Avrum E. Spira MD
Section Chief of Medicine in Computational Biomedicine, Computational Biomedicine
Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship, Computational Biomedicine
75 E. Newton St | (617) 414-6980
BU-BMC Cancer Center
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
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.
Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine Faculty
Boston Medical Center Provider Profile
Computational Biomedicine Faculty
BU Today: “Stand Up to Cancer” Dream Team
MD, McGill University, 1996
Engineering, MSc, Boston University, 2002
DEC, Vanier College, 1991
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.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.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.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.Published on 7/13/2022
Mazzone P, Dotson T, Wahidi MM, Bernstein M, Lee HJ, Feller Kopman D, Yarmus L, Whitney D, Stevenson C, Qu J, Johnson M, Walsh PS, Huang J, Lofaro LR, Bhorade SM, Kennedy GC, Spira A, Rivera MP. Clinical validation and utility of Percepta GSC for the evaluation of lung cancer. PLoS One. 2022; 17(7):e0268567. PMID: 35830375.Published on 6/11/2022
Garland LL, Guillen-Rodriguez J, Hsu CH, Davis LE, Szabo E, Husted CR, Liu H, LeClerc A, Alekseyev YO, Liu G, Bauman JE, Spira AE, Beane J, Wojtowicz M, Chow HS. Clinical Study of Aspirin and Zileuton on Biomarkers of Tobacco-Related Carcinogenesis in Current Smokers. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jun 11; 14(12). PMID: 35740559.Published on 5/26/2022
Xu F, Vasilescu DM, Kinose D, Tanabe N, Ng KW, Coxson HO, Cooper JD, Hackett TL, Verleden SE, Vanaudenaerde BM, Stevenson CS, Lenburg ME, Spira A, Tan WC, Sin DD, Ng RT, Hogg JC. The molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the destruction of terminal bronchioles in COPD. Eur Respir J. 2022 May; 59(5). PMID: 34675046.Published on 12/1/2021
Kammer MN, Lakhani DA, Balar AB, Antic SL, Kussrow AK, Webster RL, Mahapatra S, Barad U, Shah C, Atwater T, Diergaarde B, Qian J, Kaizer A, New M, Hirsch E, Feser WJ, Strong J, Rioth M, Miller YE, Balagurunathan Y, Rowe DJ, Helmey S, Chen SC, Bauza J, Deppen SA, Sandler K, Maldonado F, Spira A, Billatos E, Schabath MB, Gillies RJ, Wilson DO, Walker RC, Landman B, Chen H, Grogan EL, Barón AE, Bornhop DJ, Massion PP. Integrated Biomarkers for the Management of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 12 01; 204(11):1306-1316. PMID: 34464235.Published on 11/10/2021
Burks EJ, Zhang J, Sullivan TB, Shi X, Sands JM, Regis SM, McKee BJ, McKee AB, Zhang S, Liu H, Liu G, Spira A, Beane J, Lenburg ME, Rieger-Christ KM. Pathologic and gene expression comparison of CT- screen detected and routinely detected stage I/0 lung adenocarcinoma in NCCN risk-matched cohorts. Cancer Treat Res Commun. 2021; 29:100486. PMID: 34794107.Published on 10/28/2021
Xu K, Shi X, Husted C, Hong R, Wang Y, Ning B, Sullivan T, Rieger-Christ K, Duan F, Marques H, Gower A, Xiao X, Liu H, Liu G, Duclos G, Platt M, Spira A, Mazzilli S, Billatos E, Lenburg M, Campbell J, Beane J. Smoking Modulates Different Secretory Subpopulations Expressing SARS-CoV-2 Entry Genes in the Nasal and Bronchial Airways. Res Sq. 2021 Oct 28. PMID: 34729557.
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