Dr. Poh’s CV/Research

Education & Qualifications:

  • Certificate in Oral Pathology
    Oral Pathology/Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • PhD
    Oral Biology & Medical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • DDS
    Dental Surgery, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • Certified Specialist in Oral Pathology
    BC College of Oral Health Professionals (formerly known as College of Dental Surgeons of BC)
  • Diplomat
    American Board of Oral Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Fellow
    Royal College of Dentists of Canada

Current Positions

Associate Professor Faculty of Dentistry, UBC
Clinician Scientist Integrative Oncology and Cancer Control Research Program, British Columbia Cancer Research Center
Assistant Pathologist Dept. of Anatomical Pathology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre
BC Oral Biopsy Service
Consulting Dentist Oral Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver Cancer Center
Staff Dentist Oral Mucosa Disease Program, Dental Clinic,
Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre
Associate Member Depts. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Surgery (Otolaryngology Division), Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Leader Downtown Eastside Outreach Program, BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program, BC Cancer Research Centre


Undergraduate Courses

DHYG 435 (Course Writer and Coordinator) – Oral Pathology and Medicine
DENT 410 – Oral Medicine and Pathology course for 1st year dental students
DENT 420 – Oral Medicine and Pathology course for 2nd year dental students
DENT 440 – Oral Medicine and Pathology course for 4th year dental students

Graduate Courses

DENT 555 Oral Pathology Graduate Course
DENT 561 Directed Studies for graduate students

Post-Graduate Courses

DENT 734 – Clinico-Pathological Conferences
DENT 752 – Oral Surgical Pathology
DENT 753 – Clinical Oral Medicine
Hospital Resident Program (OMOP and General Practice Residency)

Graduate Studies (MSc and PhD)

Graduate students receive opportunity training in both clinical and laboratory researches.

Research Interest and Supporting Grants

  • Efficacy of Optically-guided Surgery in the Management of Early-staged Oral Cancer
    Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) (Co-director)

    • This is a Phase III surgical trial and is a Pan Canadian study with multicentric and multidisciplinary involvement. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of using FV to guide the surgery and to control the outcome in local recurrence and survival.
  • Characterization of clonal alterations within novel fluorescence visualization (FV) fields of high-risk oral premalignant lesions
    Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI) (PI)

    • The objective of this study is to obtain a better understanding of field change around high-risk OPLs and an insight into its underlying biology with an aim towards the development of an effective strategy for management of such lesions. In this study, we will be using optical, pathological, LOH, FISH, and IHC to characterized the high risk oral fields. This study is an initial step in the integration of FV, a novel optical technology, into a realtime application to observe the high-risk change of oral mucosa at the point of care.
  • Community Screening and Management of High-Risk Oral Premalignant Lesions
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PI)

    • The objective of this study is to establish the current research activity of the research team within the context of community-based clinics in the Vancouver area. The main focus of this research is two-fold:
      • To incorporate and evaluate within designated community-based clinics several new visualization aids and molecular markers (developed in the tertiary clinic) for the identification of high-risk OPL and early cancer, and
      • To conduct preliminary studies relating to the implementation of these tools in the general population
  • Molecular Targets for Intervention of High-Risk Oral Premalignancies
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PI)

    • The objective of this study is to collect critical information on gene targets and altered pathways in high-risk OPLs that will guide the choice of future therapeutic trials. The grant will initially focus on the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) pathway, a key pathway that controls critical regulatory processes in the cell. Intervention trials are already planned by Vancouver clinicians that will target this pathway for treatment among severe dysplasia/CIS cases that are refractory to excision.
  • Clonal Changes in Oral Lesions of High-Risk Patients, Community Study Component
    University of British Columbia- CIHR/MSFHR Development Grant Fund (PI)

    • The objective of this study is to investigate that using in-community oral cancer screening in high-risk population is cost-beneficial in public health. The different life style and perception of this population might limit the motivation of participation of the study. We would like to use this development grant to set up multiple individual interviews and focus groups: 1) to identify the facilitators and barriers for designing an oral health/oral cancer screening program, and 2) to find out the specific need for this underserved population on this important health issue.
  • Optical Techniques and oral precancer management
    National Institutes of Dental & Craniofacial Research (Co-PI)

    • The objective of this study is to evaluate a set of visualization and imaging devices, alone and in combination, for ability to identify oral premalignant lesions with an elevated risk of progression to cancer. These devices will be evaluated for prognostic value in conjunction with conventional clinically pathological features and specific LOH patterns within an ongoing longitudinal study of 200 patients with oral dysplasia as well as in a cohort of 2000 subjected accrued from a high-risk community clinic.
  • Clonal changes in oral lesions of high-risk patients
    National Inst. Dental & Craniofacial Research (Co-PI)

    • The objective of this study is to determine the prognostic value of specific LOH patterns in combination with clinical and histological features to predict outcome for oral lesions within a longitudinal study. The study includes a total of 200 oral cancer patients (at risk for tumor recurrence) and 200 patients with primary oral dysplasia (at risk for progression to oral cancer). The current proposal will make use of these 2 cohorts along with a cohort collected from a community outreach to determine the potential value of a set of imaging devices to triage patients to risk groups and hence facilitate patient management.

Community Service

University Level

  • OMOP Residency Admissions Committee (Committee member)
  • International exchange Student and Faculty Program
  • CIHR Network for Oral Research Training and Heath (NORTH, mentor and advisory committee)
  • External (2005) and Internal (2006) for CIHR Operating Grant (Dental Sciences)

Community Level

  • Continuing Education for Dental Health Professionals
    • Tin Grin CE (Comox; Sept. 2006)
    • BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program, Cohort 10 (Vancouver, Sept. 2006)
    • UBC CE course (Vancouver, Oct. 2006)
    • BC Provincial Cancer Conference (Vancouver, Nov. 2006)
  • Community Oral Cancer Screening at Vancouver Downtown Eastside, a high-risk underserved community
    • Since Sept. 2004, an oral cancer screening clinic is established at the UBC affiliated Portland Community Dental Clinic. This is one the of community screening initiatives (CSI) of the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program.
    • The clinic runs biweekly, usually on Tuesday mornings.
    • Services include oral cancer screening with conventional head and neck screening and visualization tools (Fluorescence visualization and toluidine blue), Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Services and referral network
  • Mentor for the CHIUS (Community Health Initiatives of University Students) Program, partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

Recent Awards


  • Visiting Professorship Award from Canadian Association of Dental Research-Quintessence and Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry


  • W. W. Wood Teaching Award (Department Head Nomination)


  • W. W. Wood Teaching Award (Department Head Nomination)
  • Blackboard’s Greenhouse Exemplary Course Program (Nomination)


  • Scholar Award from Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
  • Clinician Scientist (Phase II) Award from Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Excellence in Distance Education Awards, Perfoma for distance education material (Nomination)


  • Woman in Cancer Research, Brigid G. Leventhal Scholar in Cancer Research Award, entitled “Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research” from American Association of Cancer Research
  • Aflac Scholar Award from American Association of Cancer Research


  • Clinician Scientist (Phase I) Award from Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • GlaxoSmithKline Outstanding Clinical Scholar from American Association of Cancer Research

Recent Publications

Book Chapters

  1. Rosin MP, Poh CF, Kang C, MacAulay CE, Zhang L. Progress in Early Detection and Management of Oral Dysplasia: Components for a Multifaceted Progression Risk Model. In : Advances in Understanding the Basic Pathogenesis and Clinical Management of Pre-invasive Disease.” Springer Science (Submitted in Feb. 2010).
  2. Poh CF, Lane P, MacAulay C, Zhang L, Rosin MP. The application of tissue autofluorescence in detection and management of oral cancer and premalignant lesions. In: Optical Imaging of Cancer: Enhancing Detection and Resection, Rosenthel ELand Zinn KR (eds), Springer Science and Business Media. pp. 101-18, 2009.
  3. Rosin MP, Zhang L, and Poh CF. Molecular markers of oral premalignant lesion risk. In: Head and Neck Cancer Emerging Perspectives, J.F. Ensley, J. S. Gutkind, J.R. Jacobs and S.M. Lippman, (eds), Academic Press, Calif., pp.245-259, 2003.


  1. Poh CF, MacAulay CE, Laronde DM, Williams PM, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Squamous cell carcinoma and precursor lesions: Diagnosis and screening in a technical era. Periodontology 2000 (Accepted, scheduled to publish in November 2010).
  2. Auluck A, Hislop G, Bajdik C, Zhang L, Poh C, Rosin M. Trends in oral cancer incidence in a multicultural region: the BC experience. Cancer, 2010;116 (11):2635-44.
  3. Zhang LL, Yang R, Zhang L, Li W, MacDonald-Jankowski D, Poh CF. Dentigerous cyst: a retrospective clinicopathological analysis of 2,082 dentigerous cysts in British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Accepted, April 2010).
  4. Gu Y, Williams P.M, Poh CF. How do I evaluate a patient with a swollen lip? J Can Dent Assoc (Accepted, April 2010).
  5. Tsui IL, Garnis C, Poh CF. A Dynamic Oral Cancer Field: Unraveling the Underlying Biology and Its Clinical Implication. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 2009; 33 (11): 1732-1738.
  6. Auluck A, Hislop G, Poh C, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Areca nut and betel quid chewing among South Asian immigrants to Western countries and its implications for oral cancer screening. Rural Remote Health, 2009; 9(2):1118-21.
  7. Poh CF, MacAulay CE, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Tracing the “At-Risk” Oral Mucosa Field with Autofluorescence: Steps Toward Clinical Impact. Cancer Prevention Research, 2009; 2(5):401-404.
  8. Tsui IL, Poh CF, Garnis C, Rosin MP, Zhang L, Lam WL. Multiple pathways in the FGF signaling network are frequently deregulated by gene amplification in oral dysplasias. International Journal Cancer, 2009; 125(9): 2219-2228.
  9. Poh CF, Ng S, Berean KW, Williams PM, Rosin MP, Zhang L. Biopsy and Histopathological Diagnosis of Oral Premalignant and Malignant Lesions. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 283-288.
  10. Guillard M, Zhang L, Poh CF, Rosin MP, MacAulay C. Potential Use of Quantitative Tissue Phenotype to Predict Malignant Risk for Oral Premalignant Lesions. Cancer Res, 2008; 68(9): 1-9.
  11. Rosin MP, Poh CF, Elwood M, Williams PM, Gallagher R, MacAulay C, Lam WL, Auluck A, Zhang L, Hislop TG. New Hope for Oral Cancer Solutions: Together We Can Make a Difference. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 261-266.
  12. Williams PM, Poh CF, Hovan A, Ng PS, Rosin MP. Evaluation of a suspicious oral mucosal lesion. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 275-280.
  13. Poh CF and Williams PM. Can oral cancer occur in someone without known risk? J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 253-254.
  14. Currie LB, Williams PM, Poh CF. Is the message clear? Talking with your patient about oral cancer screening. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 255-256.
  15. Biggar H, Poh CF, Rosin MP, Williams PM. The Voice of An Oral Cancer Patient. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 237-238.
  16. Laronde DM, Bottorff J, Hislop TG, Poh CF, Currie LB, Williams PM, Rosin MP. Experiences from the Dental Office: Initiating Oral Cancer Screening. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 239-241.
  17. British Columbia Oral Cancer Prevention Program – The early detection of oral cancer working group, BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program. Guideline for the Early Detection of Oral Cancer in British Columbia 2008. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008; 74(3): 245-52
    (Invited publication by the BC College of Oral Health Professionals (former College of Dental Surgeons of BC))
  18. Poh CF, Ng SP, Williams PM, Zhang L, Laronde DM, Lane P, Macaulay C, Rosin MP. Direct fluorescence visualization of clinically occult high-risk oral premalignant disease using a simple hand-held device. Head Neck, 2007; 29(1): 71-6.
    *Cited 13 times by July 26, 2009
  19. Poh CF, Hislop TG, Currie B, Lee R, Sikorski S, Zed C, Zhang L, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. Oral Cancer Screening in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside — a High-Risk Underserved Population. J Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 2007; 18: 767-778.
  20. Gratzinger D, Salama ME, Poh CF, Rouse RV. Ameloblastoma, calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor, and glandular odontogenic cyst show a distinctive immunophenotype with some myoepithelial antigen expression. J Oral Pathol Med, 2007; 37(3): 177-84.
  21. Biggar H, Forrest A, Poh CF. Global Oral Cancer Screening Programs- Review and Recommendations. Can J Dent Hyg, 2007; 41(3): 138-146.
  22. Laronde DM, Poh CF, William M, Hislop TG, Zhang L, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. A Magic Wand for the Community Dental Office? Observations from the British Columbia Oral Cancer Prevention Program. J Can Dent Assoc, 2007; 73(7): 607-610.
  23. Poh CF, Ng SP, Williams PM, Zhang L, Laronde DM, Lane P, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. Detection of clinically occult high-risk oral premalignant disease using direct autofluorescent visualization. Head Neck, 2007; 29(1): 71-6.
  24. Rosin MP, Poh CF, Guillard M, Williams M, Zhang L, MacAulay C. Visualization and other emerging technologies as changes-makers for oral cancer prevention. J New York Acad Sci, 2007; 1098: 167-183.
  25. Ng SP, Poh CF, Williams PM, Zhang L, Macaulay C, Rosin MP. Use of Direct Fluorescence Visualization to Identify High-Risk Oral Pre-malignant Lesions in British Columbia: Update. Inside Dentistry, 2007; 3(4, Supplement), 199: 19-20.
  26. Poh CF, Zhang L, Anderson DW, Durham S, Williams PM, Ng S, Priddy RW, Tseng IL, MacAulay C. Rosin MP. Fluorescence Visualization Detection of Field Alterations in Margins of Oral Cancer Patients. Clin Can Res, 2006; 12(24): 6716-22.
    (See Editorial on the article: Westra and Sidransky. Fluorescence visualization as a means to establish the extent of oral neoplasia including its relationship to the surgical margins: shedding new light on an old problem. Clinical Cancer Research, 2006, 12(24): 6594-97, Biology Behind)
    *Cited 24 times by July 26, 2009
  27. Lane MP, Gilhuly T, Whitehead P, Zheng H, Poh CF, Ng S, Williams PM, Zhang L, Rosin M, MacAulay CE. Simple device for the direct visualization of oral-cavity tissue fluorescence. J Biomed Optics, 2006; 11(2): 024006 (1-7).
    *Cited 33 times by July 26, 2009
  28. Poh CF, William PM, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Heads-up! – A Call for Dentists for Oral Cancer. J Can Dent Assoc, 2006; 72(5): 413-416.
  29. Zhang L, William PM, Poh CF, Laronde D, Epstein JB, Durham S, Nakamura H, Berean K, Hovan A, Le ND, Hislop G, Priddy R, Hay J, Lam WL, Rosin MP. Toluidine blue staining identifies primary oral premalignant lesions with high molecular risk of progression. Can Res, 2005; 65(17): 8017-8021.
    (AACR made a news release regarding this study on Sept. 1, 2005: Vanderboom R, ‘Dye Imaging ID’s Oral Lesions Likely to Become Cancer’)
    *Cited 33 times by July 26, 2009
  30. Poh CF and Priddy RW. Oral acquired lymphangioma circumscriptum mimicking verrucous carcinoma. Oral Oncology Extra, 2005; 41: 277-280.
  31. Ektefaie MR, David HT, Poh CF. Surgical Resolution of Chronic Tissue Irritation Caused by Extruded Endodontic Filling Material. J Can Dent Assoc, 2005; 71(7): 487-90.
  32. Poh CF, Priddy RW, Dahlman DM. Intramandibular Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor- a True Neoplasm or Reactive Lesion? Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Path Oral Radiol Endod, 2005; 100(4): 460-466.