UW School of Dentistry

Adel Assaad


To Oral Pathology Biopsy Service Providers

Ref: Welcoming Dr. Assaad to OPBS

Dear Colleagues,

As most of you know, I have been the sole Oral Pathologist at the UWSOD Oral Pathology Biopsy Service (OPBS) for well over a year now. To meet the needs for daily oral biopsy evaluations for our growing community, it was of paramount importance that the OPBS hire a second pathologist, and that this person be a highly skilled, excellent diagnostician. I am very happy to announce that we have found an exceptionally qualified, board certified Head and Neck Pathologist to read oral biopsy specimens for us one week per month.

I am honored to present to you my colleague Adel Assaad MD. Dr. Assaad has served as Chief of Pathology at Virginia Mason from 2015-2017 and has been a Pathologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center since 2007. Prior to moving to Seattle, he was an Assistant Professor at the Columbia University Medical Center from 2005 to 2007.

Dr. Assaad received his MD degree from a highly competitive Medical School in the Middle East, the American University of Beirut, in 2000. After graduation, he spent a year as an intern in Anatomic Pathology at the same institution. Dr. Assaad then came to the United States to continue his pathology training in the prestigious Anatomic Pathology residency program at Columbia University Medical Center. He began his residency there in 2001 and completed it in 2004, serving as Chief Resident in Anatomic Pathology at Columbia University Medical Center from 2003 to 2004. He then completed one year Fellowship (2004 to 2005) in Head & Neck and Endocrine Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, widely acknowledged as one of the best programs in the country for Head & Neck Pathology. In 2005, he became board certified in Anatomic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

In addition to his work as a clinician, Dr. Assaad has collaborated over the years in a number of research projects, including investigations of gene expression in pulmonary and thyroid cancer, genetic alterations in head and neck squamous cell cancer, and the roles of gene mutations and HPV and EBV in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He serves on the Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Pathology Review at Virginia Mason and has served on the ENT Tumor Board Pathology Review at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Furthermore, he taught medical students at Columbia University while on the faculty there. His 25 publications cover the areas of his research collaborations, as well as clinical descriptions of salivary duct carcinoma and other salivary gland tumors, and more.

It is rare enough to encounter a colleague who is so well trained, experienced and knowledgeable in the area of Head and Neck Pathology. It is rarer still to find someone who, throughout their academic and clinical career, has managed to maintain the all important perspective that what matters most is patient care and the welfare of the patient.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Assaad to OPBS. His contact information is:

Dr. Adel Assaad
Virginia Mason Medical Center
1100 Ninth Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-223-6861
Email: adel.assaad@virginiamason.org

Dr. Assaad and I look forward to continuing to provide our valued colleagues with prompt and accurate oral pathology diagnoses, and an open door and phone line for questions and discussions.

Wishing you all the very best as we also now welcome spring.

Dolphine Oda, BDS, MSC
Professor & Director
Oral Pathology Biopsy Service

Dr. Assaad CV (PDF).

Dolphine Oda


Dolphine Oda is Professor of Oral Pathology in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the director of the UW’s Oral Pathology Biopsy Service. Dr. Oda is also on the medical staff at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. In 2009, she became the second faculty member in the history of the School of Dentistry to be inducted into the UW’s prestigious Teaching Academy.

Dr. Oda’s research interests have spanned various topics over the years. They have included epithelial (oral, pancreatic, and gallbladder) cell carcinogenesis, cell culture, human papillomavirus and oral cancer, and chemical carcinogenesis. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications. For the last ten years, she has authored the popular online series Case of the Month, an interactive monthly publication that aims to provide dental practitioners with up-to-date information about various forms of oral pathology that they are likely to encounter in their practices. Her research has been funded through grants from several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and CHIRON. In 2013, Dr. Oda will be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Oda also has an extensive and highly distinguished record in teaching and public scholarship. She was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, the UW’s highest honor for outstanding teaching, in 2009. She received her first School of Dentistry teaching award in 1987 and has since been awarded 27 annual teaching awards within the School as of 2013. She was also the recipient of the School of Dentistry’s Bruce R. Rothwell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. Dr. Oda has designed and taught 14 predoctoral and postdoctoral courses on a regular basis for the School of Dentistry since 1986, including the standard two-quarter second-year survey of oral pathology for dental students taught annually. In addition, she has taught over 130 separate courses and over 120 lectures to public dental practitioners throughout Washington State and beyond, including Alaska, Utah, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Chile, and Venezuela. She has also frequently taught lessons to elementary and middle-school students on a volunteer basis.

Dr. Oda received her BDS from the University of Baghdad in 1975 and her MSc in Surgical Pathology from the University of Manitoba, School of Medicine in 1981. She has also trained in oral pathology at Indiana University School of Dentistry. She brings over thirty years of experience in reading biopsies to the UW’s Biopsy Service in addition to her exceptional history of service to the regional dental community.

Clinical Interests

  • Oral Cancer
  • Bone Pathology
  • Vesiculobullous Diseases

Research Interests

  • Oral cancer molecular and genetic alterations and treatment
  • Tobacco carcinogenesis and antioxidant role in prevention of oral carcinogenesis in vitro tissue engineering