Joel Schwartz, M.D.
Dr. Joel Schwartz is a trained licensed dentist, oral pathologist and tumor immunologist. He is currently Professor of Oral Maxillofacial Pathology Research at the College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his Doctor of Medical Science degree from Harvard University in Tumor Immunology and Oral Biology in laboratories at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After graduation he studied oral tumor immunology, prevention of chemical oral carcinogenesis using carotenoids, retinoids, tocopherols and polyphenols. Recent work has focused on the detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and cancer chemoprevention based on observing changes in protein and RNA expression patterns using brush cytology-based techniques and laser scanning microscopy in conjunction with oral microbiome changes in various clinical cohorts.
Dr. Schwartz has worked with the Cancer Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago over the last year to establish relationships with Miles Square and UIC medical clinics. These community and medical outreach clinics see large numbers of patients who use alcohol and tobacco and are thus at high risk for oral cancer. Starting in early 2019 they begun to refer all patients with oral lesions suspected of being malignant to the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center for diagnosis and treatment.
Guy Adami, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Advisor, Founder
Dr. Guy Adami received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center and carried out his post-doctoral research in gene expression and cellular aging at Rockefeller University and Baylor College of Medicine respectively. He joined the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry in 1994 where he is now an Associate Professor. Dr. Adami’s expertise over the last 20 years has focused on the measurement of gene expression on the RNA level and he has collaborated with Dr. Schwartz on oral cancer since 2006. Dr. Adami’s major area of this focus is the development of noninvasive techniques for gene expression analysis of OSCC – in particular to optimize methods for the analysis of RNA levels. Dr. Adami used a hamster model for his initial work and then went on to show the value of RNA from brush oral cytology to identify OSCC in humans, where he was able to identify a 5-gene classifier for OSCC and a two distinct groups of miRNAs associated with OLP and with OSCC.
David Demirjian, Ph.D.
Dr. Demirjian is currently President and founder of zuChem, Inc. and has 25+ years of experience in developing and commercializing innovative biological technologies. He was formerly President and co-founder of ThermoGen, Inc, where he led the company until its acquisition by MediChem Life Sciences in 2000. Dr. Demirjian was a previous winner of the SBA’s Tibbett’s award for successful commercialization of technology from the SBIR program and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Dr. Demirjian holds a B.S.A. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.