Meet Your Cancer Care Team at NYU Oral Cancer Center

We know it takes a team of specialized experts to treat oral cancer and precancerous lesions of the mouth.
You know you want only the best doctors to treat you. Come meet them.


The members of your care team are trained dentists who have gone on to specialize in oral biology, surgery for oral cancer, restorative dentistry, or cariology. This gives our team greater familiarity with the oral cavity and distinguishes us from other cancer centers which do not have dentists or dental health care specialists on staff.

Think of Dr. Brian Schmidt as the experts’ expert. 

Brian Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, FACS, has a medical degree, a dental degree and a research PhD degree.  When you see Dr. Schmidt, you’re seeing a doctor specialized in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as surgical oncology, you’re seeing a trained dentist, and you’re seeing a clinician scientist. As director of the NYU Oral Cancer Center, Dr. Schmidt is at the forefront of biomedical research for oral cancer from the molecular level to clinical patient studies. Backed by NIH funding, Dr. Schmidt currently researches genetic biomarkers for precancer and cancer, neural pain pathways for new pain control therapies, and novel oral cavity reconstruction techniques.

Dr. Schmidt wears many hats.  He is professor at New York University in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience. He directs the NYU Oral Cancer Center and the NYU Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, and is also Co-Leader of the Epidemiology and Cancer Control Program at the NYU Cancer Center.

Dr. Schmidt is passionate about treating oral cancer.  He believes that by closely integrating his clinical patient practice with his lab research he can provide his patients with the best possible treatment and care. 
Ask him lots of questions about it… he loves it.

Learn more about Dr. Schmidt's research:      Publications  

Our early detection and prevention expert is Dr. Ross Kerr. 

Ross Kerr, DDS, MSD, is a dentist and an oral medicine specialist who manages oral mucosal diseases, dry mouth and medically complex patients needing dental treatment.  With a zeal for detecting cancer in its infancy, Dr. Kerr’s forte is in the use of novel chair-side techniques for early detection of oral cancer and precancers.  He works in tandem with oncologic surgeons to establish meticulous margin mapping of lesions and provides close observation of patients with an oral cancer history.  Dr. Kerr is a clinical associate professor in the NYU Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine department and, like all our team, is keenly involved in research.  He directs the College of Dentistry’s oral mucosal disease service and likes nothing better than to instill his dental students with a passion for cancer prevention.

Learn more about Dr. Kerr's research:      Publications

Dr. Anthony Bossis is an expert at getting in your head. 

Anthony Bossis, PhD, has a research PhD in clinical psychology and has specialized training in pain management, palliative care, and integrative psychotherapy.  With a gift for understanding pain, his approach to chronic pain management draws upon the might of psychosomatic medicine and psycho-oncology.  He embraces the role of spirituality on psychological and physical health, and uses that insight to lighten the emotional and interpersonal suffering often associated with cancer pain and treatment.  Dr. Bossis is a clinical assistant professor in NYU’s Department of Psychiatry and in the College of Dentistry.  His research digs ever deeper into the nuances of pain control and currently focuses on novel approaches to alleviating anxiety and existential distress in cancer patients.

Learn more about Dr. Bossis's research:      Publications

Dr. Mark DeLacure is our reconstructive microsurgery expert.

Mark DeLacure, MD, FACS, is the specialized reconstructive surgeon our patients trust to make them whole again.  He routinely works side by side in the operating room with Dr. Brian Schmidt.  Together they perform an intricate surgical dance:  Dr. Schmidt focuses on removing all traces of oral cancer, while Dr. DeLacure weaves a new oral scaffold that replaces lost tissue.  He is chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and associate professor in the College of Medicine’s Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at the NYU Langone Medical Center.  Dr. DeLacure’s surgical dance card includes training the next generation of oncologic and reconstructive surgeons, as well as treatment planning, clinical studies and reconstructive oncology all undertaken in close collaboration with experts in the NYU College of Dentistry and the NYU Oral Cancer Center.

Learn more about Dr. DeLacure's research:      Publications

Dr. Mari Hagiwara is an expert at seeing below the surface.

Mari Hagiwara, MD, is our principal head and neck radiologist. She uses an arsenal of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging techniques – from x-rays to CT scans and MRIs – to deliver precise images of head and neck cancers. Working closely with Dr. Schmidt, Dr. Hagiwara evaluates diagnostic imaging of oral cancer and the lymphatic system of the neck to determine cancer severity and treatment progress. They recently published a book chapter on MRI imaging of oral and neck cancers. Dr. Hagiwara is an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone Medical Center and is the director of the Neuroradiology Fellowship Program. She completed post-graduate training in Neuroradiology at the NYU School of Medicine and head and neck imaging at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.

Learn more about Dr. Hagiwara's research:      Publications

Dr. Sonal Shah is our expert investigator.

Sonal Shah, DDS, is a dentist specializing in oral and maxillofacial pathology. As our oral mucosal sleuth, she performs tissue biopsies, then analyzes and diagnoses the specimens. She brings her life-long passion for understanding diseases to the critical task of classifying tissue as benign or cancerous. Dr. Shah is a clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, and Oral Medicine in the College of Dentistry. She hones her medical investigator skills with clinical research projects and teaching courses on oral and maxillofacial pathology to dental students and residents.

Learn more about Dr. Shah's research:      Publications