Dr. Zhang’s CV/Research



  • DENT440: Oral Medicine and Pathology course for 4th year dental students
  • DENT545: Oral Pathology Graduate Course
  • DENT561: Directed Studies for graduate students
  • DENT712: Oral Surgical Pathology for OMOP residents
  • DENT734: Clinical Pathological Conference for OMOP residents

Graduate students (MSc and PhD):

  • Graduate students have the chance of getting cross-disciplinary training in both clinical and laboratory researches.

The Provincial Oral Biopsy Service:

I am the Director of the Provincial Oral Biopsy Service, which

  • provides free services for dentists and ENT surgeon throughout the province,
  • is one of the major referral centre for oral premalignant and malignant lesions,
  • is one main foundation and research source for the Provincial Oral Cancer Prevention Program, where I am the Chief Pathologist,
  • Provides training for the residents in the Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology residency program.

Research Interest:

The long-term goal of my research is to establish markers that can be used to identify oral premalignant lesions at high-risk of cancer progression. The research is part of the multi-centre collaboration in Vancouver (University of British Columbia, BC Cancer Agency, Simon Fraser University, and Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre). This research team is one of the leading team internationally in the study of oral premalignant lesions, and we have an ongoing prospective study involving 200 patients with primary oral dysplasia and 200 patients with a history of oral cancer. Current research topics include:

  • At molecular level:
    • loss of critical loci on specific chromosomes and the pattern of such loss in predicting cancer risk of oral premalignant lesions using both microsatellite analysis and florescent in situ hybridization (FISH).
    • Hunting genes that are critical for the development of oral cancer.
  • At histological level:
    • Ploidy status of oral premalignant lesions (exfoliative cells or biopsy samples) in predicting cancer risk of these lesions, and malignancy associated changes in exfoliative cells using a new device.
    • Alternations of biopsies to quantitative pathology that could predict cancer risk of oral premalignant lesions by computer imaging and analysis.
    • Alterations of biopsies in mRNA and proteins that could predict cancer risk of oral premalignant lesions
  • At clinical level:
    • Visual tools (toluidine blue and direct fluorescent visualization) that could be used by clinicians as adjunct tools to assess the cancer risk of oral lesions or identify these lesions.
    • Combined clinical factors in predicting cancer risk of oral premalignant lesions
    • Community Reach

Current Grant Support:

  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (National Institute of Health): “Optical Techniques and Oral Precancer Management” (2005 – 2010).
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (National Institute of Health): “Whole genome array CGH of progressing oral dysplasia” (2004 – 2008).
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (National Institute of Health): “Whole genome array CGH of progressing oral dysplasia” (2003 – 2008).

Publications In The Last Ten Years:

Pahlevaninezhad H, Lee AM, Rosin M, Sun I, Zhang L, Hakimi M, MacAulay C, Lane PM. Optical coherence tomography and autofluorescence imaging of human tonsil. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(12):e115889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115889. eCollection 2014.

Martinez VD, MacAulay CE, Guillaud M, Lam WL, Zhang L, Corbett KK, Rosin MP. Targeting of chemoprevention to high-risk potentially malignant oral lesions: challenges and opportunities. Oral Oncol. 2014;50(12):1123-30.

Laronde DM, Williams PM, Hislop TG, Poh C, Ng S, Zhang L, Rosin MP. Decision making on detection and triage of oral mucosa lesions in community dental practices: screening decisions and referral. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2014 Aug;42(4):375-84. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12093. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Baik J, Ye Q, Zhang L, Poh C, Rosin M, MaCaulay C, Guillaud M. Automated classification of oral premalignant lesions using image cytometry and Random Forests-based algorithms. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014;37(3):193-202.

Laronde D, Williams PM, Hislop TG, Poh C, Ng S, Bajdik C, Zhang L, Macaulay C, Rosin MP. Influence of fluorescence on screening decisions for oral mucosal lesions in community dental practices. J Oral Path Med. 2013;43(1):7-13.

Rosin MP, Zhang L, Mao L. Predicting progression of oral dysplasia – response. Cancer Prev Res. 2013, Jun;6(6):616.

MacDonald D, Gu Y, Zhang L, Poh C. Can clinical and radiological features predict recurrence in solitary keratocystic odontogenic tumors? Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2013, 115(2): 263-71.

Auluck A, Hislop G, Bajdik C, Bottorff J, Hay J, Zhang L and Rosin MP. Gender and ethnicity specific survival trends of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in British Columbia. Cancer Causes and Control. 2012 DOI 10.1007/s10552-012-0065-0. 2012, 23: 1899-1909.

MacAulay C, Poh CF, Guillaud M, Williams M, Laronde D, Zhang L, Rosin MP. High throughput image cytometry for detection of suspicious lesions in the oral cavity. J Biom Optics, 2012, 17(8):

Zhang L, Poh CF, Williams M, Laronde DM, Berean K, Gardner PJ, Jiang H, Wu L, Lee JJ, Rosin MP. Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH) Profiles – Validated Risk Predictors for Progression to Oral Cancer. Cancer Prevention Res. Cancer Prev Res; 2012, 5(9); 1–9. ©2012 AACR. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0173

AACR press release on the study on Aug 12, 2012: “Researchers Identified Markers That Predict Progression of Oral Lesions to Cancer.”

1st Perspective on the study by Cavenee WK. Genetic Driver Events in Premalignancy: LOH Validated for marking the risk of oral cancer. Cancer Prev Res; 2012, 5(9); 1–2. ©2012 AACR.

2nd Perspective on the study by Lingen MW and Szabo E. Validation of LOH Profiles for Assessing Oral Cancer Risk. Cancer Prev Res; 5(9); 1–3. ©2012 AACR.
Reviewed by Nature Reviews Cancer 12, 659 (October 2012)

MacDonald-Jankowski D, Zhang L and Gu GY. Calcification of the external carotid arteries and their branches. Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, 2012, 41(7):615-8.

Poh CF, Zhu Y, Chen E, Berean KW, Wu L, Zhang L , Rosin MP. Unique FISH Patterns Associated with Cancer Progression of Oral Dysplasia. Journal of Dental Research, 2012 91(1): 52-57.
2013 IADR/AADR William J. Gies Award for Best Clinical Research.

Gibb EA, Enfield KSS, Stewart GL, Lonergan KM, Ng RT, Zhang L , MacAulay CE, Rosin MP, Lam WL. Long non-coding RNAs are expressed in oral mucosa and altered in oral epithelial dysplasia. Oral Oncol; 2011 Nov;47(11):1055-61.

Poh CF, MacAulay CE, Laronde DM, Williams PM, Zhang L and Rosin MP. Squamous cell carcinoma and precursor lesions: Diagnosis and screening in a technical era, Periodontology 2000, 2011, 57: 73-88. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145964/pdf/nihms-131990.pdf OR http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145964/?tool=pubmed
Invited review

Lane P, Poh CF, Durham JS, Zhang L , Rosin MP, MacAulay M. Fluorescence-guided surgical resection of oral cancer reduces recurrence. SPIE, 2011, 7883: doi: 10.1117/12.876062.

Zhang L L, Yang R, Zhang L , MacDonald-Jankowski D, Poh C. Dentigerous cyst: a retrospective clinicopathological analysis of 2082 dentigerous cysts in British Columbia, Canada. Inter J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 2010, 39:878-82

Auluck A, Hislop G, Bajdik C, Zhang L , Poh C, Rosin M. Trends in oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancer incidence of HPV-related and HPV-unrelated sites in a multicultural population: the British Columbia experience. Cancer, 2010;116 (11):2635-44.
Show cased on the front cover of the issue.

Garnis C, Chari R, Buys TP, Zhang L , Ng RT, Rosin MP, Lam WL. Genomic imbalances in precancerous tissues signal oral cancer risk. Mol Cancer, 2009, 8: 50.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726119/?tool=pubmed OR http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726119/pdf/1476-4598-8-50.pdf

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 and Remote health, 2009, 9(2): 1118. Epub 2009 May 14.

Tsui IFL, Poh C, Garnis C, Rosin MP, Zhang L , Lam W. Multiple pathways in the FGF signaling network are frequently deregulated by gene amplification in oral dysplasias. Inter J Cancer, 2009,125(9):2219-28.

Poh CF, MacAulay CE, Zhang L , Rosin MP. Tracing the ‘at risk’ oral mucosa field with autofluorescence: steps toward clinical impact. Cancer Prevention Res, 2009, 2(5): 401-404.
Perspective on the article by Kelloff GJ,. Sigman CC and Contag CH. Early Detection of Oral Neoplasia: Watching with New Eyes. Cancer Prev Res 2009;2(5): 405-8.

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, Zinn KR and Rosenthel EL (eds), Springer Science and Business Media, pp. 101-18, 2009

Tsui IFL, Rosin MP, Zhang L , Ng RT, Lam W. Multiple Aberrations of Chromosome 3p Detected in Oral Premalignant Lesions. Cancer Prev Res 2008;1(6), 424-9.
Editorial on the article by Wistuba I, Meyerson M. Chromosomal Deletions and Progression of Premalignant Lesions: Less Is More. Cancer Prev Res 2008;1(6), 404-8.

Auluck A, Rosin MP, Zhang L , Sumanth KN. Oral Submucous Fibrosis, a Clinically Benign but Potentially Malignant Disease: Report of 3 Cases and Review of the Literature. JCDA 2008; 74:733-8.

Guillard M, Zhang L , Poh CF, Rosin MP, MacAulay C. Potential Use of Quantitative Tissue Phenotype to Predict Malignant Risk for Oral Premalignant Lesions. Can Res 2008; 68(9):3099-107.

Auluck A, Rosin MP, Zhang L . Primary Malignant Melanoma of Maxillary Gingiva – A Case Report with Review of Literature. J Can Dent Assoc, 2008 74(4):367-371.

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): 245-60 (Invited publication).

Developed first guideline. (the BC OCPP has its guidelines on the BCCA web site – this site was recently evaluated as one of the top for knowledge on oral cancer screening (Varela-Centelles P, Insua A, Seoane-Romero JM,).

Hovan AJ, Zhang L , Laronde DM, Currie BL. What do I say to my patient who needs a biopsy? J Can Dent Assoc 2008; 74(3): 257-8 (Invited publication).

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): 269-274.

Rosin MP, Poh CF, Elwood JM, Williams PM, Gallagher R, MacAulay C, Lam WW, Auluck A, Zhang L , Hislop TG. New hope for an oral cancer solution: Together we can make a difference. J Can Dent Assoc 2008; 74(3) 2008; 74(3):251-256.

Williams M, Poh CF, Zhang L , Rosin MP. Point of Care. What do I need to know about oral cancer screening? J Can Dent Assoc, 2007, 73(9):797-8.

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, 18:767-78.

Laronde DM, Poh CF, Williams PM, Hislop TG, Zhang L , MacAulay C, Rosin MP. A magic wand for a community dental office? Observations from the British Columbia Oral Cancer Prevention Program. J Can Dent Assoc 2007, 73(7): 607-10.

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.

Rosin MP, Poh CF, Guillard M, Williams PM, Zhang L , MacAulay C. Visualization and other emerging technologies as change makers for oral cancer prevention. J New York Acad Sci 2007, 1098: 167-183.

Poh CF, Ng SP, Williams PM, Zhang L , Lane P, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. Direct fluorescence visualization of clinically occult high-risk oral premalignant disease using a simple hand-held device. Head and Neck, 2007, 29: 71-76.

Poh CF, Zhang L , Anderson DW, Durham JS, Williams PM, Priddy RW, Berean KW, Ng S, Tseng OI, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. Fluorescence visualization detection of field alterations in margins of oral cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res, 2006, 12 (22): 6716-22.

Editorial on the article by Westra WH & Sidransky D. FluorescenceVisualization in Oral Neoplasia: Shedding Light on an Old Problem. Clin Cancer Res, 2006, 12(22): 6594-7. and http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/reprint/clincanres;12/22/6594

Ng SP, Poh CF, William PM, Zhang L , Laronde D, MacAulay C, Rosin MP. Identification of high-risk oral premalignant lesions (OPLs) by direct multi-spectrum fluorescence visualization (FV). Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2006, 102 (3):325.

Poh CF, Williams PM, Zhang L , Rosin MP. Heads Up! – A Call to Dentists for Oral Cancer Screening. J Can Dent Asso, 2006, 75(5): 413-6.

Baldwin C, Garnis C, Zhang L , Rosin MP, Lam WL. Genomic Analysis of Tumors by Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization: More Is Better. Cancer Res, 2006, 66(7): 3955-6.

Lane PM, Gilhuly T, Whitehead P, Zheng H, Poh C, Ng S, Williams M, Zhang L , Rosin MP, MacAulay CE. Simple Device for the Direct Visualization of Oral-Cavity Tissue Fluorescence. J Biomedical Optics, 2006, 11(2): 024006 -1-7.

Baldwin C, Garnis C, Zhang L , Rosin MP, Lam WL. Multiple Microalterations Detected at High Frequency in Oral Cancer. Cancer Res, 2005, 1;65(17):7561-7.

Garnis C, Rosin MP, Zhang L , Lam WL. Alteration of AKAP220, an upstream component of the Rb pathway, in oral carcinogenesis. Int J Cancer. 2005, 116(5): 813-9.

Zhang L , Williams M, Poh CF, Laronde D, Epstein J, Durham S, Nakamura H, Berean K, Hovan A, Le N, Hislop G, Priddy R, Hay J, Lam W, Rosin MP. Toluidine blue staining identifies high-risk primary oral premalignant lesions with poor outcome. Cancer Res, Sept. 1, 2005: 65(17): 8017-21.
(AACR made a news release regarding this study on Sept. 1, 2005: Vanderboom R, ‘Dye Imaging ID’s Oral Lesions Likely to Become Cancer’).

Garnis C, Campbella J, Zhang L , Rosin MP, Lam W. OCGR array, an oral cancer genomic regional array for comparative genomic hybridization analysis. Oral Oncology, 2004, 40: 511-9.

Impola U, Uitto VJ, Hietanen J, Hakkinen L, Zhang L , Larjava H, Saarialho-Kere U. Differential expression of matrilysin-1 (MMP-7), 92 KDA gelatinase (MMP-9) and metalloelastase (MMP-12) in oral verrucous and squamous cell cancer. J Path, 2004, 202: 14-22.

Garnis C, Coe BP, Ishkanian A, Zhang L , Rosin MP, Lam WL. Novel Regions of Amplification on 8q Distinct From the MYC Locus and Frequently Altered in Oral Dysplasia and Cancer. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer 2004;39(1):93-8.

Garnis C, Coe BP, Zhang L , Rosin MP, Lam WL. Overexpression of LRP12, a gene contained within an 8q22 amplicon identified by high-resolution array CGH analysis of oral squamous cell carcinomas. Oncogene. 2004; 23, 2582–2586.

Important Earlier Publications

Rosin MP, Cheng X, Poh C, Lam WL, Huang Y, Lovas J, Berean K, Epstein JB, Priddy R, Le ND and Zhang L.  Use of allelic loss to predict malignant risk for low-grade oral epithelial dysplasia.  Clinical Cancer Research, 2000, 6(2): 357-362.
(See Editorial on the article: Mao L. Can Molecular Assessment Improve Classification of Head and Neck Premalignancy Clinical Cancer Research, 2000, 6(2): 321-2).

Zhang L, Michelsen C, Cheng X, Zeng T, Priddy R, Rosin MP.  Molecular analysis of oral lichen planus: Is this a premalignant lesion. Am J Path 1997, 151(2): 323-327
(see Editorial on the article: Allen CM.  Is lichen planus really premalignant? Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Path 1998; 85(4): 347).