Research Summary

Dr. Alessandro Villa is the Chief of the Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic at UCSF where he also serves as program director for the Oral Medicine Residency program. Dr. Villa is board certified in Oral Medicine. After graduating with a DDS from the University of Milano, Italy, he obtained his Master of Public Health from AT Still University, MO and earned a PhD from the University of Sassari, Italy. He also served as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, NIH where he studied the oral HPV prevalence in a large population and methods of early detection of oral cancer. Dr. Villa earned his Certificate in Oral Medicine from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Brigham and Women's Hospital and served as the Program Director for the Oral Medicine Program there before coming to UCSF.

Dr. Villa's research interests are focused primarily on the management of oral potentially malignant disorders and oral complications from cancer treatment. In addition, he is working to reduce the burden of HPV associated oropharyngeal cancers through educational campaigns. Dr. Villa has contributed to the oral medicine literature with numerous journal articles and book chapters and is a peer reviewer for several professional journals. His clinical interests include treatment of oral mucosal diseases, salivary gland disorders and oral complications from cancer therapy. Dr. Villa teaches in the clinic as well as in the classroom.


University of Milano, Italy, DDS, 2008, Dentistry
National Cancer Institute NIH, Bethesda MD, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010, Epidemiology
AT Still University, School of Health Management, Kirksville MO, MPH, 2011, Public Health
University of Sassari, Italy, PhD, 2013, Public Health and Epidemiology
Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston MA, Research Fellow, 2013, Oral Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MA, Resident, 2013, Oral Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 2011
    Certificate of Excellence in Oral Medicine, American Academy of Oral Medicine
  • 2012
    Case Report Award, American Academy of Oral Medicine
  • 2013
    Best Poster Case Report/Series Award, Italian Society of Oral Medicine and Pathology
  • 2017
    Certificate of Merit, Massachusetts Dental Society
  • 2018
    Certificate of Appreciation, K.M. Shah Dental College, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed Univeristy, Vadodara, India
  • 2019
    Certificate of Appreciation, Ministry of Defense, Medical Services Prince Abdulrahman Advance Dental Institute Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2019
    Certificate of Merit Award, American Academy of Oral Medicine
  • 2019
    Certificate of Appreciation, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • 2019
    Certificate of Appreciation, Indian Health Services

Selected Publications

  1. Wilson Westmark NL, Sroussi H, Tamayo I, Villa A. Vitamin D status in patients with oropharyngeal cancer: Association with HPV status and prognosis. Oral Dis. 2021 Jul 16.  View on PubMed
  2. Klein BA, Alves FA, de Santana Rodrigues Velho J, Vacharotayangul P, Hanna GJ, LeBoeuf NR, Shazib MA, Villa A, Woo SB, Sroussi H, Sonis S, Treister NS. Oral manifestations of immune-related adverse events in cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Oral Dis. 2021 Jul 15.  View on PubMed
  3. Sonis S, Villa A, Epstein J. Exceptional toxicity resistance. Support Care Cancer. 2021 May; 29(5):2263-2264.  View on PubMed
  4. Wang D, He K, Sroussi H, Treister N, Luskin M, Villa A, Woo SB, Shazib MA. Oral myeloid sarcoma as an uncommon manifestation of acute myeloid leukemia: A case series and review of the literature. J Am Dent Assoc. 2021 May; 152(5):393-400.e8.  View on PubMed
  5. Villa A, Vollemans M, De Moraes A, Sonis S. Concordance of the WHO, RTOG, and CTCAE v4.0 grading scales for the evaluation of oral mucositis associated with chemoradiation therapy for the treatment of oral and oropharyngeal cancers. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Oct; 29(10):6061-6068.  View on PubMed
  6. Villa A, Grenon M. The Cupola: an additional layer of protection for providers working in the oropharyngeal region. BMC Res Notes. 2021 Mar 25; 14(1):115.  View on PubMed
  7. Xu Y, Wen N, Sonis ST, Villa A. Oral side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy (ICIT): An analysis of 4683 patients receiving ICIT for malignancies at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2011 to 2019. Cancer. 2021 Jun 01; 127(11):1796-1804.  View on PubMed
  8. Choi SE, Choudhary A, Sonis S, Villa A. Benefits of the Involvement of Dentists in Managing Oral Complications Among Patients With Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer: An Analysis of Claims Data. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Feb 08; OP2000892.  View on PubMed
  9. Sankaran SP, Villa A, Sonis S. Healthcare-associated infections among patients hospitalized for cancers of the lip, oral cavity and pharynx. Infect Prev Pract. 2021 Mar; 3(1):100115.  View on PubMed
  10. Villa A, Sankar V, Shazib MA, Ramos D, Veluppillai P, Wu A, Shiboski C. Patient and providers' satisfaction with tele(oral)medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oral Dis. 2020 Oct 11.  View on PubMed
  11. Sandhu S, Salous MH, Sankar V, Margalit DN, Villa A. Osteonecrosis of the jaw and dental extractions: A single-center experience. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2020 Nov; 130(5):515-521.  View on PubMed
  12. Villa A, Sankar V, Shiboski C. Tele(oral)medicine: A new approach during the COVID-19 crisis. Oral Dis. 2021 04; 27 Suppl 3:744-745.  View on PubMed
  13. Villa A, Sankar V, Bassani G, Johnson LB, Sroussi H. Dexamethasone solution and dexamethasone in Mucolox for the treatment of oral lichen planus: a preliminary study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2020 Jun; 129(6):585-590.  View on PubMed
  14. Villa A, Sonis ST. An update on pharmacotherapies in active development for the management of cancer regimen-associated oral mucositis. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2020 Apr; 21(5):541-548.  View on PubMed
  15. Sandhu S, Sankar V, Villa A. Bleeding risk in thrombocytopenic patients after dental extractions: a retrospective single-center study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2020 May; 129(5):478-483.  View on PubMed
  16. Shazib MA, Woo SB, Sroussi H, Carvo I, Treister N, Farag A, Schoenfeld J, Haddad R, LeBoeuf N, Villa A. Oral immune-related adverse events associated with PD-1 inhibitor therapy: A case series. Oral Dis. 2020 Mar; 26(2):325-333.  View on PubMed
  17. Villa A, Celentano A, Glurich I, Borgnakke WS, Jensen SB, Peterson DE, Delli K, Ojeda D, Vissink A, Farah CS. Response to "prognostic biomarkers in oral leukoplakia". Oral Dis. 2019 11; 25(8):2048-2049.  View on PubMed
  18. Gupta A, Sonis S, Uppaluri R, Bergmark RW, Villa A. Disparities in Oral Cancer Screening Among Dental Professionals: NHANES 2011-2016. Am J Prev Med. 2019 10; 57(4):447-457.  View on PubMed
  19. Gupta A, Feldman S, Perkins RB, Stokes A, Sankar V, Villa A. Predictors of dental care use, unmet dental care need, and barriers to unmet need among women: results from NHANES, 2011 to 2016. J Public Health Dent. 2019 12; 79(4):324-333.  View on PubMed
  20. Villa A, Hanna GJ, Kacew A, Frustino J, Hammerman PS, Woo SB. Oral keratosis of unknown significance shares genomic overlap with oral dysplasia. Oral Dis. 2019 Oct; 25(7):1707-1714.  View on PubMed

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