Dr. Gillison and I have celebrating more than a decade and a half of working together, as mentor and student, and of OCF donors sponsoring her breakthrough HPV research that completely changed our understanding of oropharyngeal cancer etiology, its viral transmission, and so much more over many peer reviewed published papers in scientific journals. It’s hard to believe we are now in out 17th year together, and the foundation’s latest collaboration with her was the breakthrough immune checkpoint inhibitor work which is changing cancer treatments not just in head and neck, but across a wide variety of other cancers as well. Immunotherapeutics are the future.

This image shows Dr. Maura Gillison (center back row) at the James Cancer Center at OSU, with her research team. Dr. Gillison has been on the OCF Science Advisory Board for more than a decade, and OCF has been a financial sponsor of much of her work along with the National Cancer Institute and many others. Her peer reviewed published paper in 2000, when she was at Johns Hopkins, established the link between HPV16 and oral cancer, and her work and many publications since then has elucidated important components of this oral cancer etiology. She was the first to publish on the demographics of who gets HPV+ disease, transmission methods, survival advantage of this cause over the historic causes, and much more. OCF is proud to have this long-term relationship with Dr. Gillison, and continues to support her work. In this photo you can she she supports OCF as well, as she and her entire research team sport the OCF “Make Oral Cancer History” wristbands.