Nicolas Schlecht


Research Interests:

Prevention and control of HPV associated cancers Cervical and Head and Neck Cancers Human microbiome

About Nicolas Schlecht


I am an infectious disease and cancer epidemiologist with a background in molecular biology and expertise in conducting longitudinal population studies. My research has focused in large part on delineating the role of viral (HPV and HIV), microbial (microbiome), genomic (expression and methylation), and proteomic markers in the development and progression of cancer. I have over 20 years of research experience studying the epidemiology of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and associated diseases in underrepresented populations, including cancer survivors, people living with HIV, and communities with health disparities.

Ongoing research is looking at the real-world effectiveness of HPV vaccination, sexually transmitted infections, and risk behaviors in inner-city adolescent and young adult women. This includes a large longitudinal cohort study with over 15 years of sociodemographic, behavioral, psychosocial, and molecular lab data. More recent studies are looking at the role of the human microbiome and viral infections in cancer risk and progression. I also mentor pre- and post-doctoral students and fellows at Roswell Park and externally. This includes collaborations with Mount Sinai, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, McGill University, and the University at Buffalo.

I am a standing member on the Basic Mechanisms in Cancer Health Disparities (BMCD) Study Section that reviews grant applications into the biological/genetic and environmental causes of cancer health disparities in different racial, ethnic, and geographic groups for the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities and National Cancer Institute. In addition, I serve as Co-Chair of the Roswell Park Survivorship Translational Research Group that provides oversight and support for research conducted on cancer survivors. I have an h-index of 35 with over 120 peer-reviewed publications.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Cancer Prevention & Control

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY

  • Clinical Associate Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Population Health and Pathology

McGill University, Montreal, QC

  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Dentistry


Education and Training:

  • 1998-2002 - PhD - McGill University, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • 1996-1998 - MSc - McGill University, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Professional Memberships:

  • International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CSEB)

Honors & Awards:

  • 2003 - Miriam Mandel Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • 2002 - Dean’s Honor List, Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University
  • 2001 - American Public Health Association Student Award, International Congress of Epidemiology
  • 2001 - Travel Award, Canadian Society of Epidemiologists and Biostatisticians (CSEB)
  • 2000, 2001 - Alma Mater Student Travel Award (awarded twice), McGill University
  • 2000 - Charleston Award, 19th International Papillomavirus Conference, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1996 - Honors, Bachelor of Science (Biology), McGill University


Research Overview:

Ongoing projects and collaborations by Dr. Schlecht include:

• A large prospective cohort study to examine the incidence and persistence of cervical, anal, and oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in a New York City population of adolescent and young adult women following prophylactic vaccination for HPV. In addition, this study is evaluating the impact of the cervicovaginal microbial environment on the risks of HPV and sexually transmitted infections.

• Prospective studies of the natural history of oral HPV infection in people living with HIV (PLWH). These studies are examining the effects of oral bacterial infections (microbiome) and fungal infections (mycobiome) on the risk of oral HPV infection and persistence.

• A prospective study to identify the host and microbiome factors that contribute to oropharyngeal candidiasis susceptibility in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. This project will help identify targets for preventive interventions, potentially reducing the need for antifungal and antibiotic medication.

• A pragmatic intervention trial to assess the effectiveness of practice facilitation of “PC TEACH” (a practice-level, medical office-based intervention developed at Roswell Park) to increase HPV vaccine delivery rates in rural community-based primary care practices from Central and Western New York.

Featured on Cancer Talk


Full Publications list on PubMed
  • Robbins HA, Ferreiro-Igelsias A, Waterboer T, Brenner N, Nygard M, Bender N, Schroeder L, Hildesheim A, Pawlita M, D’Souza G, Visvanathan K, Langseth H, Schlecht NF, Tinker LF, Agalliu I, Smoller SW, Ness-Jensen E, Hveem K, Grioni S, Kaaks R, Sanchez MJ, Weiderpass E, Giles GG, Milne RL, Cai Q, Blot WJ, Zheng W, Weinstein SJ, Albanes D, Huang WY, Freedman ND, Kreimer AR, Johannsson M, Brennan P. Absolute risk of oropharyngeal cancer following an HPV16-E6 serology test and potential implications for screening: results from the HPV Cancer Cohort Consortium. J Clin Oncol. 2022; JCO2101785. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01785. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35700419
  • Usyk M, Schlecht NF, Pickering S, Williams L, Sollecito CC, Gradissimo A, Herrero R, Safaeian M, Pinto L, Schiffman M, Viswanathan S, Nucci-Sack, Diaz A, CVT Group, Burk RD. The immune landscape of molecular bacterial vaginosis and HPV natural history. Nature Communications. 2021; 13(1):233. PMCID: PMC8752746
  • Schlecht NF, Diaz A, Nucci-Sack A, Shyhalla K, Shankar V, Guillot M, Hollman D, Strickler HD, Burk RD. Incidence and types of human papillomavirus infections in adolescent girls and young women immunized with the human papillomavirus vaccine. JAMA Netw Open. 2021; 4(8):e2121893. PMCID: PMC8383132
  • Ponduri A, Liao DZ, Schlecht NF, Rosenblatt G, Prystowsky MB, Kabarriti R, Garg M, Ow TJ, Schiff BA, Smith RV, Mehta V. Impact of Non-Adherence to NCCN Adjuvant Radiotherapy Initiation Guidelines in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2021; 1-7. PMID: 34555804
  • Schlecht NF, Masika M, Diaz A, Nucci-Sack A, Salandy A, Pickering S, Strickler HD, Shankar V, Burk RD. Risk of Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection Among Sexually Active Female Adolescents Receiving the Quadrivalent Vaccine. JAMA Netw Open. 2019; 2(10):e1914031. PMID: 31651968. PMCID: PMC6822084
  • Kreimer AR, Ferreiro-Iglesias A, Nygard M, Bender N, Schroeder L, Hildesheim A, Robbins HA, Pawlita M, Langseth H, Schlecht NF, Tinker LF, Agalliu I, Smoller SW, Ness-Jensen E, Hveem K, D’Souza G, Visvanathan K, May B, Ursin G, Weiderpass E, Giles GG, Milne RL, Cai Q, Blot WJ, Zheng W, Weinstein SJ, Albanes D, Brenner N, Hoffman-Bolton J, Brennan P, Waterboer T, Johannsson M. Timing of HPV -E6 antibody seroconversion prior to OPSCC: findings from the HPVC3 consortium. Annals Oncol. 2019; 30(8):1335-43. PMID: 31185496. PMCID: PMC6683856
  • Schlecht NF, Diaz A, Shankar V, Szporn AH, Wu M, Nucci-Sack A, Peake K, Strickler HD, Burk RD. Risk of Delayed Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in Inner-City Adolescent Women. J Infect Dis. 2016;214(12):1952-1960. PMCID: PMC5142096
  • Muller K, Kazimiroff J, Fatahzadeh M, Smith RV, Wiltz M, Polanco J, Grossberg RM, Belbin TJ, Strickler HD, Burk RD, Schlecht NF. Oral human papillomavirus and oral lesions HIV positive and negative dental patients. J Infect Dis. 2015. 212(5):760-8. PMID: PMC4539901
  • Salazar CR, Anayannis N, Smith RV, Wang Y, Schiff BA, Haigentz M, Garg MK, Prystowsky MB, Belbin TJ, Burk RD, Schlecht NF. Combined p16 and HPV expression predicts head and neck cancer survival. Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(10):2404-12. PMCID: PMC4159440
  • Schlecht NF, Platt RW, Duarte-Franco E, Rohan TE, Ferenczy A, Villa LL, Franco EL. Human papillomavirus infection as a predictor of the rate of progression and regression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003; 95(17):1336-43. PMID: 12953088
  • Schlecht NF, Kulaga S, Robitaille J, Ferreira S, Santos M, Miyamura RA, Duarte-Franco E, Rohan TE, Ferenczy A, Villa LL, Franco EL. Persistent human papillomavirus infection as a predictor of cervical neoplasia. JAMA. 2001; 286(24):3106-14. PMID: 11754676
  • Schlecht NF, Franco EL, Pintos J, Negassa A, Kowalski LP, Oliveira BV, Curado MP. Interaction between tobacco and alcohol consumption on the risk of cancers of the upper aero-digestive tract in Brazil. Am J Epidemiol. 1999; 150(11):1129-37. PMID: 10588073