Avrum E. Spira, MD

Section Chief of Medicine in Computational Biomedicine, Medicine

Avrum Spira
617.414.6980
75 E. Newton St Evans Building

Biography

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.

Other Positions

  • Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship, Computational Biomedicine, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, Bioinformatics Graduate Program, Boston University
  • Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Professor, Computational Biomedicine, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Pulmonary Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University

Education

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

Classes Taught

  • GMSMM725

Publications

  • Published on 4/16/2020

    Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Regev A, Oberdoerffer P, Nawy T, Hupalowska A, Rood JE, Ashenberg O, Cerami E, Coffey RJ, Demir E, Ding L, Esplin ED, Ford JM, Goecks J, Ghosh S, Gray JW, Guinney J, Hanlon SE, Hughes SK, Hwang ES, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Jané-Valbuena J, Johnson BE, Lau KS, Lively T, Mazzilli SA, Pe'er D, Santagata S, Shalek AK, Schapiro D, Snyder MP, Sorger PK, Spira AE, Srivastava S, Tan K, West RB, Williams EH. The Human Tumor Atlas Network: Charting Tumor Transitions across Space and Time at Single-Cell Resolution. Cell. 2020 Apr 16; 181(2):236-249. PMID: 32302568.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/7/2020

    Drizik E, Corbett S, Zheng Y, Vermeulen R, Dai Y, Hu W, Ren D, Duan H, Niu Y, Xu J, Fu W, Meliefste K, Zhou B, Zhang X, Yang J, Bassig B, Liu H, Ye M, Liu G, Jia X, Meng T, Bin P, Zhang J, Silverman D, Spira A, Rothman N, Lenburg ME, Lan Q. Transcriptomic changes in the nasal epithelium associated with diesel engine exhaust exposure. Environ Int. 2020 Apr; 137:105506. PMID: 32044442.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/11/2019

    Duclos GE, Teixeira VH, Autissier P, Gesthalter YB, Reinders-Luinge MA, Terrano R, Dumas YM, Liu G, Mazzilli SA, Brandsma CA, van den Berge M, Janes SM, Timens W, Lenburg ME, Spira A, Campbell JD, Beane J. Characterizing smoking-induced transcriptional heterogeneity in the human bronchial epithelium at single-cell resolution. Sci Adv. 2019 12; 5(12):eaaw3413. PMID: 31844660.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/15/2019

    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 09 15; 200(6):742-750. PMID: 30896962.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/26/2019

    Garland LL, Guillen-Rodriguez J, Hsu CH, Yozwiak M, Zhang HH, Alberts DS, Davis LE, Szabo E, Merenstein C, Lel J, Zhang X, Liu H, Liu G, Spira AE, Beane JE, Wojtowicz M, Chow HS. Effect of Intermittent Versus Continuous Low-Dose Aspirin on Nasal Epithelium Gene Expression in Current Smokers: A Randomized, Double-Blinded Trial. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2019 11; 12(11):809-820. PMID: 31451521.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/26/2019

    Mascaux C, Angelova M, Vasaturo A, Beane J, Hijazi K, Anthoine G, Buttard B, Rothe F, Willard-Gallo K, Haller A, Ninane V, Burny A, Sculier JP, Spira A, Galon J. Immune evasion before tumour invasion in early lung squamous carcinogenesis. Nature. 2019 07; 571(7766):570-575. PMID: 31243362.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/22/2019

    Corbett SE, Nitzberg M, Moses E, Kleerup E, Wang T, Perdomo C, Perdomo C, Liu G, Xiao X, Liu H, Elashoff DA, Brooks DR, O'Connor GT, Dubinett SM, Spira A, Lenburg ME. Gene Expression Alterations in the Bronchial Epithelium of e-Cigarette Users. Chest. 2019 10; 156(4):764-773. PMID: 31233743.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/29/2019

    Krysan K, Tran LM, Grimes BS, Fishbein GA, Seki A, Gardner BK, Walser TC, Salehi-Rad R, Yanagawa J, Lee JM, Sharma S, Aberle DR, 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 Oct 01; 79(19):5022-5033. PMID: 31142513.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/6/2019

    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 05 06; 9(1):6978. PMID: 31061400.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/25/2019

    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 04; 53(4). PMID: 30846474.

    Read at: PubMed

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