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John C. Papadimitriou, MD, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:




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Education and Training

MD (Athens, Greece, 1975)

 Dr. Med / Immunology  (Heidelberg, Germany, 1978)

Ph.D. / Pathology  (Univ. of MD, 1990)


Biosketch updated: December 2015

A. Personal Statement

Personal Statement 

I am Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of Surgical Pathology in the department of Pathology. For the past 3 decades I have initiated or participated in multiple clinicopathological studies involving features of the carcinogenesis process, immunopathological mechanisms and steps of cell injury and cell death. As the primary head and neck pathologist in our center, I have extensive clinical and research experience with the utilization of immunomarkers and additional ancillary studies for the diagnosis and subclassification of various pathological processes in this area.


C. Contributions to Science                               

1. My clinical research focus has centered on head and neck pathology, describing and clarifying the features of specific disease entities. Head & Neck Pathology is an extremely complex branch of Pathology, due to its vast heterogeneity. A distinct need for a specialized pathologist in the area is clear, for clinicopathological decisions. Only a small number of pathologists is specialized in this area.


- A phase I dose escalation trial of MAGE-A3- and HPV16-specific peptide immunomodulatory vaccines in patients with recurrent/metastatic (RM) squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

Zandberg DP, Rollins S, Goloubeva O, Morales RE, Tan M, Taylor R, Wolf JS, Schumaker LM, Cullen KJ, Zimrin A, Ord R, Lubek JE, Suntharalingam M, Papadimitriou JC, Mann D, Strome SE, Edelman MJ.

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014 Dec 24. [Epub ahead of print


- Canalicular adenoma--search for the cell of origin: ultrastructural and immunohistochemical analysis of 7 cases and review of the literature.

Huebner TA, Almubarak H, Drachenberg CB, Papadimitriou JC.

Ultrastruct Pathol. 2014 Apr;38(2):74-82. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2013.833564. Epub 2013 Oct 21. Review


- Malignant peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor-peripheral neuroepithelioma of the head and neck: a clinicopathologic study of five cases and review of the literature.

Nikitakis NG, Salama AR, O'Malley BW Jr, Ord RA, Papadimitriou JC.

Head Neck. 2003 Jun;25(6):488-98


Angiectatic nasal polyps that clinically simulate a malignant process: report of 2 cases and review of the literature.

Yfantis HG, Drachenberg CB, Gray W, Papadimitriou JC.

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Mar;124(3):406-10


2. My early publications addressed the defense mechanisms of nucleated cells to the complement mediated cell membrane attack. This work contributed to the understanding of these defenses, including the removal of these lesions from the cell surface, as well as the mechanisms of the ensuing cell death (when these defenses are pharmacologically inhibited) relating to massive calcium influx and adenine nucleotide loss. These studies have had significant impact on understanding complement mediated cell injury and death in various clinical contexts, including antibody mediated allograft rejection.


- Quantitative analysis of adenine nucleotides during the prelytic phase of cell death mediated by C5b-9.

Papadimitriou JC, Ramm LE, Drachenberg CB, Trump BF, Shin ML.

J Immunol. 1991 Jul 1;147(1):212-7.


- Inhibitors of membrane lipid metabolism enhance complement-mediated nucleated cell killing through distinct mechanisms. Papadimitriou JC, Carney DF, Shin ML.

Mol Immunol. 1991 Aug;28(8):803-9.


- Effects of Ca2+ deregulation on mitochondrial membrane potential and cell viability in nucleated cells following lytic complement attack.

Papadimitriou JC, Phelps PC, Shin ML, Smith MW, Trump BF.

Cell Calcium. 1994 Mar;15(3):217-27


- Ultrastructural studies of complement mediated cell death: a biological reaction model to plasma membrane injury. Papadimitriou JC, Drachenberg CB, Shin ML, Trump BF.

Virchows Arch. 1994;424(6):677-85



3. Ultrastructural evaluation of features of human tumors, thus aiding to their diagnosis and understanding of their pathogenesis.

- Giant mitochondria with paracrystalline inclusions in paraganglioma of the urinary bladder: correlation with mitochondrial abnormalities in paragangliomas of other sites.

Papadimitriou JC, Drachenberg CB.

Ultrastruct Pathol. 1994 Nov-Dec;18(6):559-64


- Prostatic marker-negative amphicrine carcinoma of the prostate.

Papadimitriou JC, Weihing RR, Choi C, Drachenberg CB.

Ultrastruct Pathol. 1994 May-Jun;18(3):357-63


- Adult-type granulosa cell tumor, presenting as extraovarian metastases: ultrastructural diagnosis.

Drachenberg CB, Mendenhall S, Papadimitriou JC.

Ultrastruct Pathol. 1996 May-Jun;20(3):231-9


- "Thanatosomes": a unifying morphogenetic concept for tumor hyaline globules related to apoptosis.

Papadimitriou JC, Drachenberg CB, Brenner DS, Newkirk C, Trump BF, Silverberg SG.

Hum Pathol. 2000 Dec;31(12):1455-65


4. Allograft pathology (kidney and pancreas), leading to development of internationally used diagnostic schemas and guidelines for the identification of side effects.


 - Histological grading of chronic pancreas allograft rejection/graft sclerosis.

Papadimitriou JC, Drachenberg CB, Klassen DK, Gaber L, Racusen LC, Voska L, Cangro CB, Ramos E, Wali R, Weir MR, Bartlett ST.

Am J Transplant. 2003 May;3(5):599-605


- Histologic features of mycophenolate mofetil-related colitis: a graft-versus-host disease-like pattern.

Papadimitriou JC, Cangro CB, Lustberg A, Khaled A, Nogueira J, Wiland A, Ramos E, Klassen DK, Drachenberg CB.

Int J Surg Pathol. 2003 Oct;11(4):295-302


- Endothelial injury in renal antibody-mediated allograft rejection: a schematic view based on pathogenesis.

Drachenberg CB, Papadimitriou JC.

Transplantation. 2013 May 15;95(9):1073-83


- Glomerular inflammation in renal allografts biopsies after the first year: cell types and relationship with antibody-mediated rejection and graft outcome.

Papadimitriou JC, Drachenberg CB, Munivenkatappa R, Ramos E, Nogueira J, Sailey C, Klassen DK, Haririan A.

Transplantation. 2010 Dec 27;90(12):1478-85


 5. Polyoma virus infection to human carcinogenesis, particularly in the renourinary system in transplant patients.


- Polyomavirus-cystitis associated with in situ and invasive urothelial carcinoma in a heart transplant recipient: evidence suggesting sequential progression/evolution from infection to carcinoma.

Alexiev BA, Drachenberg CB, Papadimitriou JC.

Transplantation. 2015 Jan;99(1):e3-4


- BK virus-associated urinary bladder carcinoma in transplant recipients: productive or nonproductive polyomavirus infections in tumor cells?--reply.

Alexiev BA, Randhawa P, Drachenberg CB, Papadimitriou JC.

Hum Pathol. 2013 Dec;44(12):2871-2


- Polyomavirus (BK)-associated pleomorphic giant cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder: a case report.

Alexiev BA, Papadimitriou JC, Chai TC, Ramos E, Staats PN, Drachenberg CB.

Pathol Res Pract. 2013 Apr;209(4):255-9


BK virus-associated urinary bladder carcinoma in transplant recipients: report of 2 cases, review of the literature, and proposed pathogenetic model.

Alexiev BA, Randhawa P, Vazquez Martul E, Zeng G, Luo C, Ramos E, Drachenberg CB, Papadimitriou JC.

Hum Pathol. 2013 May;44(5):908-17


Complete list of publications can be found following the following link:


 D. Research Support

 Ongoing Research Support

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission grant 2015-MSCRFI-1638, “Enhanced Expansion of Undifferentiated, Pluripotent Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by NME Proteins”  PI Dr. David Kaetzel (Biochemistry).                                                



Role: Co-investigator
My role is in evaluation of cell transplant morphology in vivo, assessment of angiogenesis, apoptosis, fibrosis, proliferation, senescence and other morphological parameters.


Completed Research Support

Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) (PI:  Wolf)                            07/01/04-06/30/06

Correlation of Chronic Sinusitis and Tobacco Smoke. This project studied the respiratory mucosal epithelial changes in experimental animals chronically exposed to tobacco smoke.


Role:  Co-investigator

My role was to evaluate semiquantitatively the mucosal changes in the respiratory tissue.


DOD/USAMRMC    (PI:  Gullapalli)                                                           11/01/03-10/31/06 Improved Sensitivity and Specificity for Detection of Prostate Cancer


This project studied the sensitivity of imaging techniques in detecting prostatic carcinomas.

Role:  Co-investigator

My role was to evaluate, grade and map the prostatic specimens for the presence of cancer.


Maryland Kidney Foundation  (PI:  J. Papadimitriou)                                                             07/01/09-06/30/11

Role Of Autophagy in Tubular & Glomerular Chronic Lesions


This project studied the presence of autophagy in renal tissues and correlated these findings with function


Role: PI

My work consisted in studying the light and electron microscopic features of the autophagic cellular inclusions and correlate them with renal functional parameters.



Research/Clinical Keywords

Head & Neck Pathology Cell injury - Apoptosis. Transplantation Pathology Renal Pathology,

Research Interests

  • Head and Neck carcinogenesis. 
  • Cell injury and death. 
  • Immunopathological mechanisms. 
  • Polyomavirus associated viral carcinogenesis. 

Clinical Specialty Details

  • Surgical Pathology / Head and Neck Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Immunopathology
  • Renal pathology
  • Transplantation Pathology

Awards and Affiliations

  • 1969 - University Entrance Examination; Entry with Honors
  • 1970 - Examination for the University of Athens Scholarship “A. Papadakis.” Scholarship awarded for the Academic Years, 1970-1975
  • 1973-1974 - “Praise of Excellence” for Proficiency in German Language and Literature, awarded by Goethe-Institut, Athens
  • 1975 - M.D. Degree, magna cum laude
  • 1978 - Doctorate Diploma (Dr. med.), cum laude
  • 1978 - Selected with Honors as Medical Officer of the Greek Navy
  • 1992 - Who’s Who, Platinum Edition
  • 1995 - Selected as one of 15 best teachers in Sophomore Year (Awarded by Class of 1997
  • 2014 - Teaching commendation in Host Defenses & Infectious Diseases Immunology Section
  • 2016 - Top Doctor: Baltimore Magazine

Previous Positions

  • 1972     Research Associate, Department of Internal Medicine and Hematology, City Hospital of Solothurn, Switzerland, under the supervision of Prof. S. Moeschlin, University of Basel
  • 1973         Research Associate, Blood Bank and Department of Immunology, City Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark, under the supervision of Prof. Kissmeyer-Nielsen, University of Aarhus
  • 1976         Research Associate, Laboratory of Histochemistry, Medical Poly-clinic, University of Heidelberg, West Germany
  • 1976- 1978   Research Associate, Institute for Immunology and Serology, University of Heidelberg, West Germany
  • 1986- 1987   Fellow in Surgical Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Maryland
  • 1988- 1991   Instructor, MedicalSchool, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • 1991- 1996   Assistant Professor, Tenure Track, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • 1996- 2002   Associate Professor, Tenured, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • 2002-present Professor, Tenured, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • 1991-present        Director, Surgical Pathology, University of Maryland Medical Center
  • 2009-present Member, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center