Sarah Mazzilli, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine


B.S. Biology & Chemistry, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, Massachusetts 2005
M.S. Natural Sciences, SUNY –University of Buffalo: Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York 2007
Ph.D. Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics, SUNY –University of Buffalo: Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, Avrum Spira – Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 2013-2018

Contact Information

Office: E637
Phone: 617-358-7269

Research Interests

Investigating the molecular events associated with the progression of premalignant squamous lung lesions for targeted chemoprevention. 

Lung cancer kills more individuals in the United States annually than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Reduction of lung cancer mortality may be achieved by identification of those at the high risk of developing cancer, in addition to finding effective agents in which to intervene in the process. There has been limited success of candidate chemopreventive agents in lung cancer as most have selected based on work in pre-clinical models that do not adequately represent the precancerous and early stage lesions that are the focus in clinical chemoprevention trials for lung cancer. The interests of our laboratory involve developing models to aid in the understanding of the epithelial and immune modulations that are involved in the progression and regression of premalignant squamous lesions to frank lung squamous cell carcinoma with a particular focus on identifying and testing targeted agents on appropriate models that allow for translation to clinical intervention studies. To do this the our lab utilized novel single cell and multiplex imaging technologies to characterize the immune and epithelial alterations enabling lung carcinogenesis and study mechanisms to intercept this process. Our lab also works closely with members of the section of Computational Biomedicine as well as national and international collaborators on the Pre-Cancer Genome Atlas (PCGA) and the NCI- Human Tumor Atlas leading the effort to further understand the molecular underpinnings of lung cancer development to advance early detection and intervention.


Campbell JD, Mazzilli SA, Reid ME, Dhillon SS, Platero S, et al. (2016) The Case for a Pre-Cancer Genome Atlas (PCGA). Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 9(2):119-124

Mazzilli SA, Hershberger PA, Reid ME, Bogner PN, Atwood K, et al. (2015) Vitamin D Repletion Reduces the Progression of Premalignant Squamous Lesions in the NTCU Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Mouse Model. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 8(10):895-904.