Mark A. Nelson, PhD

The Laboratory of Dr. Nelson

Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on molecular diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The laboratory uses a combination of bioinformatics, cancer biology, epigenomics, and genomic approaches.  Dr. Nelson’s group is currently working on liquid biopsy for cancer detection.  A liquid biopsy is a simple and minimally invasive alternative to surgical biopsies which enables doctors to discover information about a cancer through a simple blood draw or other biofluid (e.g., cerebral spinal fluid, saliva, urine, etc.). Using cell-free tumor DNA as an analyte, we are validating novel DNA methylation biomarkers for early cancer detection, recognition of tumor recurrence, and response to therapy. We have ongoing translational biomarker studies in breast, lung, liver, and pancreatic studies. 

Research Interests: 

Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on three main areas: Inflammation and tumor progression/metastasis, Racial disparities and cancer, Molecular diagnosis of cancer and other genetic diseases

  • BS: Washington State University, 1984
  • PhD: Washington State University, 1989