Thanos Zavras

Thanos Zavras

(617) 636-0449
Research/Areas of Interest:

Dr. Zavras research interests include health services research and oral epidemiology, including the molecular epidemiology of oral epithelial cancer, bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw, and early childhood caries. Dr. Zavras has conducted the first genome-wide association study of BRONJ to discover regions of genetic susceptibility. He has authored over 80 scientific publications and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals, has been awarded two patents by the USPTO and the European Patent Office and has lectured extensively nationally and internationally.


  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, NY, United States, 2012
  • Doctorate of Medical Sciences in Oral Biology / Epidemiology (DMedSc), Harvard Faculty of Medicine, United States, 1999
  • Master of Science in Epidemiology (MS), Harvard School of Pub Health, USA, 1994
  • Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD), University of Athens, GRC, 1991


Athanasios (Thanos) Zavras, DG93, is the Delta Dental of Massachusetts Professor of Public Health and Community Service, Department Chair and Assistant Dean for faculty advancement at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Zavras holds a D.D.S. degree from Columbia University in New York City and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University. He also holds a M.S. degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Doctoral of Medical Sciences (DMSc) degree in Epidemiology and Oral Biology from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in the specialty of Dental Public Health, also from Harvard.

Dr. Zavras started his academic career at Harvard School of Dental Medicine where he directed the Dental Public Health residency and a vibrant NIH-funded program on the epidemiology of oral cancer and osteonecrosis of the jaw. From 2009-2014, Dr. Zavras served as Professor at Columbia University and Director of the Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. In 2014 he joined Boston University to assume the position of Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Pediatric Dentistry. There, he also served as P.I in two training grants aimed to increase the number of under-represented minorities in the dental specialties of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry and to increase the competence of predoctoral dental students to care for children younger than five.

Dr. Zavras is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. In 2016 he joined the ABDPH as Director-elect. He held the offices of Secretary / Treasurer (2019-20) and Vice President and Auditor (2020-21) and currently serves as President of the Board (2021-22). Dr. Zavras has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and of the International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases. He has been a member and chair of the policy committee of the American Association of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dr Zavras has served at the World Health Organization during the inter-governmental negotiations to establish the first global public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. He has also served as member, advisor or consultant in several national and international committees at the European Commission, the NIH, and the Office of the Inspector General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and elsewhere.

In addition to his academic, research, policy and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Zavras maintains a strong interest in clinical dentistry and he is a practicing dentist.