Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, DDS, MPH, PhD, MS

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Dr. Momen-Heravi is an Associate Professor at the College of Dental Medicine, a clinician-scientist, a board-certified periodontist, and a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Momen-Heravi is founder and director of the head and neck cancer research group at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and directs a research program focused on cancer biology and immunology/periodontal disease. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in high-impact journals in basic and translational science and in dentistry. Her contributions to research and her scholarly activity have been nationally and internationally recognized. Dr. Momen-Heravi’s research program is supported by the National Institutes of Health and by several foundations.

Dr. Momen-Heravi is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the AACR-The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research ‘Science of the Patient’ award, the Anne D. Haffajee award from the American Association for Dental Research, the Dr. Walter Cohen Teaching Award from the American Academy of Periodontology, the AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Award, the Balint Orban Memorial Award from American Academy of Periodontology, the IADR Periodontal Research group Past Presidents’ Travel Award, the American Association of Immunologists Award, the Educator Scholarship from the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award, the Melvin L. Morris Research Fellowship Award, the Translational Therapeutics (TRx) and Accelerating Cancer Therapeutics (ACT) Award, the Kenneth Siegel Award, a Volpe Prize travel Award, the Dr. Paul Tannenbaum and Dr. Robert Schoor Memorial Competition Award from the Northeastern Society of Periodontists, a travel award from Society of Leukocyte Biology, and the Murray Schwartz Scholarship Award in Postdoctoral Periodontics.

Dr. Momen-Heravi received her DDS in 2010. She completed several years of fundamental research in molecular biology and immunology at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received a PhD degree from the University of Westminster, UK, in molecular biology/biotechnology. She also received an MPH degree from Harvard University, with a concentration in quantitative methods and biostatistics. Dr. Momen-Heravi completed a clinical residency and received a Master of Science in Periodontics from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and is a board-certified periodontist. 

Dr. Momen-Heravi's laboratory is focused on understanding the interplay between the immune system, tumor microenvironment, and tumors to identify actionable molecular targets for head and neck cancer and other solid tumor treatments. Her lab examines the role of extracellular vesicles/exosomes in metastasis and mediating cellular cross talk, and uses genetic engineering and RNA interferences (RNAi) to modify tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment with the goal of developing novel cancer therapeutics. Her laboratory also explores the role of innate immunity in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and its convergence with diabetes and carcinogenesis using single-cell RNA sequencing and mechanistic studies.

Dr. Momen-Heravi takes pride in treating patients and provides service in dental implant surgery and all aspects of oral medicine, periodontics, and periodontal surgical procedures, including soft tissue oral surgeries and bone reconstruction procedures. As the director of an NIH-funded laboratory and researcher in cancer and periodontal disease, Dr. Momen-Heravi is passionate about providing care to cancer patients and has a multi-disciplinary approach to oral health rehabilitation. As a clinician-scientist who studies oral diseases, she is dedicated to educating, preventing, and treating patients with periodontal disease using minimally invasive and surgical approaches. At the very core of her dental practice, Dr. Momen-Heravi’s goal is to provide patients with patient-centric personalized, evidence-based, and attentive dental care. 

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Dental Extractions and Bone Grafts
  • Dental Implant
  • Dental Implant Surgery
  • Dental Surgery
  • Oral Cancer
  • Oral Lesions
  • Oral Medicine
  • Periodontal Surgery
  • Periodontal Therapy

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Dental Medicine


  • Female

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Insurance Accepted


  • Dental PPO


  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Columbia Employee Dental Plan

Quality Health Management

  • Quality Health Management


  • Columbia Employee Dental Plan

World Trade Center Health Plan

  • World Trade Center Health Plan

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We strive to understand the biological mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis mediated by tumor immune cell interactions and edit innate immune cells to combat cancer as well as understand the role of innate immunity in periodontal disease and low-grade inflammation. We have the following active projects in the laboratory:

1. Understanding the role of exosomes in head and neck cancer progression and cancer immunomodulation

We are interested in understanding the role of exosomes/extracellular vesicles in modulating the tumor microenvironment, facilitating metastasis, and mediating cellular cross talk. We use advanced tools of biochemistry, molecular biology, and synthetic biology to identify and interrogate the key players and mechanistic principles underlying intercellular communications. Ultimately, we hope to develop a total biological understanding of how exosomes function in the pathogenesis of cancer. We are also interested in the development of novel genome editing technologies to facilitate these experiments.

2. Genome Engineering For Cancer Treatment and Modulating Immune Response

Our team utilizes the CRISPR-CAS9 system to edit the immune system to be able to engineer tumor associated macrophages to combat cancer. In this project we target the key elements of tumor associated macrophages, including HIF-1α, arginase 1, and the PD-L1-PD1 pathway to reverse the tumor suppressive phenotype of macrophages. The result of our work can be applicable to different tumors and activate an anti-tumor immune response. Using similar approach our lab use CRISPR-CAS9 system to engineer monocytes/macrophages to control progression of periodontal disease.

3. The role of monocyte / macrophage signaling in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and periodontitis are chronic diseases affecting millions of people globally and have long been considered biologically linked. Although pro-oxidative, pro-inflammatory and catabolic effects have been described as mechanisms underlying the enhanced periodontal bone loss in diabetes, the upstream events involving innate immunity involvement and activation are still not fully understood. Our preliminary results indicate the activation of a subset of transcription factors that are dysregulated in both diabetes and periodontal disease. This activation polarizes macrophages to a hyperinflammatory phenotype. By understanding these mechanisms and key molecular drivers, we are looking to pinpoint targetable molecules to reverse this hyper inflammatory phenotype in periodontitis with and without diabetes.

4. Developing biomarkers and treatment response monitoring tools for the screening of patients with solid tumors

Immune checkpoint blockade therapy has shown successful clinical outcomes in the treatment of various solid tumors such as head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and others. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors work best in patients who exhibit certain tumor biomarkers. In a collaboration with the Department of Hematology Oncology, the Department of Systems Biology, and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University we aim to identify biomarkers which are associated with treatment outcome in patients with solid tumors who underwent immunotherapy.

Research Interests

  • CRISPR/Cas9 & Targeted Genome Editing
  • Exosomes/ Extracellular vesicles
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Innate immunity
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Tumor Biology

Selected Publications


1: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S. Extracellular vesicles in oral squamous carcinoma carry oncogenic miRNA profile and reprogram monocytes via NF- κB pathway. Oncotarget. 2018 Oct 5;9(78):34838-34854.

2: Brenner AW, Su GH, Momen-Heravi F. Isolation of Extracellular Vesicles for Cancer Diagnosis and Functional Studies. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1882:229-237.

3: Momen-Heravi F, Getting SJ, Moschos SA. Extracellular vesicles and their, nucleic acids for biomarker discovery. Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Dec;192:170-187.

4: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S. miRNA regulation of innate immunity. J Leukoc Biol. 2018 Apr 14.

5: Saha B, Momen-Heravi F, Furi I, Kodys K, Catalano D, Gangopadhyay A, Haraszti R, Satishchandran A, Iracheta-Vellve A, Adejumo A, Shaffer SA, Szabo G. Extracellular vesicles from mice with alcoholic liver disease carry a distinct protein cargo and induce macrophage activation through heat shock protein 90. Hepatology. 2018 May;67(5):1986-2000.

6: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S. Emerging role of non-coding RNA in oral cancer. Cell Signal. 2018 Jan;42:134-143.

7: Momen-Heravi F, Masugi Y, Qian ZR, Nishihara R, Liu L, Smith-Warner SA, Keum N, Zhang L, Tchrakian N, Nowak JA, Yang W, Ma Y, Bowden M, da Silva A, Wang M, Fuchs CS, Meyerhardt JA, Ng K, Wu K, Giovannucci E, Ogino S, Zhang X. Tumor expression of calcium sensing receptor and colorectal cancer survival: Results from the nurses' health study and health professionals follow-up study. Int J Cancer. 2017 Dec 15;141(12):2471-2479.

8: Momen-Heravi F. Isolation of Extracellular Vesicles by Ultracentrifugation. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1660:25-32.

9: Furi I, Momen-Heravi F, Szabo G. Extracellular vesicle isolation: present and future. Ann Transl Med. 2017 Jun;5(12):263.

10: Yang W, Liu L, Masugi Y, Qian ZR, Nishihara R, Keum N, Wu K, Smith-Warner S, Ma Y, Nowak JA, Momen-Heravi F, Zhang L, Bowden M, Morikawa T, Silva AD, Wang M, Chan AT, Fuchs CS, Meyerhardt JA, Ng K, Giovannucci E, Ogino S, Zhang X. Calcium intake and risk of colorectal cancer according to expression status of calcium-sensing receptor (CASR). Gut. 2018 Aug;67(8):1475-1483.

11: Szabo G, Momen-Heravi F. Extracellular vesicles in liver disease and potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Aug;14(8):455-466.

12: Momen-Heravi F, Babic A, Tworoger SS, Zhang L, Wu K, Smith-Warner SA, Ogino S, Chan AT, Meyerhardt J, Giovannucci E, Fuchs C, Cho E, Michaud DS, Stampfer MJ, Yu YH, Kim D, Zhang X. Periodontal disease, tooth loss and colorectal cancer risk: Results from the Nurses' Health Study. Int J Cancer. 2017 Feb 1;140(3):646-652.

13: Saha B*, Momen-Heravi F*, Kodys K, Szabo G. MicroRNA Cargo of Extracellular Vesicles from Alcohol-exposed Monocytes Signals Naive Monocytes to Differentiate into M2 Macrophages. J Biol Chem. 2016 Jan 1;291(1):149-59. [*Equal contributions]

14: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S. The miRNA and Extracellular Vesicles in Alcoholic Liver Disease. Chapter in: Molecular Aspects of Alcohol and Nutrition, 2016: p275-286.

15: Momen-Heravi F, Saha B, Kodys K, Catalano D, Satishchandran A, Szabo G. Increased number of circulating exosomes and their microRNA cargos are potential novel biomarkers in alcoholic hepatitis. J Transl Med. 2015 Aug 12;13:261.

16: Bala S, Csak T, Momen-Heravi F, Lippai D, Kodys K, Catalano D, Satishchandran A, Ambros V, Szabo G. Biodistribution and function of extracellular miRNA-155 in mice. Sci Rep. 2015 May 29;5:10721.

17: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S, Kodys K, Szabo G. Exosomes derived from alcohol-treated hepatocytes horizontally transfer liver specific miRNA-122 and sensitize monocytes to LPS. Sci Rep. 2015 May 14;5:9991.

18: Bukong TN*, Momen-Heravi F*, Kodys K, Bala S, Szabo G. Exosomes from hepatitis C infected patients transmit HCV infection and contain replication competent viral RNA in complex with Ago2-miR122-HSP90. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Oct 2;10(10):e1004424. [*Equal contributions]

19: Momen-Heravi F, Trachtenberg AJ, Kuo WP, Cheng YS. Genomewide Study of Salivary MicroRNAs for Detection of Oral Cancer. J Dent Res. 2014 Jul;93(7 Suppl):86S-93S.

20: Balaj L*, Momen-Heravi F*, Chen W, Sivaraman S, Zhang X, Ludwig N, Meese E, Wurdinger T, Noske D, Charest A, Hochberg FH, Vandertop P, Skog J, Kuo WP. Detection of human c-Myc and EGFR amplifications in circulating extracellular vesicles in mouse tumour models. J of Circulating Biomarkers.2014; 3:6. [*Equal contributions]

21: Momen-Heravi F, Bala S, Bukong T, Szabo G. Exosome-mediated delivery of functionally active miRNA-155 inhibitor to macrophages. Nanomedicine. 2014 Oct;10(7):1517-27.

22: Jia S, Zocco D, Samuels ML, Chou MF, Chammas R, Skog J, Zarovni N, Momen-Heravi F, Kuo WP. Emerging technologies in extracellular vesicle-based molecular diagnostics. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2014 Apr;14(3):307-21.

23: Momen-Heravi F, Balaj L, Alian S, Mantel PY, Halleck AE, Trachtenberg AJ, Soria CE, Oquin S, Bonebreak CM, Saracoglu E, Skog J, Kuo WP. Current methods for the isolation of extracellular vesicles. Biol Chem. 2013 Oct;394(10):1253-62.

24: Suntres ZE, Smith MG, Momen-Heravi F, Hu J, Zhang X, Wu Y, Zhu H, Wang J, Zhou J, Kuo WP. Therapeutic uses of exosomes. Exosomes Microvesicles. 2013;1:5.

25: Momen-Heravi F, Balaj L, Alian S, Tigges J, Toxavidis V, Ericsson M, Distel RJ, Ivanov AR, Skog J, Kuo WP. Alternative methods for characterization of extracellular vesicles. Front Physiol. 2012 Sep 7;3:354.

26: Momen-Heravi F, Balaj L, Alian S, Trachtenberg AJ, Hochberg FH, Skog J, Kuo WP. Impact of biofluid viscosity on size and sedimentation efficiency of the isolated microvesicles. Front Physiol. 2012 May 28;3:162.

27: Sandu N, Momen-Heravi F, Sadr-Eshkevari P, Schaller B. Molecular imaging for stem cell transplantation in neuroregenerative medicine. Neurodegener Dis. 2012;9(2):60-7.

28: Khalilzadeh O, Anvari M, Esteghamati A, Momen-Heravi F, Rashidi A, Amiri HM, Tahvildari M, Mahmoudi M, Amirzargar A. Genetic susceptibility to Graves' ophthalmopathy: The role of polymorphisms in anti-inflammatory cytokine genes. Ophthalmic Genet. 2010 Dec;31(4):215-20.

29: Anvari M, Khalilzadeh O, Esteghamati A, Momen-Heravi F, Mahmoudi M, Esfahani SA, Rashidi A, Amirzargar A. Graves' disease and gene polymorphism of TNF-α, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, and IFN-γ. Endocrine. 2010 Apr;37(2):344-8.

30: Khalilzadeh O, Anvari M, Esteghamati A, Momen-Heravi F, Mahmoudi M, Rashidi A, Amiri HM, Ranjbar M, Tabataba-Vakili S, Amirzargar A. The interleukin-1 family gene polymorphisms and Graves' disease. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2010 Sep;71(4):281-5.

31: Momen-Beitollahi J, Mansourian A, Momen-Heravi F, Amanlou M, Obradov S, Sahebjamee M. Assessment of salivary and serum antioxidant status in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2010 Jul 1;15(4):e557-61.

32: Bayat M, Momen-Heravi F, Marjani M, Motahhary P. A comparison of bone reconstruction following application of bone matrix gelatin and autogenous bone grafts to alveolar defects: an animal study. J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2010 Jun;38(4):288-92.

33: Khalilzadeh O, Anvari M, Momen-Heravi F, Esteghamati A, Rashidi A, Mahmoudi M, Nikbin B, Amirzargar A. Gene polymorphisms of interleukin-4, interleukin-10 and transforming growth factor-beta in Graves' disease. Clin Exp Med. 2010 Jun;10(2):123-8.


1: Park WB, Han JY, Kang P, Momen-Heravi F. The clinical and radiographic outcomes of Schneiderian membrane perforation without repair in sinus elevation surgery. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2019 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/cid.12752.

2: Momen-Heravi F, Peters SM, Garfinkle L, Kang P. Acellular Dermal Matrix as a Barrier for Guided Bone Regeneration of Dehiscence Defects Around Dental Implants: A Clinical and Histological Report. Implant Dent. 2018 Aug;27(4):521-524.

3: Bayat M, Shariati M, Rajaeirad F, Yekaninejad MS, Momen-Heravi F, Davoudmanesh Z. Facial Anthropometric Norms of the Young Iranian Population. J Maxillofac Oral Surg. 2018 Jun;17(2):150-157.

4: Sanz-Miralles EC, Li R, Momen-Heravi F, Mendieta C, Konofagou EE, Papapanou PN. Assessment of arterial stiffness in periodontitis using a novel pulse wave imaging methodology. J Clin Periodontol. 2017 May;44(5):502-510.

5. Momen-Heravi F, Kang P. Treatment of aggressive periodontitis with guided tissue regeneration technique and enamel matrix derivative (EMD): a clinical report. Clin Adv Periodontics. 2017; 7(4):182-189.

6: Momen-Heravi F, Kang P. Management of cannabis-induced periodontitis via resective surgical therapy: A clinical report. J Am Dent Assoc. 2017 Mar;148(3):179-184.

7: Bayat M, Momen Heravi F, Mahmoudi M, Bahrami N. Bone Reconstruction following Application of Bone Matrix Gelatin to Alveolar Defects: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Int J Organ Transplant Med. 2015;6(4):176-81.

8: Monzavi A, Eshraghi S, Hashemian R, Momen-Heravi F. In vitro and ex vivo antimicrobial efficacy of nano-MgO in the elimination of endodontic pathogens. Clin Oral Investig. 2015 Mar;19(2):349-56.

9: Abdollahi M, Momen-Heravi F. Fluoride toxicity. Chapter in: Encyclopedia of Toxicology (3rd Edition). 2014:p606-610.

10: Khedmat S, Momen-Heravi F, Pishvaei M. A comparison of viscoelastic properties of three root canal sealers. J Dent (Tehran). 2013 Mar;10(2):147-54.

11: Abbasi M, Bayat M, Beshkar M, Momen-Heravi F. Ultrasound-guided simultaneous irrigation and drainage of facial abscess. J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Mar;23(2):558-9.

12: Bayat M, Khobyari MM, Dalband M, Momen-Heravi F. Full mouth implant rehabilitation of a patient with ectodermal dysplasia after orthognathic surgery, sinus and ridge augmentation: a clinical report. J Adv Prosthodont. 2011 Jun;3(2):96-100.

13: Mansourian A, Momen-Heravi F, Saheb-Jamee M, Esfehani M, Khalilzadeh O, Momen-Beitollahi J. Comparison of aloe vera mouthwash with triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% on oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blinded clinical trial. Am J Med Sci. 2011 Dec;342(6):447-51.

14: Bayat M, Badri A, Momen-Heravi F, Garajei A, Asgarian A. Transverse displacement and angulation of the proximal segment after mandibular setback by means of bilateral intraoral vertico-sagittal ramus osteotomy. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Mar;69(3):906-10.

15: Alikhasi M, Siadat H, Monzavi A, Momen-Heravi F. Three-dimensional accuracy of implant and abutment level impression techniques: effect on marginal discrepancy. J Oral Implantol. 2011 Dec;37(6):649-57

16: Khojasteh A, Mohajerani H, Momen-Heravi F, Kazemi M, Alikhasi M. Sandwich bone graft covered with buccal fat pad in severely atrophied edentulous maxilla: a clinical report. J Oral Implantol. 2011 Jun;37(3):361-6.

17: Pakfetrat A, Mansourian A, Momen-Heravi F, Delavarian Z, Momen-Beitollahi J, Khalilzadeh O, Basir-Shabestari S. Comparison of colchicine versus prednisolone in recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Clin Invest Med. 2010 Jun 1;33(3):E189-95.

18: Bayat M, Momen-Heravi F, Khalilzadeh O, Mirhosseni Z, Sadeghi-Tari A. Comparison of conchal cartilage graft with nasal septal cartilage graft for reconstruction of orbital floor blowout fractures. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2010 Dec;48(8):617-20.

19: Babaee N, Mansourian A, Momen-Heravi F, Moghadamnia A, Momen-Beitollahi J. The efficacy of a paste containing Myrtus communis (Myrtle) in the management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Oral Investig. 2010 Feb;14(1):65-70.