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Sara Isabel Pai, MD/PhD

Contact Information

Sara Isabel Pai, MD/PhD

Patient Care Location


Dr. Pai graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a major in biochemistry and molecular biology. After graduating Dartmouth, she completed the MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in which she obtained her PhD training in cancer immunology and vaccines. After completing her residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, she joined its faculty from 2007-14. Subsequently, she joined the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Her research interests focus on better understanding how human papillomavirus (HPV) can evade the immune system and how to reactivate the host immune response against the virus and its related cancer cells through novel immunotherapeutic strategies. She is recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in HPV-associated head and neck cancers and cancer immunotherapy. She is leading several clinical immunotherapy trials and has over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Education & Training

  • MD/PhD
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Cancer Immunology and Vaccines


  • Board Certification
    AB of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (2008, recertified: 2018)

Professional Service

Cancer ResearchDeputy Editor2023 - Present

Departments & Organizations