IAOP 2021 Speakers




Dr Barrett qualified at the Royal Dental Hospital of London  in 1984, after which he completed his MSc in Experimental Oral Pathology at the Royal London Hospital Medical College (1987) and PhD at Newcastle University (1993). He undertook specialist training in oral & maxillofacial pathology and general histopathology in London, accrediting in 1998. He continued to investigate oral immunology, particularly the role of costimulatory molecules, as a Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London until appointed as a Consultant Histopathologist at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead in 2004. He was the organiser of the UK National Head & Neck Histopathology External Quality Assurance Scheme for three years (2009-11), Chair of the Panel of Examiners in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology for the Royal College of Pathologists for five (2015-19) and has authored more than 100 publications. He became President of the British Society for Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology in 2018.




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Dr. Bishop received his medical degree from Texas Tech University followed by anatomic & clinical pathology training at The Johns Hopkins University. After residency, he joined the surgical pathology faculty at Johns Hopkins. In 2017, he joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center where he serves as the Jane B. and Edwin P. Jenevein M.D. Chair in Pathology and Director of Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Bishop has lectured and published extensively in the field of head & neck pathology, authoring >200 articles, 6 books, and numerous book chapters including 15 entries in the latest WHO Classification of Head and Neck Tumors. He is the lead author for the upcoming AFIP salivary gland fascicle. He is the editor-in-chief of Seminars in Diagnostic Pathology, an associate editor for Modern Pathology and JAMA-Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.



Dr. Cheong leads the Head & Neck Cancer (HNC) Research Team at Cancer Research Malaysia. A major focus of her team is  drug development and includes the following research areas: 1) the development of immunotherapy 2) drug repurposing and 3) the use CRISPR-Cas9 essential screens to identify novel targets for HNC. In addition to the development of novel HNC therapeutics, she also focuses on early detection using innovative strategies including mobile health. She has received grants from national and international funding bodies and her work has received several national and international scientific awards.  Dr. Cheong is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysa (ASM), a Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Oncology (IAOO) and a Fellow of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). She is currently the Co-Chair of The World Academy of Sciences Young Affiliate Network (TYAN), and an honorary member of the Young Scientist Network (YSN) of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.  



Daniela Elena Costea is professor in tumour pathology at University of Bergen (UiB), and member of a Norwegian Center of Excellency for Cancer Biomarkers, CCBIO. Her research focus is oral cancer, and especially she has established a 3D organotypic model of oral mucosa, making it possible to study the interactions between normal or malignant epithelial cells and fibroblasts. She was among the first to describe the heterogeneity of cancer associated fibroblasts at both transcriptomic and functional levels.

Costea put also substantial efforts in the development and harmonization of the teaching in oral pathology by coordinating a multinational collaborative project between Norway, Moldova, Armenia and Belarus.

Costea has her PhD degree from UiB and has performed parts of her postdoctoral training at King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London. She has Board Examination in Oral Pathology from Scandinavian Fellowship of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine. In 2010 she received an early carrier grant from Trond Mohn Medical Research Foundation, Norway.



Dr Martin Forster is an Associate Professor at University College London (UCL) and Consultant Medical Oncologist at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He specialises in Thoracic and Head & Neck cancers and has a particular interest in drug development, running a broad portfolio of studies from First-In-Human to registration Phase III trials. He is Joint Lead for the Clinical Trials Theme of the CR UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and chairs the NIHR Head & Neck Research Group.  He runs a research-based practice, being Principal Investigator or Chief Investigator for over 50 early and late-phase clinical trials since his appointment to UCL in 2009. These include involvement in >10 trials involving immune checkpoint inhibitors, either as single agent or in combination with a number of academic immunotherapy studies in development.  He collaborates broadly with national and international groups involved in translational research.  In addition, he is the UCH clinical lead for chemotherapy services and co-lead for the London Cancer Chemotherapy Expert Reference Group.

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Professor Li Tie-Jun graduated from Wuhan University School of Stomatology (China) in 1984, and later obtained his PhD in the University of Birmingham Dental School (UK) in 1995. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Kagoshima University Dental School (Japan) during 1995-1998. At present, he is the vice dean of Peking University School of Stomatology, professor and head of department of oral pathology. He has a long-standing research interest in the growth and behavior of odontogenic lesions of the jaws. He has won a number of academic awards throughout his career and has also been the recipient of numerous research grants from various resources. Most notably, he has been awarded National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars in 2006 by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation. To date, he has published over 100 scientific papers and has also been the editor to 6 monographs and major contributor to 7 other books.



Professor Edward Odell has been working at Guy’s Hospital in Oral and Head and Neck Pathology for over 30 years, until recently as Clinical Lead for the service and Professor of Oral Pathology and Medicine at King’s College London.  He has published over 200 papers and authored or edited 5 textbooks and was a member of the WHO consensus group for the recent WHO classification of head and neck tumours.  He has particular expertise in image based ploidy analysis for predicting the development of cancer in the upper digestive tract and runs the only routine pathology service for this test in the UK. He is the current President of IAOP.

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Merva Soluk Tekkesin is an Associate Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology at Istanbul University, Institute of Oncology, Department of Tumour Pathology since 2015. She completed her dental training in 2003, residency in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, as well as her Ph.D., was completed in Tumour Pathology at Istanbul University in 2010. Dr. Soluk Tekkesin was an overseas training fellow with GDC registration at King’s College London, Guy’s Hospital for 7 months between 2009 - 2010. She was the first Tier 5 International Training Fellow to complete training in the United Kingdom. Dr Soluk Tekkesin was the secretary of Head and Neck Working Group in Turkey between 2010- 2014. She has served as European Councilor of International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists- IAOP since 2014. She has numerous high-quality publications and book chapters, including contribution to the 2017 4th edition of World Health Organization of Head and Neck Tumors. Dr Soluk Tekkesin has been assigned a ‘Visiting Professor’ by Tehran University of Medical Sciences until 2021.



Professor Gareth Thomas is Chair of Experimental Pathology at the University of Southampton and a Consultant in Head and Neck Pathology. His laboratory focuses on the tumour immune microenvironment, particularly the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) in promoting tumour progression. The translational aspect of the work has an emphasis on mechanisms regulating CAF differentiation and interactions with immune cells, identifying potential predictive biomarkers and druggable targets to develop strategies to improve immunotherapy.

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Dr Mary Toner is the President Elect of the BSOMP and is a consultant pathologist/ associate professor of Trinity College Dublin, affiliated to the Dublin Dental University University and St. James Hospitals in Dublin. Born in Belfast, she graduated in medicine from Trinity College Dublin and completed her training and FRCPath in 1989. Following a period of specialist training in oral and maxillofacial pathology in Liverpool and Glasgow, she took up her current post and was lead in head and neck pathology for many years. Her research interests include head and neck cancer, in particular early oral carcinoma and HPV associated cancers, more recently in association with the Cerviva consortium.  She has also been extensively involved in training in histopathology as a regional advisor and until recently National Speciality Director for the RCPI Faculty of Pathology training scheme. 



Marilena Vered obtained her dental degree (DMD) at the Faculty of Dentistry, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduation, she started the Oral Pathology training program at the Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, at the School of Dentistry at Tel Aviv University and finished in 2001. She is currently the Head of this department. She is also in charge of the service of oral pathology at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, which has been ranked by the Newsweek Magazine, as one of the 10 leading medical centers in the world for 2019. She has co-authored over 100 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and serves as a reviewer for most of the leading journals in the field of oral pathology and medicine. She has been interested in investigating the microenvironment of oral cancer and collaborated with leading researchers in this field. In addition, she has published on several rare and challenging odontogenic lesions.



Dr. John M. Wright is Regents Professor, Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas.  He is an oral pathologist and a Diplomate of both the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and the American Board of Oral Medicine.  He received his dental degree from West Virginia University and oral pathology training at Indiana University.  He has contributed over 180 publications to the scientific literature, as well as 25 book chapters and three textbooks.  Dr. Wright is a past President of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and the International Association of Oral Pathologists.  Dr. Wright has participated in over 400 statewide, national and international programs.