Dr. Joel Schwartz is a Professor of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. He obtained his training for Oral Maxillofacial Pathology at the Harvard School of Medicine and Dana Farber Cancer Center and is currently Director of Oral Maxillofacial Pathology Research at the College of Dentistry, University of Illinois.
His first studies focused on viral carcinogenesis and immune regulation. In their current NIH funded studies, they examine food derived prevention products such as green tea. Other recent NIH funded studies study a microbial role in carcinogenesis and they have established the concept that microbes (e.g., Streptococcus spp.) assist in HPV entry into epithelial cells. Their studies also show an unrecognized cluster of head and neck, esophageal colorectal, and lung cancers among Black predominant Chicago Wards, as a result of socioeconomic factors.
Using genetic technology approaches, they are also developing non-invasive genomic early detection for easy chair-side use. Their analysis of miRNA expression in normal and cancer epithelium has led to identification of targets: neurotrophins and a HIPPO pathway polarity orientation.