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Robert D. Burk, M.D.

Robert D. Burk, M.D.

Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research, Department of Pediatrics

Professor, Microbiology & Immunology

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health

Professor, Epidemiology and Population Health

Attending Physician, Pediatrics, the Children's Hospital at Montefiore

Human papillomavirus (HPV)Cervical cancer screeningMolecular evolution

Dr. Burk is an authority on the genomics and evolution of human papillomaviruses (HPV), which cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer. His team was the first to report, in the New England Journal of Medicine, that the vast majority of HPV infections in young women are short-lived and don’t require treatment. More recently, his lab is utilizing Next-Gen sequencing to study papillomavirus genomics and methylation of the viral genome. His lab utilized this new technology to identify HPV16 and beta- and gamma-HPVs associated with head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCCs).

Dr. Burk is also currently investigating the role of the human microbiome and cervical HPV natural history. He is a co-PI on a grant with Drs. Kaplan and Rob Knight (UCSD) studying the human gut microbiome and obesity and diabetes in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Dr. Burk’s lab has pioneered translational studies of the human microbiome by developing home collection kits that have been used to collect over 5,000 samples.

Dr. Burk was elected in 2015 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).