran LM, Salehi-Rad R, Lim RJ, Dumitras C, Fung E, Wallace WD, Prosper AE, Fishbein G, Shea C, Hong R, Kahangi B, Deng JJ, Gower AC, Liu B, Campbell JD, Mazzilli SA, Beane JE, Kadara H, Lenburg ME, Spira AE, Aberle DR, Krysan K, Dubinett SM. Single-Cell Characterization of Pulmonary Nodules Implicates Suppression of Immunosurveillance across Early Stages of Lung Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res. 2023 Oct 02; 83(19):3305-3319.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37477508; PMCID: PMC10544016; DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-23-0128;
  3. Pavel AB, Garrison C, Luo L, Liu G, Taub D, Xiao J, Juan-Guardela B, Tedrow J, Alekseyev YO, Yang IV, Geraci MW, Sciurba F, Schwartz DA, Kaminski N, Beane J, Spira A, Lenburg ME, Campbell JD. Integrative genetic and genomic networks identify microRNA associated with COPD and ILD. Sci Rep. 2023 Aug 11; 13(1):13076.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37567908; PMCID: PMC10421936; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-39751-w;
  4. Bruhm DC, Mathios D, Foda ZH, Annapragada AV, Medina JE, Adleff V, Chiao EJ, Ferreira L, Cristiano S, White JR, Mazzilli SA, Billatos E, Spira A, Zaidi AH, Mueller J, Kim AK, Anagnostou V, Phallen J, Scharpf RB, Velculescu VE. Single-molecule genome-wide mutation profiles of cell-free DNA for non-invasive detection of cancer. Nat Genet. 2023 Aug; 55(8):1301-1310.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37500728; PMCID: PMC10412448; DOI: 10.1038/s41588-023-01446-3;
  5. Ning B, Tilston-Lunel AM, Simonetti J, Hicks-Berthet J, Matschulat A, Pfefferkorn R, Spira A, Edwards M, Mazzilli S, Lenburg ME, Beane JE, Varelas X. Convergence of YAP/TAZ, TEAD and TP63 activity is associated with bronchial premalignant severity and progression. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2023 May 08; 42(1):116.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37150829; PMCID: PMC10165825; DOI: 10.1186/s13046-023-02674-5;
  6. Xu K, Diaz AA, Duan F, Lee M, Xiao X, Liu H, Liu G, Cho MH, Gower AC, Alekseyev YO, Spira A, Aberle DR, Washko GR, Billatos E, Lenburg ME. Bronchial gene expression alterations associated with radiological bronchiectasis. Eur Respir J. 2023 Jan; 61(1).View Related Profiles. PMID: 36229050; PMCID: PMC9881226; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00120-2022;
  7. Hao D, Han G, Sinjab A, Gomez-Bolanos LI, Lazcano R, Serrano A, Hernandez SD, Dai E, Cao X, Hu J, Dang M, Wang R, Chu Y, Song X, Zhang J, Parra ER, Wargo JA, Swisher SG, Cascone T, Sepesi B, Futreal AP, Li M, Dubinett SM, Fujimoto J, Solis Soto LM, Wistuba II, Stevenson CS, Spira A, Shalapour S, Kadara H, Wang L. The Single-Cell Immunogenomic Landscape of B and Plasma Cells in Early-Stage Lung Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Discov. 2022 Nov 02; 12(11):2626-2645. PMID: 36098652; PMCID: PMC9633381; DOI: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-1658;
  8. Xu K, Shi X, Husted C, Hong R, Wang Y, Ning B, Sullivan TB, Rieger-Christ KM, Duan F, Marques H, Gower AC, Xiao X, Liu H, Liu G, Duclos G, Platt M, Spira AE, Mazzilli SA, Billatos E, Lenburg ME, Campbell JD, Beane JE. Smoking modulates different secretory subpopulations expressing SARS-CoV-2 entry genes in the nasal and bronchial airways. Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 28; 12(1):18168.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36307504; PMCID: PMC9615627; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-17832-6;
  9. Mazzone P, Dotson T, Wahidi MM, Bernstein M, Lee HJ, Feller Kopman D, Yarmus L, Whitney D, Stevenson C, Qu J, Johnson M, Walsh PS, Huang J, Lofaro LR, Bhorade SM, Kennedy GC, Spira A, Rivera MP. Clinical validation and utility of Percepta GSC for the evaluation of lung cancer. PLoS One. 2022; 17(7):e0268567. PMID: 35830375; PMCID: PMC9278743; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268567;
  10. Garland LL, Guillen-Rodriguez J, Hsu CH, Davis LE, Szabo E, Husted CR, Liu H, LeClerc A, Alekseyev YO, Liu G, Bauman JE, Spira AE, Beane J, Wojtowicz M, Chow HS. Clinical Study of Aspirin and Zileuton on Biomarkers of Tobacco-Related Carcinogenesis in Current Smokers. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jun 11; 14(12).View Related Profiles. PMID: 35740559; PMCID: PMC9221101; DOI: 10.3390/cancers14122893;
Showing 10 of 174 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 174 publications over 23 distinct years, with a maximum of 18 publications in 2016


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