University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
John S. Greenspan, BDS, PhD

John S. Greenspan, BDS, PhD

Distinguished Professor, Department of Orofacial Sciences, UCSF; Distinguished Professor, Department of Pathology and Director, AIDS Research Institute, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member

Research Summary

John S. Greenspan, BSc, BDS, PhD, FRCPath, ScD, FDSRCS (ENG), FKC.

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

John S. Greenspan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Oral Pathology in the Department of Orofacial Sciences and the former Associate Dean for Global Oral Health in the School of Dentistry at UCSF. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pathology in the School of Medicine. He is Director-Emeritus of the campuswide AIDS Research Institute at UCSF and is the founding Director of the UCSF Oral AIDS Center and of the UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank. He is a Member of the US National Academy of Medicine and was awarded the honorary degree of ScD by Georgetown University in 1990. He is a Fellow of King’s College, London. He was the Burroughs-Wellcome Professor of the UK Royal Society of Medicine for 1996-97 and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Distinguished Scientist Award recipient in 2010. The American Dental Association awarded him the 2012 triennial ADA Gold Medal Award for Dental Research. He was the UCSF Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecture in Translational Science Award recipient in 2014. He was 2001-2009 Associate Dean for Research of the School of Dentistry, preceded by 20 years service as a Divison then Department Chair. He is a Past-President of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). He is the founding President of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network (IADR-GOHIRN) and of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s Global Oral Health Interest Group (GOHIG). He has supervised and/or mentored over 120 physician/scientists, dentist/scientists and PhD scientists in aspects of pathology, AIDS/HIV, oral medicine and pathology and related topics. His research interests include the global health aspects of AIDS, notably studies of oral aspects of AIDS and the role of viruses in oral epithelial and salivary gland lesions.

He and his colleagues have made major contributions to HIV research and care, including the discovery of the lesion hairy leukoplakia, its association with EBV, and the significance of this and other oral lesions in the natural history of HIV diseases. He was the founding Director 2003-2010 of the International Sjogren’s Syndrome Registry (SICCA), a worldwide registry for this autoimmune disease, funded by the US-NIH. He has published over 300 papers and four books on oral aspects of AIDS, oral pathology, and immunopathology. He has been a featured speaker at many international meetings and has presented over 300 research papers and postgraduate courses.

A faculty member at UCSF since 1976, he has been Chair of the Faculty of the School of Dentistry, Chair of the San Francisco Division of the Academic Senate and has served on and chaired many Senate and campus, also Systemwide committees. He was previously Senior Lecturer/Consultant at the Royal Dental Hospital School of Dental Surgery as well as Consultant at St George’s Hospital and St John’s Hospital for Skin Disease in London, conducting the Royal’s Oral Pathology service and also responsible for the oral medicine clinic. He trained at the RDH (BDS) as well as at the Royal School Free Hospital School of Medicine (earning a BSC First in Anatomy), the Royal Postgraduate Medical School with AGE Pearse (PhD) and St George’s Hospital School of Medicine (M then FRCPath). He was born and went to school in London and nearby.


Royal Free Hospital Medical School, London, BSc(1st class Honors), 1959, Anatomy
Royal Dental School, London, BDS (Honors), 1963, Dentistry
Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, PhD, 1967, Experimental Pathology
Royal College of Pathologists, MRCPath, 1971, Oral Pathology
Royal College of Pathologists, FRCPath, 1983, Oral Pathology

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Sc. D (h.c.) Georgetown University
  • 1995
    Member, Institute of Medicine
  • 1996-1997
    Royal Society of Medicine Foundation/Burroughs Wellcome Visiting Professor, London, UK
  • 1997-present
    Who's Who in America
  • 1998-present
    Fellow in Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • 2001-2006
    Leland A. and Gladys K. Barber Endowed Chair in Dentistry, UCSF
  • 2001
    Recognition Award, Academic Senate, UCSF
  • 2003-present
    Fellow, King's College London
  • 2006
    Mentor Award, National Student Research Group, AADR
  • 2008
    Positive Health Practice Award, 360: Positive Care Center at UCSF
  • 2009
    John Greene Society Faculty Research Award, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Johnson NW, Warnakulasuriya S, Greenspan J, Mori M, Baum B. 25th anniversary of oral diseases. Oral Dis. 2020 Nov 03.
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  2. Greenspan JS, Challacombe SJ. The impact of the world Workshops on oral health and disease in HIV and AIDS (1988-2020). Oral Dis. 2020 Sep; 26 Suppl 1:3-8.
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  3. Shiboski CH, Baer AN, Shiboski SC, Lam M, Challacombe S, Lanfranchi HE, Schiødt M, Shirlaw P, Srinivasan M, Umehara H, Vivino FB, Akpek E, Bunya V, Vollenweider CF, Greenspan JS, Daniels TE, Criswell LA. Natural History and Predictors of Progression to Sjögren's Syndrome Among Participants of the Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance Registry. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 02; 70(2):284-294.
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  4. Taylor KE, Wong Q, Levine DM, McHugh C, Laurie C, Doheny K, Lam MY, Baer AN, Challacombe S, Lanfranchi H, Schiødt M, Srinivasan M, Umehara H, Vivino FB, Zhao Y, Shiboski SC, Daniels TE, Greenspan JS, Shiboski CH, Criswell LA. Genome-Wide Association Analysis Reveals Genetic Heterogeneity of Sjögren's Syndrome According to Ancestry. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 06; 69(6):1294-1305.
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  5. Greenspan JS. John C. Greene: 1926–2016 J Dent Res. 2017 01; 96(1):5-7.
    View on PubMed
  6. Greenspan JS, Greenspan D, Webster-Cyriaque J. Hairy leukoplakia; lessons learned: 30-plus years. Oral Dis. 2016 Apr; 22 Suppl 1:120-7.
    View on PubMed
  7. Shiboski CH, Webster-Cyriaque JY, Ghannoum M, Dittmer DP, Greenspan JS. The Oral HIV/AIDS Research Alliance Program: lessons learned and future directions. Oral Dis. 2016 Apr; 22 Suppl 1:128-34.
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  8. Jin LJ, Lamster IB, Greenspan JS, Pitts NB, Scully C, Warnakulasuriya S. Global burden of oral diseases: emerging concepts, management and interplay with systemic health. Oral Dis. 2016 Oct; 22(7):609-19.
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  9. Nawandar DM, Wang A, Makielski K, Lee D, Ma S, Barlow E, Reusch J, Jiang R, Wille CK, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS, Mertz JE, Hutt-Fletcher L, Johannsen EC, Lambert PF, Kenney SC. Differentiation-Dependent KLF4 Expression Promotes Lytic Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in Epithelial Cells. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Oct; 11(10):e1005195.
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  10. Benzian H, Greenspan JS, Barrow J, Hutter JW, Loomer PM, Stauf N, Perry DA. A competency matrix for global oral health. J Dent Educ. 2015 Apr; 79(4):353-61.
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  11. Baer AN, McAdams DeMarco M, Shiboski SC, Lam MY, Challacombe S, Daniels TE, Dong Y, Greenspan JS, Kirkham BW, Lanfranchi HE, Schiødt M, Srinivasan M, Umehara H, Vivino FB, Vollenweider CF, Zhao Y, Criswell LA, Shiboski CH. The SSB-positive/SSA-negative antibody profile is not associated with key phenotypic features of Sjögren's syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Aug; 74(8):1557-61.
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  12. Greenspan JS, Williams DM, Mossey PA, Sgan-Cohen HD. Letter to the editor, "the ethical imperative of addressing oral health disparities: a unifying framework". J Dent Res. 2014 Apr; 93(4):423.
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  13. Greenspan JS. Global health and dental education: a tipping point? J Dent Educ. 2013 Oct; 77(10):1243-4.
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  14. De Souza YG, Greenspan JS. Biobanking past, present and future: responsibilities and benefits. AIDS. 2013 Jan 28; 27(3):303-12.
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  15. Baer AN, Gourin CG, Westra WH, Cox DP, Greenspan JS, Daniels TE. Rare diagnosis of IgG4-related systemic disease by lip biopsy in an international Sjögren syndrome registry. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2013 Mar; 115(3):e34-9.
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  16. Ryder MI, Nittayananta W, Coogan M, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Periodontal disease in HIV/AIDS. Periodontol 2000. 2012 Oct; 60(1):78-97.
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  17. Burbelo PD, Kovacs JA, Wagner J, Bayat A, Rhodes CS, De Souza Y, Greenspan JS, Iadarola MJ. The Cancer-Associated Virus Landscape in HIV Patients with Oral Hairy Leukoplakia, Kaposi's Sarcoma, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. AIDS Res Treat. 2012; 2012:634523.
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  18. Shiboski SC, Shiboski CH, Criswell L, Baer A, Challacombe S, Lanfranchi H, Schiødt M, Umehara H, Vivino F, Zhao Y, Dong Y, Greenspan D, Heidenreich AM, Helin P, Kirkham B, Kitagawa K, Larkin G, Li M, Lietman T, Lindegaard J, McNamara N, Sack K, Shirlaw P, Sugai S, Vollenweider C, Whitcher J, Wu A, Zhang S, Zhang W, Greenspan J, Daniels T. American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for Sjögren's syndrome: a data-driven, expert consensus approach in the Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance cohort. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Apr; 64(4):475-87.
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  19. Malladi AS, Sack KE, Shiboski SC, Shiboski CH, Baer AN, Banushree R, Dong Y, Helin P, Kirkham BW, Li M, Sugai S, Umehara H, Vivino FB, Vollenweider CF, Zhang W, Zhao Y, Greenspan JS, Daniels TE, Criswell LA. Primary Sjögren's syndrome as a systemic disease: a study of participants enrolled in an international Sjögren's syndrome registry. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Jun; 64(6):911-8.
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  20. Daniels TE, Cox D, Shiboski CH, Schiødt M, Wu A, Lanfranchi H, Umehara H, Zhao Y, Challacombe S, Lam MY, De Souza Y, Schiødt J, Holm H, Bisio PA, Gandolfo MS, Sawaki T, Li M, Zhang W, Varghese-Jacob B, Ibsen P, Keszler A, Kurose N, Nojima T, Odell E, Criswell LA, Jordan R, Greenspan JS. Associations between salivary gland histopathologic diagnoses and phenotypic features of Sjögren's syndrome among 1,726 registry participants. Arthritis Rheum. 2011 Jul; 63(7):2021-30.
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