Saman is an emeritus professor of Oral Medicine and Experimental Pathology at King’s College London, UK and was the Chairman of the Oral Medicine Division at King’s College Hospital and at Guy’s Hospital, London from 2005 -2015. He has made major contributions in cancer epidemiology, oral medicine and experimental pathology. He is a leading expert on human carcinogens, especially tobacco, alcohol and areca nut that cause mouth cancer. His early work showed that smokeless tobacco and areca nut cause cancers of the mouth and have led International Agency on Research on Cancer to confirm these substances as Class 1 carcinogens and to re-affirm an Europe-wide ban on smokeless tobacco use. Professor Warnakulasuriya has also been involved in developing the terminology and classification of oral potentially malignant disorders and studied their natural history and molecular changes during progression to malignancy. He has made substantial contributions to the world literature.
Professor Warnakulasuriya was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty The Queen in 2008 for his services to Medicine , received the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Medicine and Pathology in 2014, was acknowledged by his peers this year by electing him as a Fellow of King’s College London (FKC) for sustained and significant contributions to the College.