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

Professional Experience

  • 1963
    Fellow, Histochemistry, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London
  • 1963-71
    Assistant Lecturer, through Senior Lecturer, Oral Pathology, Royal Dental Hospital School of Dental Surgery
  • 1969-71
    Fellow, Pathology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London
  • 1972-73
    Visiting Associate Professor, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, UCSF
  • 1971-76
    Senior Lecturer/Consultant Pathologist, Royal Dental Hospital School of Dental Surgery, University of London, Consultant to St. George's Hospital and Institute of Dermatology, London
  • 1976-present
    Professor, Oral Biology and Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry and Pathology, School of Medicine, UCSF
  • 1976-88
    Professor and Chair, Division of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 1982-present
    Director, UCSF AIDS Specimen Bank
  • 1987-91
    Associate Director, UCSF Dental Clinical Epidemiology Program
  • 1987-2005
    Director, UCSF Oral AIDS Center
  • 1988-2001
    Professor & Chair, Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 1993-1999
    Director, UCSF AIDS Clinical Research Center (ACRC), School of Medicine, UCSF
  • 1999-2006
    Director, UCSF California AIDS Research Center (CARC), School of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2001-2006
    Leland A. and Gladys K. Barber Professor of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 2001-2009
    Dean for Research, School of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 2003-present
    Director, AIDS Research Institute at UCSF (ARI)
  • 2009-present
    Distinguished Professor, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, UCSF

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

  • Palefsky JM, Berline J, Penaranda ME, Lennette E, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Sequence variation of latent membrane protein 1 of Epstein-Barr virus strains associated with hairy leukoplakia. JID173:710-714, 1996.
  • Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. HIV-related oral disease. Lancet 348:729-733, 1996.
  • Penaranda ME, Lagenaur L, Pierik L, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS, Palefsky JM. Expression of the Epstein-Barr virus BDLF-3 and BMRF-2 genes in hairy leukoplakia. J Gen Virol 78:3361-3370, 1997.
  • Jacobson JM, Greenspan JS, Spritzler JS, et al. Thalidomide for the treatment of oral aphthous ulcers in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. New Engl J Med 336:1487-1493, 1997.
  • Hilton JF, Donegan E, Katz MH, Canchola AJ, Fusaro RE, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Development of oral lesions in human immunodeficiency virus-infected transfusion recipients and hemophiliacs. Amer J Epidemiol 145:164-174, 1997.
  • MacPhail LA, Greenspan JS. Oral ulceration in HIV infection: investigation and pathogenesis. Oral Diseases 3; Supple 1: S190-S193, 1997.
  • Greenspan JS, Regezi JA, Hilton, JF, Greenspan D, Daniels TE, DE Souza YG. Comparison of cytopathic changes in oral hairy leukoplakia with in situ hybridization for EBV DNA. Oral Diseases 4:95-99, 1998.
  • Shiboski CH, Neuhaus JM, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Effect of receptive oral sex and smoking on the incidence of hairy leukoplakia in HIV-positive gay men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 21:236-242, 1999.
  • Greenspan D, Komaroff E, Redford M, Phelan J, Navazesh M, Alves M, Kamrath H, Barr C, Mulligan RA, Greenspan JS. Oral mucosal lesions and HIV viral load in the Women's Intragency HIV Study (WIHS). J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 25:44-50, 2000.
  • Greenspan D, Canchola AJ, MacPhail LA, Cheikh B, Greenspan JS. Effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy on frequency of oral warts. Lancet 357:1411-1412, 2001.
  • Shiboski CH, Wilson CR, Greenspan D, Hilton J, Greenspan JS, Moscicki AB. HIV-related oral manifestations among adolescents in a multicenter cohort study. J Adol Health 295:109-114, 2001.
  • Jordan RCK, Daniels TE, Greenspan JS, Regezi JA. Advanced diagnostic methods in oral and maxillofacial pathology. (in Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 92(6):650-69, 2001.
  • Palefsky JM, Berline J, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Evidence for trafficking of Epstein-Barr virus strains between hairy leukoplakia and peripheral blood lymphocytes. J Gen Virol 83(Pt 2):317-21, 2002.
  • Page-Shafer K, Shiboski CH, Osmond DH, Dilley J, McFarland W, Shiboski SC, Klausner JD, Balls J, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Risk of HIV infection attributable to oral sex among men who have sex with men and in the population of men who have sex with men. AIDS 16(17):2350-2, 2002.
  • Fleischmann J, Kremmer E, Greenspan JS, Grasser FA, Niedobitek G. Expression of viral and human dUTPase in Epstein-Barr virus-associated diseases. J Med Virol 68(4):568-73, 2002.
  • Mulligan R, Phelan JA, Brunelle J, Redford M, Pogoda JM, Nelson E, Seirawan H, Greenspan JS, Navazesh M, Greenspan D, Alves M. Baseline Characteristics of Participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 32(2):86-98, 2004.
  • Greenspan D, Gange S, Phelan JA,, Navazesh M, MacPhail LA, Mulligan R, Alves M, Greenspan JS. Reduced Incidence of Oral Lesions in HIV-1 Infected Women: Changes with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. J. Dent Res 83(2):145-50, 2004.
  • Baumgarth N, Szubin R, Dolganov GS, Watnik M, Greenspan D, Jordan R, Roederer R and Greenspan JS.. Technical Advance: Highly Tissue-Substructure Specific Effects of Human Papilloma Virus in Mucosa of HIV Infected Patients Revealed by Laser Dissection Microscopy-Assisted Gene. Am J Path 165:707-718, 2004.
  • Coogan MC, Greenspan JS, Challacombe SJ. Oral Lesions in Health and Disease in HIV infection. World Health Organization Bulletin Vol. 83, No. 9, 700-706, 2005.
  • Hodgson TA, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. Oral lesions of HIV disease in industrialized countries. Proceedings of the 5th World Workshop on Oral Health and disease in AIDS, July 6-9, 2004, Phuket, Thailand. Adv Dent Res 19:57-62, 2006.
  • Challacombe SJ, Greenspan JS, Williams DM. Research agenda arising from The 5th World Workshop Oral health and Disease in AIDS. Proceedings of the 5th World Workshop on Oral Health and Disease in AIDS, July 6-9, 2004, Phuket, Thailand. Adv Dent Res 19:5-9, 2006.
  • Rao UKM, Kannan R, Srivatsan P, Ramachandran H, Rajasekaran ST, Kumarasamy N, Solomon S, Greenspan JS. "Oral lesions among persons with HIV disease with and without highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in southern India" J of Oral Pathol Med 36: 136-141, 2007
  • Tugizov S, Herrera R, Valuppllai P, Greenspan JS., Greenspan D, Palefsky J. "EBV-infected monocytes facilitate dissemination of EBV within the oral mucosal epithelium", J Med Virol 81: 5484-5496, 2007.
  • Mulligan R, Seirawan H, Alves M, Navazesh M, Phelan J, Greenspan D, Greenspan JS. "Oral health-related quality of life among HIV-infected and at-risk Women", Commun Dent Oral Epid 36:349-557, 2008.
  • Chidzonga MM, Mwale M, Malvin K, Martin J, Greenspan JG, Shiboski CH. "Oral candidiasis as marker of HIV disease progression among Zimbabwean women." JAIDS 47:579-584, 2008.
  • Owotade FJ, Shiboski CH, Poole L, Ramstead CA, Malvin K, Hecht FM, Greenspan JS. "Prevalence of oral disease among adults with primary HIV infection", Oral Dis 14, 497-499, 2008.
  • Daniels T, Criswell L, Shiboski C, Shiboski S, Lanfranchi H, Dong Y, Schiodt M, Umehara H, Sugai S, Challacombe S, Greenspan JS. "An Early View of the International Sjoegren's Syndrome Registry", AC&R 61:711-714, 2009.
  • Navazesh M, Mulligan R, Karim R, Mack WJ, Ram S, Seirawan H, Greenspan JS, Greenspan D, Phelan J, Alves M. "Effect of HAART on Salivary Gland Function in the Women's Interagency HIV study (WIHS).", Oral Dis. 15(1):52-60, 2009.