Avrum E. Spira, MD

Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship, 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 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.

Other Positions

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

Education

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

Classes Taught

  • ENGBF901

Publications

  • Published on 4/1/2024

    Han G, Sinjab A, Rahal Z, Lynch AM, Treekitkarnmongkol W, Liu Y, Serrano AG, Feng J, Liang K, Khan K, Lu W, Hernandez SD, Liu Y, Cao X, Dai E, Pei G, Hu J, Abaya C, Gomez-Bolanos LI, Peng F, Chen M, Parra ER, Cascone T, Sepesi B, Moghaddam SJ, Scheet P, Negrao MV, Heymach JV, Li M, Dubinett SM, Stevenson CS, Spira AE, Fujimoto J, Solis LM, Wistuba II, Chen J, Wang L, Kadara H. Author Correction: An atlas of epithelial cell states and plasticity in lung adenocarcinoma. Nature. 2024 Apr; 628(8006):E1. PMID: 38499683.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/28/2024

    Han G, Sinjab A, Rahal Z, Lynch AM, Treekitkarnmongkol W, Liu Y, Serrano AG, Feng J, Liang K, Khan K, Lu W, Hernandez SD, Liu Y, Cao X, Dai E, Pei G, Hu J, Abaya C, Gomez-Bolanos LI, Peng F, Chen M, Parra ER, Cascone T, Sepesi B, Moghaddam SJ, Scheet P, Negrao MV, Heymach JV, Li M, Dubinett SM, Stevenson CS, Spira AE, Fujimoto J, Solis LM, Wistuba II, Chen J, Wang L, Kadara H. An atlas of epithelial cell states and plasticity in lung adenocarcinoma. Nature. 2024 Mar; 627(8004):656-663. PMID: 38418883.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/27/2023

    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. 2024 Apr; 165(4):1009-1019. PMID: 38030063.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/2/2023

    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. PMID: 37477508.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/11/2023

    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. PMID: 37567908.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/27/2023

    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. PMID: 37500728.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/8/2023

    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. PMID: 37150829.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/27/2023

    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). PMID: 36229050.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/2/2022

    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.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/28/2022

    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. PMID: 36307504.

    Read at: PubMed

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