Mission Statement

Our mission is to increase awareness about oral cancer, as it is a disease that warrants much attention yet seldom receives it.

Our primary objectives are:

1) Promote awareness throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

2) Impact public perception concerning oral cancer prevention, detection, and survival.

3) Educate future dentists about the critical need to screen and educate their patients.

4) Organize  Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk and 5K Run where all proceeds benefit the Oral Cancer Foundation.

With these goals in mind, we hope you will join us in supporting this great cause.



Board Members






Anthony Alberto and Kristianne Macaraeg 

email co-chairs >


Mariah Pewarski 

email treasurer >

Promotions and Media


Chair: Maria Hodapp

Associates: Casey DePauw and Naomi Orbach

email promotion & media >

Registration and Recruitment


Chair: Heather Chiarello

Associates: Shira Butt and Irada Rahman

email registration & recruitment >

Sponsorship and Fundraising


Chair: Catherine Lee

Associates: Taylor Eliades and Roopali Kulkarni and Nicole Massetti

email fundraising >




5K Run/Walk Coordinators

IMG_4039Chair: Jyoti Suryadevara

Associates: Soren Christensen and Catherine Graham

email 5K coordinators >

Oral Screenings

IMG_4037Chair: Jamie Lowstetter

Associates: Saro Atam and Mona Sobhani

email oral screening >

Public Relations

Chair: Blaine Guenther 

Associates: Fatima Naqvi and Matthew Siracusa

email public relations >

D1 Representatives


Billy Buchbinder and Marie-Elena Cronin




Kelly Chuang

email technology >




Faculty Advisors



Joan Gluch, RDH, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor
Director of Community Oral Health
Interim Chief, Division of Community Oral Health
Associate Dean for Academic Policies
Dr. Joan Gluch serves as course director for four academically based service-learning community health courses in the predoctoral program at Penn Dental Medicine, and participates in the PennSmiles education, screening, sealant and dental treatment program as well as the Oral Health Outreach Program for individuals with HIV disease. Dr. Gluch directs the Community Health Honors programs, and also serves as program faculty for the interprofessional education program, Bridging the Gaps. Dr. Gluch’s research interests focus on expanding access to oral health promotion and clinical care in community based settings.



Thomas P. Sollecito, DMD, FDS, RCS

Chair and Professor of Oral Medicine
Dr. Sollecito is Chair of the Department of Oral Medicine and Professor of Oral Medicine. Dr. Sollecito is an Attending in Oral Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a Clinical Associate at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a reviewer for Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology and the Journal of the American Dental Association. He is a Fellow and Diplomate in Hospital Dentistry of Special Care in Dentistry Organization. He is also a member of OKU, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Oral Medicine. He is a Diplomate in Oral Medicine and he has authored numerous papers and chapters related to various topics in Oral Medicine including facial pain, mucosal disease, and treatment of medically complex dental patients.

Faizan Alawi, DDS

Associate Professor of Pathology
Assistant Dean of Curriculum
Director, Penn Oral Pathology Services
Dr. Alawi's research focuses on the role of the dyskeratosis congenita 1 gene (DKC1) in influencing cellular proliferation, genomic stability and cellular transformation via the oncoprotein c-MYC. c-MYC is one of the most important cellular proteins; it directly and indirectly regulates many of our most fundamental biological functions. Upregulation of c-MYC, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several different cancer types, including oral cancer.


Anh D. Le, DDS, PhD

Chair and Norman Vine Endowed Professor of Oral Rehabilitation
Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology
Dr. Le’s research focuses on investigating mesenchymal stem cells from adult oral tissues. Together with collaborators, she isolated and characterized adult stem cells from gingival tissue—a discovery she patented while at USC. Dr. Le proposed a new mechanism by which stem cells may aid wound healing by modifying the environment of the wound. This new concept, that stem cells are the conductors rather than the musicians in the orchestra of wound repair, earned Dr. Le and her colleagues NIH funding and a wealth of new avenues of research to explore, all aimed at regenerating missing craniofacial tissue.
Content for this page was provided by the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine at www.dental.upenn.edu