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 1/1/2021

    Treekitkarnmongkol W, Hassane M, Sinjab A, Chang K, Hara K, Rahal Z, Zhang J, Lu W, Sivakumar S, McDowell TL, Kantrowitz J, Zhou J, Lang W, Xu L, Ochieng JK, Nunomura-Nakamura S, Deng S, Behrens C, Raso MG, Fukuoka J, Reuben A, Ostrin EJ, Parra E, Solis LM, Spira AE, McAllister F, Cascone T, Wistuba II, Moghaddam SJ, Scheet PA, Fujimoto J, Kadara H. Augmented Lipocalin-2 Is Associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Counteracts Lung Adenocarcinoma Development. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 01 01; 203(1):90-101. PMID: 32730093.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/22/2020

    Ostrin EJ, Sidransky D, Spira A, Hanash SM. Biomarkers for Lung Cancer Screening and Detection. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Dec; 29(12):2411-2415. PMID: 33093160.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/15/2020

    Faiz A, Imkamp K, van der Wiel E, Boudewijn IM, Koppelman GH, Brandsma CA, Kerstjens HAM, Timens W, Vroegop S, Pasma HR, Boersma WG, Wielders P, van den Elshout F, Mansour K, Steiling K, Spira A, Lenburg ME, Heijink IH, Postma DS, van den Berge M. Identifying a nasal gene expression signature associated with hyperinflation and treatment response in severe COPD. Sci Rep. 2020 10 15; 10(1):17415. PMID: 33060632.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/16/2020

    Billatos E, Ash SY, Duan F, Xu K, Romanoff J, Marques H, Moses E, Han MK, Regan EA, Bowler RP, Mason SE, Doyle TJ, San José Estépar R, Rosas IO, Ross JC, Xiao X, Liu H, Liu G, Sukumar G, Wilkerson M, Dalgard C, Stevenson C, Whitney D, Aberle D, Spira A, San José Estépar R, Lenburg ME, Washko GR. Distinguishing Smoking-Related Lung Disease Phenotypes Via Imaging and Molecular Features. Chest. 2021 Feb; 159(2):549-563. PMID: 32946850.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/3/2020

    Lee HJ, Mazzone P, Feller-Kopman D, Yarmus L, Hogarth K, Lofaro LR, Griscom B, Johnson M, Choi Y, Huang J, Bhorade S, Spira A, Kennedy GC, Wahidi MM. Impact of the Percepta Genomic Classifier on Clinical Management Decisions in a Multicenter Prospective Study. Chest. 2021 Jan; 159(1):401-412. PMID: 32758562.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/5/2020

    Sofer T, Li R, Joehanes R, Lin H, Gower AC, Wang H, Kurniansyah N, Cade BE, Lee J, Williams S, Mehra R, Patel SR, Quan SF, Liu Y, Rotter JI, Rich SS, Spira A, Levy D, Gharib SA, Redline S, Gottlieb DJ. Low oxygen saturation during sleep reduces CD1D and RAB20 expressions that are reversed by CPAP therapy. EBioMedicine. 2020 Jun; 56:102803. PMID: 32512511.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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 04 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 04; 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

View 144 more publications: View full profile at BUMC

View all profiles