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Photo of Adami, Guy

Guy Adami, PhD

Associate Professor

Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences


Building & Room:



801 S. Paulina Street, IL 60612


Guy R. Adami is an Associate Professor of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. He uses cellular and microbial RNA  analysis to create large gene and metatransciptomic datasets in order to study oral health in aging and disease. This requires computational genomic approaches to better understand how changes in oral tissue gene expression relate to normal aging and oral soft tissue diseases like oral cancer.

Dr. Adami has collaborated with Joel Schwartz, an oral pathologist, and Antonia Kolokythas, an oral surgeon,  on oral soft tissue disease. The major area of this focus is the development of noninvasive techniques for gene expression analysis of oral mucosa disease sites including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and oral lichen planus. He  applied this technology to measurement of changes in oral epithelium miRNA expression after green tea exposure in a 15-person pilot study. Together with microbial geneticist Stefan Green, he worked to apply Next Generation Sequencing methodologies for studying oral microbiome data. This work led to the proposal that oral bacteria play the main role in the oral response to green tea polyphenols. More recently his group used measurement of microbiota at two cancer prone sites in marijuana (MJ) users to gain insight into how usage of this drug may change oral mucosa an lead to throat cancer.

Early work in the laboratory with postdoctoral fellow, Steven Robles, was the first to show that the process of cellular senescence can be induced by DNA damaging agents. Using extensive gene expression analysis, they also showed that replicative senescence in endstage cultures is a form of DNA damage induced cell cycle arrest. Since replicative senescence was known to correlate with telomere erosion this work for the first time provided proof for the link between the two effects. This work has been cited over 300 times. The experiments hinted at the idea that agents causing cell stress not only may cause cells to undergo a permanent block to proliferation but also may cause aging. A prediction of this and other work was that these senescent cells may contribute to aging in vivo. After several years of work his laboratory was able to devise a method to detect these senescent cells in vivo – a measure of functional age.

Selected Publications

Adami, GR, Tangey, C, Schwartz, JL and KD Dang. Gut/Oral bacteria variability may explain the high efficacy of green tea in rodent tumor inhtion and it absence in humans. Molecules. (In press)

Boullerne, A, Adami GR, Schwartz, JL 2, Skia, D, Maienschein-Cline, M, Green, S.J. Feinstein, DL Deep DNA metagenomic sequencing reveals oral microbiome divergence between monozygotic twins discordant for multiple sclerosis severity. J Neuroimmunol  2020 Jun 15;343:577237. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2020.577237. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Newman TM, Krishnan LP, Lee J, Adami GR. Microbiomic differences at cancer-prone oral mucosa sites with marijuana usage. Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 3;9(1):12697. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48768-z. PubMed PMID: 31481657; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6722050.

Zhou Y, Sinha S, Schwartz JL, Adami GR. A subtype of oral, laryngeal, esophageal, and lung, squamous cell carcinoma with high levels of TrkB-T1 neurotrophin receptor mRNA. BMC Cancer. 2019 Jun 20;19(1):607. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5789-8.

Gazdeck RK, Fruscione SR, Adami GR*, Zhou Y, Cooper LF, Schwartz JL. Diversity of the oral microbiome between dentate and edentulous individuals. Oral Dis. 2019 Apr;25(3):911-918. doi: 10.1111/odi.13039. *corresponding author

Adami GR, Tangney CC, Tang JL, Zhou Y, Ghaffari S, Naqib A, Sinha S, Green SJ, Schwartz JL. Effects of green tea on miRNA and microbiome of oral epithelium. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 12;8(1):5873. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22994-3.

Adami GR, O’Callaghan TN, Kolokythas A, Cabay RJ, Zhou Y, Schwartz JL. A loss of profilin-1 in late-stage oral squamous cell carcinoma. J Oral Pathol Med. 2017 Aug;46(7):489-495. doi: 10.1111/jop.12523.

Adami GR, Tang JL, Markiewicz MR. Improving accuracy of RNA-based diagnosis and prognosis of oral cancer by using noninvasive methods. Oral Oncol. 2017 Jun;69:62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2017.04.001.

Research Currently in Progress

Oral Microbiome and aging
Measuring gene expression in humans noninvasively
Computational Genomic approaches to understanding cancer
Rapid, non-invasive, gene expression based diagnosis of oral cancer
Changes in cells that occur with aging