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Dr. Nadarajah Vigneswaran

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
6516, M.D. Anderson Blvd., 3.094H, Houston, Texas

Brief Biography:

Nadarajah Vigneswaran, BDS, DMD, Dr.Med.Dent. is a Professor at the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. He received his Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree (BDS) from the Universityof Peradeniya, Sri Lankaand his DMD degree from the UniversityOf Alabama School Of Dentistryat Birmingham. He obtained his Dr.Med.Dent degree in immunopathology from the University Erlangen, Germany.  He completed his three-year Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Residency at EmoryUniversityand a one-year Fellowship in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Oral Oncology at the Universityof Alabamaat Birmingham. Dr. Vigneswaran is licensed by the States of Texas and Alabamato practice dentistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Dr. Vigneswaran practices surgical and clinical Oral Pathology at the Universityof Texas Dental Branchat Houston. He has directed courses in general, oral and maxillofacial pathology courses for dental and dental hygiene students and post-graduate dental residents at the UT-School of Dentistry at Houston. He gives regular didactic and microscopic seminars in clinical and surgical oral pathology for oral and maxillofacial surgery, dermatology and pathology residents at the UTHSC-Houston School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine.   He currently serves Course Director for the Systemic Pathology Course and was awarded the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award twice. 


Dr. Vigneswaran conducts clinical, translational, and basic research in oral precancers and cancers. He is currently involved in several collaborative clinical research projects with scientists and clinicians fromRice University,UT-M.D.AndersonCancerCenterand UTHSC-San Antonio focusing on the development and characterization of novel non-invasive diagnostic devices and chemoprevention agents for oral precancer and cancer.  He has an active basic science research focusing on the development of novel animal models, methods and strategies to study oral cancer development and metastasis. His current basic research involves (1) Therapeutic delivery of siRNA to a mouse model of oral cancer and (2) Characterization oral precancer and cancer-specific microRNA signatures using a mouse model of oral tongue carcinogenesis. His current research efforts are funded through the National Institutes of Health and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Dr. Vigneswaran has published more than 80 research articles and clinical reports in highly reputable journals.  He has co-authored three book chapters, one in a medical textbook entitled “Vasculitis” (Editors: Gene B. Ball and Louis Bridges, Oxford University.  



Academic positions:

1983-1985                                      Lecturer in Anatomy, University of Peradeniya, SRI LANKA

1985-1989                   German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) Scholarship

1985-1989                   Graduate Student, Dermatology Hospital, University of Erlangen, GERMANY

1989-1991                   Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Oral Biology, Emory University Dental Research Center (Mentor: Roland Arnold, Ph.D.), Atlanta, Georgia USA

1992-2000                   Research Associate, Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham USA

1992-1997                   Instructor, Department of Oral Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham USA

1997-06/2000              Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

07/2000-08/2007         Associate Professor, The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, Texas USA

09/2007-Present           Professor with Tenure, The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, Texas USA

09/2008-Present           Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathology, The University of Texas School of Medicine at Houston


Research interests:

I conduct basic and translational research in oral cancer and its precursor lesions. These research projects are conducted in collaboration with scientists and clinicians from UTHSC-Houston Medical School, Rice University, UT-M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and UTHSC-San Antonio School of Dentistry. Clinical research projects in oral cancers focus on the development and testing of novel non-invasive devices and molecular biomarkers for early diagnosis of oral cancer.  Basic research focuses on the development of experimental animal models for oral cancer that closely simulate human oral cancer progression. These experimental oral cancer animal models are being used to test non-invasive diagnostic imaging and molecular-targeted therapies for oral cancer. 


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