Frank M. Schembri, MD

Assistant Professor


Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania,Philadelphia, PA 1995

Doctorate in Medicine, University of Med/Dentistry of New Jersey 1999

General field of research:

Pulmonary / Critical Care

Affiliations other than medicine:

Translational Biomedicine

Contact information:


715 Albany Street/ R-304

Phone: (617)-638 4860

Other research websites:


Ultrasound Procedure team; MicroRNA; Translational research

Summary of research interest:

I have been involved in Pulmonary Center research examining the mRNA response to smoking in airway epithelial cells obtained at the time of bronchoscopy. My specific research focuses on whether changes in messenger RNA in the airways of smokers can be explained by microRNA. There is an enormous amount of interest now in this small class of regulatory molecules implicated as playing roles in development, response to cellular stress, and cancer.

Consistent with my research on lung cancer, I see patients in Thoracic Oncology Clinic. This multidisciplinary clinic involves pulmonology, thoracic surgery, oncology and radiation oncology. In addition, I perform ICU service and act as Director of the Pulmonary Interventional Service, which ultilizes 3 department-owned ultrasound machines to perform or supervise most of the bedside procedures in the ICU and on the medical wards.

Recent publications:

Schembri F*,  Sridhar S*, Perdomo C, Gustafson A,  Zhang X, Ergun A, Lu J, Liu G, Zhang X, Bowers J, Sensinger K, Collins J, Brody J, Getts R, Lenburg M, Spira A. 2009.  MicroRNAs as modulators of smoking-induced gene expression changes in human airway epithelium Proc. Natl. Acad. Science; 106:2319-2324.

Schembri F*, Sridhar S*, Liu G, Dumas M, Yang X, Zhang N, Brody J, Spira A. 2008.  Smoking-induced gene expression changes in the bronchial airway are reflected in nasal and buccal epithelium. BMC Genomics; 9 (1):259

Spira A, Beane J,  Shah V, Steiling K, Liu G, Schembri F, Gilman S, Dumas Y,  Calner P,  Sebastiani P, Sridhar S, Beamis J, Lamb C, Anderson C,  Gerry N,  Keane J,  Lenburg M, Brody J.  2007. Airway Epithelial Gene Expression in the Diagnostic Evaluation of Smokers with Suspect Lung Cancer. Nature Medicine; 13:361-366.

Spira, A., Beane, J., Schembri, F., Liu, G., Ding, C., Gilman, S., Yang, X., Cantor, C., and Brody, J.  2005.  Noninvasive method for obtaining RNA from buccal mucosa epithelial cells for gene expression profiling.  BioTechniques; 36(3) 484-487.