I was part of the multiple research programs of the department focusing on early detection and prevention of oral cancer. As a part of the DBT- Wellcome Trust India Alliance-Research Training Fellowship Program, I was working on “Molecular cytology of oral potentially malignant and malignant lesions” wherein the primary goal is to improve on oral cytology as a detection method by including molecular markers.
In addition, I was part of the 5 year NIH grant (UH2EB022623) on “Low cost oral mobile cancer screening for low resource setting” initiated in 2016 in collaboration with University of Arizona” as a Co-Investigator. I was involved in hypothesis generation and grant writing and work has contributed towards the drafting of the proposal “Phase IIb/III study to determine efficacy of Curcumin and Metformin to reduce the incidence of second primary tumors of aero-digestive tract in patients with history of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma” a National Cancer Grid funded clinical trial that is currently ongoing. This is in addition to the successful sanction of the RTF fellowship by the Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance.
During my previous association with the research program in head and neck oncology, I was involved in evaluating OCT-based (NIH-DBT funded; A Low-Cost Simple Oral Cancer Screening Device for Low-Resource Setting) and fluorescent lectin-based imaging for early detection and/or surgical margin delineation. Additionally, I was instrumental in the efforts initiated in the lab for mobile health, both for mobile phone based imaging (Oncogrid- A mobile health (m-Health) approach to prevention and early diagnosis of oral cancer in Rural south India; collaborated with Boston University) and for telecytology.
- BDS: Amrita School of Dentistry, AIMS Kochi, Kerala (2003 -2008)
- MDS (Oral Medicine and Radiology): KLE’s Institute of Dental Sciences, Bangalore (2010 - 2013)
- Wellcome-Trust Fellow (Molecular Biology in Oral Cancer): Research Training Fellowship, Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance (2016 - 2019)
- Other qualification: PGD (Data Science), IIITB, Bangalore (2019 - 2020)
Post held in past
- August 2013 to January 2020: Senior House Officer/Registrar, Head and Neck Oncology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited, Bangalore
- January 2013 to till now – Research Associate in DSRG-5, Mazumadar Shaw Center for Translational Research, MSMF, Bangalore
- September 2018 to till now – Ph.D. Scholar from MAHE, Mangalore India
- January 2020 to till now- Consultant, Head and Neck Oncology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Hrudayalaya Limited, Bommasandra Indl Area, Bangalore
- December 2020 to till now – MSc (Data Science) student; LJMU, UK
Fields of Expertise
- Oral Physician- Oral Cancer/Pre-Cancer diagnosis, Diagnosis and Management of Oral lesions, TMJ Disorders, Salivary Gland diseases, Oro-Facial Pain
- Data Science
- Molecular Biology in Oral Cancer
- Basic and Clinical Research
Awards & Recognition
- 2012: Best Paper on “Comparison of the accuracy and reliability of linear transtomography and CBCT in dental implant site measurements” on IAOMR P.G. convention 2012 held on 25th & 26th Aug 2012 at Guntur Vijayawada
- 2012: 3rd prize in Paper presentation on “Comparison of the Hounsfield units in CBCT with Spiral CT in dry human mandibles” on Kerala dental meet 2012 held at Thrissur on 20th Oct 2012
- 2016: Awarded the First Prize in a poster presentation on “Field Screening of Oral Cancer Using Optical Coherence Tomography” in AHNS 9th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer on July 16-20, 2016, Washington State Convention Centre, Seattle, WA
- 2016: Awarded Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians by Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance in 2016
- 2018: Won the first prize in Hack the paper presentation conducted by MSMF collaborated with Siemens Healthineers and Garage5B
- 2018: Awarded Young Scientist award by International Association of Research and Development Organization
- 2018: Best poster awarded on “Point of procedure delineation of oral cancer margins using Optical Coherence Tomography” in 18th National meet of the foundation of Head and Neck Oncology and International Federation of Head and Neck Oncology societies world tour Kolkotta
Contributions to Science
mHealth platform for oral cancer surveillance. We have demonstrated the feasibility of mobile phone technology (mHealth) to empower frontline health workers and primary care dentist for oral cancer surveillance.
- Birur PN, Sunny SP, Jena S, Kandasarma U, Raghavan S, Ramaswamy B, Shanmugam SP, Patrick S, Kuriakose R, Mallaiah J, Suresh A, Chigurupati R, Desai R, Kuriakose MA. Mobile health application for remote oral cancer surveillance J Am Dent Assoc. 2015 Dec; 46 (12):886-94.
- Praveen Birur N, Keerthi Gurushanth, Sanjana Patrick, Sumsum P. Sunny, A R Shubhasini, Shubha Gurudath, Usha Hegde, Vidya Tiwari, Vipin Jain, Mohammed Imran, Pratima Rao, Moni Abraham Kuriakose. The role of community health worker in a mobile health program for early detection of oral cancer. Indian J Cancer. 2019 Apr-Jun;56(2):107-113. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_232_18.
- N Praveen Birur, Sanjana Patrick, Suchitra Bajaj, 4Shubhasini Raghavan, Amritha Suresh, Sumsum P Sunny Radhika Chigurupati, Petra Wilder-Smith, Keerthi Gurushanth, Shubha Gurudath, Pratima Rao, Moni A Kuriakose. A Novel Mobile Health Approach to Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer. September 2018 The journal of contemporary dental practice 19(9):1122-1128
Tele- cytology and Artificial Intelligence for cancer detection. mHealth extended to telecytology (Cellscope) that transmit cytology images to connect cytolopathologist with frontline health workers. With collaboration with IISc we developed automated image analysis pipelines and trained ANN based image classification.
- Skandarajah A, Sunny SP, Gurpur P, Reber CD, D'Ambrosio MV, Raghavan N, James BL, Ramanjinappa RD, Suresh A, Kandasarma U, Birur P, Kumar VV, Galmeanu HC, Itu AM, Modiga-Arsu M8, Rausch S, Sramek M, Kollegal M, Paladini G, Kuriakose M, Ladic L, Koch F, Fletcher D. Mobile microscopy as a screening tool for oral cancer in India: A pilot study. PLoS One. 2017 Nov27;12(11):e0188440
- Sumsum Sunny, Arun Baby, Bonney Lee James, Dev Balaji, Aparna N V, Maitreya H Rana, Praveen Gurpur, Arunan Skandarajah, Michael D’Ambrosio, Ravindra Doddathimmasandra Ramanjinappa, Sunil Paramel Mohan, Nisheena Raghavan, Uma Kandasarma, Sangheetha N, Subhasini Raghavan, Naveen Hedne, Felix Koch, Daniel A. Fletcher, Sumithra Selvam, Manohar Kollegal, Praveen Birur N, Lance Ladic, Amritha Suresh, Hardik J Pandya, Moni Abraham Kuriakose. A smart tele-cytology point-of-care platform for oral cancer screening. PLoS One. 2019; 14(11): e0224885.
Optical imaging and Automated diagnosis: An automated image detection and analysis platform was developed in collaboration with University of Arizona and Beckmen lasr institute. Automated image analysis platform was developed.
- Bofan Song, Sumsum Sunny, Ross D. Uthoff, Sanjana Patrick, Amritha Suresh, Trupti Kolur, G. Keerthi, Afarin Anbarani, Petra Wilder-Smith, Moni Abraham Kuriakose, Praveen Birur, Jeffrey J. Rodriguez, and Rongguang Liang. Automatic classification of dual-modalilty, smartphone-based oral dysplasia and malignancy images using deep learning. • Biomedical Optics Express Vol. 9, Issue 11, pp. 5318-5329 (2018)
- Ross D. Uthoff, Bofan Song, Praveen Birur, Moni Abraham Kuriakose, Sumsum Sunny, Amritha Suresh, Sanjana Patrick, Afarin Anbarani, Oliver Spires, Petra Wilder-Smith, Rongguang Liang, "Development of a dual modality, dual-view smartphone-based imaging system for oral cancer detection," Proc. SPIE 10486, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI, 104860V (19 February 2018)
- Sumsum P. Sunny, Sagar Agarwal, Bonney Lee James, Emon Heidari, Anjana Muralidharan,Vishal Yadav, Vijay Pillai, Vivek Shetty, Zhongping Chen, Naveen Hedne, Petra Wilder-Smith, Amritha Suresh, Moni Abraham Kuriakose. Intra-operative point-of-procedure delineation of oral cancer margins using optical coherence tomography. Oral Oncology 92 (May 2019) 12–19
- Andrew E. Heidari, Sumsum P. Sunny, Bonney L. James, Tracie Lam, Anne V. Tran, Junxiao Yu, Ravindra D. Ramanjinappa, Uma K, Praveen Birur, Amritha Suresh, Moni A. Kuriakose, Zhongping Chen, Petra Wilder-Smith. Optical Coherence Tomography as an Oral Cancer Screening Adjunct in a Low Resource Settings. IEE September 2018 PP(99):1-1
Molecular Imaging: We have demonstrated that carcinogenesis results in altered glycan expression and nuclear damage on oral cancer cells. Paired normal and tumor tissue from oral squamous cell carcinoma, oral pre-cancer and benign lesions diagnosed were investigated for sialic acid expression via the legume protein wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)/PariFL. Fluorophore conjugated WGA/ParpiFL was topically applied to the tissue samples and imaged using a custom wide-field fluorescence imaging system.
- Alexander Johnson, John Baeten, Ketan Patel, Molly Killian, Sumsum Sunny, Amritha Suresh, K. Uma, Praveen Birur, Moni Kuriakose, Deepak Kademani Evaluation of a Lectin-Based Imaging System for the Chairside Detection of Oral Dysplasia and Malignancy Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: March 25, 2019
- Baeten J, Johnson A, Sunny S, Suresh A, Birur P, Uma K, Kademani D. Chairside molecular imaging of aberrant glycosylation in subjects with suspicious oral lesions using fluorescently labeled wheat germ agglutinin. Head Neck. 2017 Sep 30.
- Susanne Kossatz, Giacomo Pirovano, Paula Demétrio De Souza França, Arianna L. Strome, Sumsum P. Sunny, Daniella Karassawa Zanoni, Audrey Mauguen, Brandon Carney, Christian Brand, Veer Shah, Ravindra D. Ramanajinappa, Naveen Hedne, Praveen Birur, Smita Sihag, Ronald A. Ghossein, Mithat Gönen, Marshall Strome, Amritha Suresh, Daniela Molena, Ian Ganly, Moni A. Kuriakose, Snehal G. Patel, Thomas Reiner. Validation of the use of a fluorescent PARP1 inhibitor for the detection of oral, oropharyngeal and oesophageal epithelial cancers Nat Biomed Eng. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2020 Sep 12.
Chemoprevention: We have demonstrated that cancer initiating cells (CIC) and their niche plays a role during progression of oral dysplastic lesions to invasive carcinoma. Subsequently, we have then demonstrated in a cohort of patient with oral potentially malignant lesions (OPML) that both CIC as well as its niche marker (SDF-1, CXCR-4, CD31) expressions increases with higher grades of dysplasia of OPML. In addition, exposure of oral dysplastic cells to tobacco extract increased the expression of oral cancer CIC (CD44, CD133, ALHD1A1) as well as proliferation (Ki67) and differentiation (CK-14) markers. Treatment of these cells with oral cancer chemo preventive agents (Retinoids and Curcumin) led to abolition of the expression of proliferation and differentiation markers, however only partially suppressed CIC markers.
Siddappa G, Kulsum S, Ravindra DR, Kumar VV, Raju N, Raghavan N, Sudheendra HV, Sharma A, Sunny SP, Jacob T, Kuruvilla BT, Benny M, Antony B, Seshadri M, Lakshminarayan P, Hicks W Jr, Suresh A, Kuriakose MA. Curcumin and metformin-mediated chemoprevention of oral cancer is associated with inhibition of cancer stem cells. Mol Carcinog. 2017 Nov; 56(11):2446-2460.
- Patent filed in September 2018 Title: Molecular marker based oral cytology for detection of potentially malignant and malignant. App. Number: TEMP/E-1/37769/2018-CHE
Key Procedures Performed
- Management of oral mucosal lesion
- Oro-facial pain
- TMJ disorders
- Oral Cancer and Pre-Cancer Imaging
- Early diagnosis of oral cancer
- Management of Pre-cancer lesion
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