Nathan Ellis, PhD

Cancer Biology Program co-Leader
Cancer Biology Program
Nathan Ellis, PhD


Dr. Ellis obtained his PhD at the University of Washington studying X-chromosome inactivation and did post-doctoral training at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund analyzing the sex determining region of the Y chromosome. In 1990, he joined the New York Blood Center where, with James German and Joanna Groden, he characterized the molecular genetics of the gene mutated in Bloom’s syndrome BLM. In 1997, Ellis took a position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, investigating the genetic epidemiology of colorectal cancer. He has held positions at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, working on cancer health disparities. Ellis joined the University of Arizona in 2014.

Cancer Focus

Ellis’ research is dedicated to understanding the relationship between genetic variation and cancer susceptibility in humans. He conducts basic investigations into the relationship between genomic instability and cancer susceptibility and in characterization of the genomics of colorectal cancers in diverse ethnic populations. His most recent work has been in characterization of epigenetic changes underlying early-onset colorectal cancers and characterization of basic mechanisms underlying responses to replication stress.