Nathan A. Ellis, PhD

Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Chair, Genetics GIDP
Co-Program Leader, Cancer Biology Research Program
Professor, Cancer Biology GIDP
Research Interests: 

Genomic Instability and Cancer Susceptibility

Development of invasive carcinoma is widely believed to rely on a nested series of somatic mutations that results in activation of oncogenes and deactivation of tumor suppressors. Although the accumulation of somatic mutations plays a central role, the tissue in which these mutations arise exerts control over the fate of these mutated cells. The steady increase of the incidence of cancers of the digestive tract raises pressing questions about tissue control and how environmental influences modulate and destabilize it. The Ellis laboratory currently focuses on epigenetic mechanisms involved in early-onset colorectal cancer.

Molecular Medicine Grad Program: 



Trejo, M. Jesus, K. Batai, Y. Chen, S. Brezina, H-H. Sherry Chow, N. Ellis, P. Lance, C-H. Hsu, K. Pogreba-Brown, M. Bishop, et al., "Genome-Wide Association Study of Metachronous Colorectal Adenoma Risk among Participants in the Selenium Trial.", Nutr Cancer, vol. 75, issue 1, pp. 143-153, 2023. PMCID: PMC10120393  PMID: 35815403


Giner-Calabuig, M., S. De Leon, J. Wang, T. D. Fehlmann, C. Ukaegbu, J. Gibson, M. Alustiza-Fernandez, M-D. Pico, C. Alenda, M. Herraiz, et al., "Mutational signature profiling classifies subtypes of clinically different mismatch-repair-deficient tumours with a differential immunogenic response potential.", Br J Cancer, vol. 126, issue 11, pp. 1595-1603, 2022 Jun. PMCID: PMC9130322  PMID: 35197584
Kwak, E-A., C. C. Pan, A. Ramonett, S. Kumar, P. Cruz-Flores, T. Ahmed, H. R. Ortiz, J. J. Lochhead, N. A. Ellis, G. Mouneimne, et al., "β-spectrin as a stalk cell-intrinsic regulator of VEGF signaling.", Nat Commun, vol. 13, issue 1, pp. 1326, 2022 Mar 14. PMCID: PMC8921520  PMID: 35288568
de Renty, C., K. W. Pond, M. K. Yagle, and N. A. Ellis, "BLM Sumoylation Is Required for Replication Stability and Normal Fork Velocity During DNA Replication.", Front Mol Biosci, vol. 9, pp. 875102, 2022. PMCID: PMC9284272  PMID: 35847987
Belvitch, P., N. Casanova, X. Sun, S. M. Camp, S. Sammani, M. E. Brown, J. Mascarhenas, H. Lynn, D. Adyshev, J. Siegler, et al., "A cortactin CTTN coding SNP contributes to lung vascular permeability and inflammatory disease severity in African descent subjects.", Transl Res, vol. 244, pp. 56-74, 2022 Jun. PMCID: PMC9119916  PMID: 35181549


Ellis, N., J. Zhu, M. K. Yagle, W-C. Yang, J. Huang, A. Kwako, M. M. Seidman, and M. J. Matunis, "RNF4 Regulates the BLM Helicase in Recovery From Replication Fork Collapse.", Front Genet, vol. 12, pp. 753535, 2021. PMCID: PMC8633118  PMID: 34868226
Martinez, J. A., M. B. Skiba, H-H. Sherry Chow, W. M. Chew, K. Saboda, P. Lance, N. A. Ellis, and E. T. Jacobs, "A Protective Role for Arachidonic Acid Metabolites against Advanced Colorectal Adenoma in a Phase III Trial of Selenium.", Nutrients, vol. 13, issue 11, 2021 Oct 29. PMCID: PMC8621008  PMID: 34836131
Batai, K., M. J. Trejo, Y. Chen, L. N. Kohler, P. Lance, N. A. Ellis, M. C. Cornelis, H-H. Sherry Chow, C-H. Hsu, and E. T. Jacobs, "Genome-Wide Association Study of Response to Selenium Supplementation and Circulating Selenium Concentrations in Adults of European Descent.", J Nutr, vol. 151, issue 2, pp. 293-302, 2021 02 01. PMCID: PMC7849979  PMID: 33382417
Grant, A., R. M. Xicola, V. Nguyen, J. Lim, C. Thorne, B. Salhia, X. Llor, N. Ellis, and M. Padi, "Molecular drivers of tumor progression in microsatellite stable APC mutation-negative colorectal cancers.", Sci Rep, vol. 11, issue 1, pp. 23507, 2021 12 06. PMCID: PMC8648784  PMID: 34873211


Augustus, G. J., R. M. Xicola, X. Llor, and N. A. Ellis, "Decreased copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity in African American colorectal cancers.", Genes Chromosomes Cancer, vol. 59, issue 8, pp. 454-464, 2020 08. PMCID: PMC8045478  PMID: 32293075


Pond, K. W., and N. A. Ellis, "Quantification of Double-Strand Breaks in Mammalian Cells Using Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis.", Methods Mol Biol, vol. 1999, pp. 75-85, 2019 05 25. PMID: 31127570
Pond, K. W., C. de Renty, M. K. Yagle, and N. A. Ellis, "Rescue of collapsed replication forks is dependent on NSMCE2 to prevent mitotic DNA damage.", PLoS Genet, vol. 15, issue 2, pp. e1007942, 2019 02 01. PMCID: PMC6383951  PMID: 30735491
Jacobs, E. Theresa, P. Lance, L. J. Mandarino, N. A. Ellis, H-H. Sherry Chow, J. Foote, J. A. Martinez, C-H. Paul Hsu, K. Batai, K. Saboda, et al., "Selenium supplementation and insulin resistance in a randomized, clinical trial.", BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care, vol. 7, issue 1, pp. e000613, 2019 02 07. PMCID: PMC6398811  PMID: 30899530
Zhou, J., T. G. Jenkins, A. M. Jung, K. Sook Jeong, J. Zhai, E. T. Jacobs, S. C. Griffin, D. Dearmon-Moore, S. R. Littau, W. F. Peate, et al., "DNA methylation among firefighters.", PLoS One, vol. 14, issue 3, pp. e0214282, 2019 03 26. PMCID: PMC6435149  PMID: 30913233
Xicola, R. M., J. R. Clark, T. Carroll, J. Alvikas, P. Marwaha, M. R. Regan, F. Lopez-Giraldez, J. Choi, R. Emmadi, V. Alagiozian-Angelova, et al., "Implication of DNA repair genes in Lynch-like syndrome.", Fam Cancer, vol. 18, issue 3, pp. 331-342, 2019 07 01. PMCID: PMC6561810  PMID: 30989425
A Taylor, M. R., C. Rothblum-Oviatt, N. A. Ellis, I. D. Hickson, S. Meyer, T. O. Crawford, A. Smogorzewska, B. Pietrucha, C. Weemaes, and G. S. Stewart, "Chromosome instability syndromes.", Nat Rev Dis Primers, vol. 5, issue 1, pp. 64, 2019 09 19. PMID: 31537806