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David K. Lam, MD, DDS, PhD — Academic Profile

  • Professor of Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Chairman, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dental Medicine
  • Chief, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Director, LITElab

Board Certifications

Education

MD
  • University of California, Davis (2013)
DDS
  • University of Toronto (2001)
PhD
  • University of Toronto (2008)
Residency Training
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Anesthesia, University of Toronto
Fellowship Training
  • Maxillofacial Oncology, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center

Affiliated Specialty Center

Clinical Interests/Expertise

  • Maxillofacial oncology
  • Facial trauma
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Trigeminal nerve injuries
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Pain management
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Contact Information

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
School of Dental Medicine
South Drive
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Tel: 631-632-8975
Fax: 631-632-3747

For patient care information, including insurance participation and practice locations, click here.
  • Personal Statement
  • Honors
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Additional

As a surgeon-scientist, I specialize in the comprehensive surgical management of patients with cancer, pathology, pain, and trigeminal nerve injury. My research and clinical programs are closely integrated, and my research addresses the many challenges I face in the clinical management of patients with a focus on cancer management and treatment. As the director and principal investigator of the LITElab (Lam Innovation Translation Education) within Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, I lead a team of clinicians and scientists dedicated to solving challenging clinical problems using innovative research and knowledge translation techniques.

  • Recipient of Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship (2018)
  • Teacher of the Year Award, DDS Class of 1T7, University of Toronto (2017)
  • Teacher of the Year Award, DDS Class of 1T5, University of Toronto (2015)
  • Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Junior Investigator Grant Panel Travel Award (2013)
  • Allan T. Nunn, MD, Memorial Scholarship in Oncology, University of California, Davis (2013)
  • Doctoring Letter of Distinction, University of California, Davis (2011)
  • Neuroscience Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Young Investigator Research Award, International Association for Dental Research (2009)
  • Johnson & Johnson Hatton Award- First Place, Post-Doctoral Category, American Association for Dental Research (2009)
  • Unilever Hatton Divisional Award, International Association for Dental Research (2009)
  • American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award (2009)
  • Straumann Canada Travel Award, Canadian ITI Congress (2008)
  • Synthes Training Award (2005)
  • Dr. A. E. Swanson Award, Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (2004)
  • Harron Scholarship, University of Toronto (2001)
  • Current research aims to discover novel mediators of cancer pain, such as TMPRSS2. Following are significant research contributions (as of November 2017):
  • A. Discovery of new cancer pain pathway. Pain is one of the problems that patients suffering with cancer fear most. Cancer often produces severe pain and dysfunction secondary to mechanical hypersensitivity in humans. Following the rapid development of opioid tolerance, there are no pharmacologic agents available to treat intractable cancer pain. A major obstacle to the effective treatment of cancer pain is that the mediators involved in the generation of pain in patients with cancer are poorly understood. Using a combined molecular, pharmacologic, behavioral, and genetic approach, my colleagues and I identified a novel mechanism of cancer-mediated pain induced by serine proteases and the protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) (Serine proteases and protease-activated receptor 2-dependent allodynia: a novel cancer pain pathway). This previously unrecognized cancer pain pathway has important therapeutic implications wherein serine protease inhibitors and PAR2 antagonists may be useful for the treatment of cancer pain. More recently, my colleagues and I discovered a novel role for a cell membrane-anchored serine protease mediator, TMPRSS2, in cancer pain, as well as pain in general (TMPRSS2, a novel membrane-anchored mediator in cancer pain). The startling discovery of TMPRSS2's role in triggering cancer pain may lead to the creation of targeted cancer pain therapies that effectively shut down the expression of this gene or its ability to infiltrate pain receptors in the body.
  • B. Development of new head and neck cancer pain preclinical model. This model enables the study of the transition from acute to chronic pain. Targeted therapy to prevent the progression from acute to chronic pain in cancer patients remains elusive. My colleagues and I developed three novel cancer models in mice that together recapitulate the anatomical, temporal, and functional characteristics of acute and chronic head and neck cancer pain in humans (Novel animal models of acute and chronic cancer pain: a pivotal role for PAR2). The impact of this study was recognized as a feature article on the cover of the Journal of Neuroscience, the top journal in the field of neuroscience research. Using pharmacologic and genetic approaches in these novel cancer models, my colleagues and I demonstrated a direct role for PAR2 in acute cancer pain and suggest that PAR2 upregulation may favor the development and maintenance of chronic cancer pain. Targeting the PAR2-serine protease interaction is a promising approach to the treatment of acute cancer pain and prevention of chronic cancer pain.
  • C. Challenging a clinical aphorism on cancer: earlier recognition of symptoms of head and neck cancer may improve early detection of the cancer itself. Contrary to a clinical aphorism that early head and neck cancer is painless, my colleagues and I revealed that patients who develop head and neck cancer experience significant pain at the time of initial diagnosis (Orofacial pain onset predicts transition to head and neck cancer). The impact of this study was recognized as a feature article on the cover of Pain, the top journal in the field of pain research. This article was selected as one of three annual special reprints in 2015 in the Ontario Dental Association Journal as part of the Oral Health Strategy, and also highlighted in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association (JCDA Express Issue 6, 2011). Of the constellation of symptoms, recent onset of significant orofacial pain, particularly if exacerbated during function, may be the best clue and should be included in the clinical assessment of patients to identify a high-risk group to apply screening strategies for early cancer detection. Further investigations into the correlations between pain parameters and the specific biology of head and neck cancer may improve quality of life and survival for head and neck cancer patients.
  • D. Innovations in clinical management of oral and maxillofacial pathology. My colleagues and I have developed various innovative approaches to the management (Chadwick et al., 2016; Ledderhof et al., 2017; Caminiti & Lam, 2017) and reconstruction (Lam et al., 2012) of complex oral and maxillofacial pathologies. The impact of this work has been regularly published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the top journal in the OMS field. In particular, I have developed an international reputation for my expertise in the diagnosis and management of trigeminal nerve injuries: presenting over 20 invited lectures and seminars, nationally and internationally, and most recently an invited textbook editorship (Pogrel MA, Lam DK, editors. Practical Approaches to Avoid Trigeminal Nerve Injuries. Springer).
  • Albilia JB, Lam DK, Blanas N, Clokie CM, Sándor GK. Small mouths ... Big problems? A review of scleroderma and its oral health implications. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:831-6.
  • Albilia JB, Lam DK, Clokie CM, Sándor GK. Systemic lupus erythematosus: a review for dentists. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:823-8.
  • Cairns BE, Kolta A, Whitney E, Craig K, Rei N, Lam DK, Lynch M, Sessle B, Lavigne G. The use of opioid analgesics in the management of acute and chronic orofacial pain in Canada: the need for further research. J Can Dent Assoc 2014;80:e49.
  • Caminiti MF, Lam DK. Novel transoral approach to the posterolateral maxilla and infratemporal region. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2017;75:648.
  • Chadwick JW, terBrugge K, Lam DK. Novel technique using cyanoacrylate and local hemostatic agents in the management of high-risk exodontia bleeding in a patient with a large facial arteriovenous malformation. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2016;74:1574-83.
  • Dolan JC, Lam DK, Achdjian SH, Schmidt BL. The dolognawmeter: a novel instrument and assay to quantify nociception in rodent models of orofacial pain. J Neurosci Methods 2010;187:207-15.
  • Dostrovsky JO, Sessle BJ, Lam DK. Inflammatory and cancer-related pain conditions: insights from animal models. In: Sessle BJ, editor. Orofacial Pain. IASP Press. 2014.
  • El-Rabbany M, Sgro A, Lam DK, Shah PS, Azarpazhooh A. Effectiveness of treatments for medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Dent Assoc 2017;148:584-94.
  • Hall MW, Singh N, Ng KF, Lam DK, Goldberg MB, Tenenbaum HC, Neufeld JD, G Beiko R, Senadheera DB. Inter-personal diversity and temporal dynamics of dental, tongue, and salivary microbiota in the healthy oral cavity. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes 2017;3:2.
  • Hardt M, Lam DK, Dolan JC, Schmidt BL. Surveying proteolytic processes in human cancer microenvironments by microdialysis and activity-based mass spectrometry. Proteomics Clin Appl 2011;5:636-43.
  • Holmes HI, Lam DK, McGuire T, Gioulos P. Inferior alveolar nerve damage during removal of mandibular third molars. Oral Health 2004;94:10-20.
  • Khan AA, Sándor GK, Dore E, Morrison AD, Alsahli M, Amin F, Peters E, Hanley DA, Chaudry SR, Dempster DW, Glorieux FH, Neville AJ, Talwar RM, Clokie CM, Al Mardini M, Paul T, Khosla S, Josse RG, Sutherland S, Lam DK, et al.; Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Canadian consensus practice guidelines for bisphosphonate associated osteonecrosis of the jaw. J Rheumatol 2008;35:1391-7.
  • Khan AA, Sándor GK, Dore E, Morrison AD, Alsahli M, Amin F, Peters E, Hanley DA, Chaudry SR, Lentle B, Dempster DW, Glorieux FH, Neville AJ, Talwar RM, Clokie CM, Mardini MA, Paul T, Khosla S, Josse RG, Sutherland S, Lam DK, et al.; Canadian Taskforce on Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. Bisphosphonate associated osteonecrosis of the jaw. J Rheumatol 2009;36:478-90.
  • Lam DK. Benign tumors of the jaws. In: Schmidt BL, editor. OMS Knowledge Update V: Pathology. 5th ed. 2015.
  • Lam DK. Emerging factors in the progression of cancer-related pain. Pain Manag 2016;6:487-96.
  • Lam DK, Dang D, Flynn AN, Hardt M, Schmidt BL. TMPRSS2, a novel membrane-anchored mediator in cancer pain. Pain 2015;156:923-30.
  • Lam DK, Dang D, Zhang J, Dolan JC, Schmidt BL. Novel animal models of acute and chronic cancer pain: a pivotal role for PAR2. J Neurosci 2012;32:14178-83. [Featured article on cover.]
  • Lam DK, Cheng A, Berty KE, Schmidt BL. Sliding anterior hemitongue flap for posterior tongue defect reconstruction. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2012;70:2440-4.
  • Lam DK, Holmes HI. Lingual nerve damage during removal of mandibular third molars: a comparison of two surgical methods. Oral Health 2002;92:13-26.
  • Lam DK, Jan A, Sándor GK, Clokie CM; American Heart Association. Prevention of infective endocarditis: revised guidelines from the American Heart Association and the implications for dentists. J Can Dent Assoc 2008;74:449-53.
  • Lam DK, Lawrence HP, Tenenbaum HC. Aural symptoms in temporomandibular disorder patients attending a craniofacial pain unit. J Orofac Pain 2001;15:146-57.
  • Lam DK, Sándor GK, Holmes HI, Carmichael RP, Clokie CM. Marble bone disease: a review of osteopetrosis and its oral health implications for dentists. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:839-43.
  • Lam DK, Sándor GK, Holmes HI, Evans AW, Clokie CM. A review of bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaws and its management. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:417-22.
  • Lam DK, Schmidt BL. Molecular pathogenesis of oral cancer: therapeutic implications. In: Bagheri SC, Bell RB, Khan HA, editors. Current Therapy in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. St. Louis: Mosby/Elsevier, 2011: 92-101.
  • Lam DK, Schmidt BL. Orofacial pain onset predicts transition to head and neck cancer. Pain 2011;15:1206-9. [Featured article on cover.]
  • Lam DK, Schmidt BL. Serine proteases and protease-activated receptor 2-dependent allodynia: a novel cancer pain pathway. Pain 2010;149:263-72.
  • Lam DK, Sessle BJ, Cairns BE, Hu JW. Neural mechanisms of temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscle pain: a possible role for peripheral glutamate receptor mechanisms. Pain Res Manag 2005;10:145-52.
  • Lam DK, Sessle BJ, Cairns BE, Hu JW. Peripheral NMDA receptor modulation of jaw muscle electromyographic activity induced by capsaicin injection into the temporomandibular joint of rats. Brain Res 2005;1046(1-2):68-76.
  • Lam DK, Sessle BJ, Hu JW. Glutamate and capsaicin effects on trigeminal nociception I: activation and peripheral sensitization of deep craniofacial nociceptive afferents. Brain Res 2009;1251:130-9.
  • Lam DK, Sessle BJ, Hu JW. Glutamate and capsaicin effects on trigeminal nociception II: activation and central sensitization in brainstem neurons with deep craniofacial afferent input. Brain Res 2009;1253:48-59.
  • Lam DK, Sessle BJ, Hu JW. Surgical incision can alter capsaicin-induced central sensitization in rat brainstem nociceptive neurons. Neuroscience 2008;156:737-47.
  • Lavigne GJ, Sessle BJ. Canadian Orofacial Pain Team workshop report on the global year against orofacial pain [Lam DK]. Pain Res Manag 2015;20:7-14.
  • Ledderhof NJ, Caminiti MF, Bradley G, Lam DK. Topical 5-fluorouracil is a novel targeted therapy for the keratocystic odontogenic tumor. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2017;75:514-24.
  • Matear, DW, Jaffer F, Lam D. Repairing the toothless grin: the ABCs of dentures. Geriatrics and Aging: A Physician's Guide to the Key Issues and Current Trends in Geriatric Medicine and Research 2000;3:14,20.
  • McGuire TP, Gomes PP, Lam DK, Sándor GK. Cranioplasty for midline metopic suture defects in adults with cleidocranial dysplasia. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2007;103:175-9.
  • Peacock ZS, Lam DK, Cox DP, Schmidt BL. Metastatic epithelioid angiosarcoma to the mandible: report of a case and review of the literature. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2013;42:702-6.
  • Saghafi N, Lam DK, Schmidt BL. Cannabinoids attenuate cancer pain and proliferation in a mouse model. Neurosci Lett 2011;488:247-51.
  • Sándor GKB, Lam DK, Ylikontiola LP, Kainulainen VT, Oikarinen KS, Clokie CML. Autogenous bone harvesting techniques. In: Andersson L, Kahnberg KE, Pogrel MA, editors. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010: 383-403.
  • Sándor GKB, Lam DK, Ylikontiola LP, Kainulainen VT, Oikarinen, KS, Clokie CML. Autogenous bone harvesting techniques. In: Pogrel MA, Kahnberg KE, Andersson L, editors. Essentials of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014: 161-73.
  • Viet CT, Ye Y, Dang D, Lam DK, Achdjian S, Zhang J, Schmidt BL. Re-expression of the methylated EDNRB gene in oral squamous cell carcinoma attenuates cancer-induced pain. Pain 2011;152:2323-32.
  • Ye Y, Dang D, Zhang J, Viet CT, Lam DK, Dolan JC, Gibbs JL, Schmidt BL. Nerve growth factor links oral cancer progression, pain, and cachexia. Mol Cancer Ther 2011;10:1667-76.
  • Diplomate, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (DABOMS)
  • Fellow, Royal College of Dentists of Canada (FRCDC)
  • Memberships
  • American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (2001-Present)
  • American Dental Society (2016-Present)
  • American Pain Society (2017-Present)
  • Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (2004-Present)
  • Canadian Orofacial Pain Team (2013-Present)
  • Canadian Pain Society (2004-Present)
  • International Association for Dental Research (2000-Present)
  • International Association for the Study of Pain (2001-Present)
  • Ontario Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (2004-Present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2001-Present)
  • Suffolk County Dental Society (2017-Present)