Dr Syed Ali Khurram

BDS, MSc., PhD., MFDS RCS (Edinburgh), CiLT, FHEA, FRC Path.

School of Clinical Dentistry

Senior Clinical Lecturer

Honorary Consultant Pathologist

Staff Profile
+44 114 215 9378

Full contact details

Dr Syed Ali Khurram
School of Clinical Dentistry
19 Claremont Crescent
S10 2TA

I was appointed as a Senior Clinical Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology in September 2016. Prior to that, I worked as a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer/ Honorary Specialist Registrar (Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology) at the University of Sheffield from August 2011 to 2015. I undertook my PhD at Sheffield Dental School as well successfully completing it in March 2008. Since then I have worked as a Senior House Officer in Oral Medicine/Pathology at Cardiff Dental Hospital and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, Sheffield in addition to two years with the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department in Sheffield.

Being a clinical academic, I have a strong interest in teaching and research as well as clinical/diagnostic head and neck pathology. In addition to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, I am continually involved in clinical audits and service reviews relevant to surgical and pathological aspects of patient care.

Research interests

One of my main interests is the role of tumour microenvironment (TME), stroma and epithelial mesenchymal transition in cancer progression, bone invasion, metastasis and extracapsular spread.

My main clinical research interest is studying metastasis and extracapsular spread in oral cancer or oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) as it reduces the 5-year patient survival by 80-85%. In addition, I have also been working on a number of collaborative projects involving surgical and treatment interventions in cancer patients.

One of my research interests is in the interaction of chemokine receptors and their ligands in inflammatory and neoplastic disease. Our previous work showed expression of the XCR1 receptor outside the immune system for the first time where it facilitated cancer cell signalling, migration, invasion, proliferation in addition to stimulating adhesion to ECM components and release of Matrix Metalloproteinases.

I am also actively involved in exploring the application of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning to Pathology and am working on a large number of national and international collaborative projects exploring ‘novel digital biomarkers’ in cancers and pre-cancers. I have recently been awarded a Project Grant (WORTH £405k) by Cancer Research UK which aims to use AI for prognosis prediction in oral pre-cancer.


Journal articles

Research group


  • Hanya Mahmood (NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Oral Surgery)
  • PhD- Areeg Elmusrati
  • Mariem Elsharief
  • Ibrahim Alsanie
  • Anna Araujo-visiting student from Brazil
  • MSc (Saleh AlGhamdi)
  • Finished PhD students (Alice Pilborough, Amir Zaki Abdullah Zubir)
Teaching activities
  • Lead- Oral Disease Theme (DEN 503/504)
  • Lead- Oral Pathology teaching (undergraduate)
  • Module Lead (MMedSci) - ORP611- Advanced Oral Histopathology
Professional activities

Reviewer for the following journals:

  • British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Caries Research
  • OOO Journal (Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology)
  • Oral Surgery
  • Journal of Clinical Pathology
  • British Journal of Cancer


In my current position, I am a part of the histopathological diagnostic service provided by the Unit. This includes macroscopic description and reporting of routine biopsies and major head and neck cancer resection cases. The department works closely with the Maxillofacial Surgery department and cases are discussed at weekly Regional Multidisciplinary Head and Neck cancer Meetings. I am also involved in training of Dental Core Trainees (DCTs) and Specialist Registrars (StRs). My main interest is cancer pathology, in particular head and neck cancer and salivary gland tumours.

  • Clinical Lead- Diagnostic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Service, Sheffield
  • Webmaster- British Society for Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Organiser- IAOP 2020 Meeting, London Committee
  • Chair- European Congress on Digital Pathology