Stefanie A. Nelson, Ph.D.
Program Director, Genomic Epidemiology Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Contact Information

Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm. 4E546, MSC 9763
Bethesda, MD 20892
(For express delivery, use Rockville, MD 20850)

Interest Areas

  • Genetic differences affecting cancer risk and response to treatment
  • Understanding the function of cancer risk variants
  • Interactions between the germline and somatic cancer genomes


  • Ph.D. - Human Genetics
    University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • B.S. - Microbiology
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Nelson is a Program Director in the Genomic Epidemiology Branch (GEB)—formerly the Host Susceptibility Factors Branch (HSFB)—of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Her responsibilities include developing and managing a portfolio of grants that focuses on host factors affecting cancer risk. Dr. Nelson's research interests include understanding the function of cancer risk variants and integrating germline and tumor genomic data to better understand risk and carcinogenesis. Dr. Nelson also is the Program Director for the Genetic Associations and Mechanisms in Oncology (GAME-ON)/OncoArray initiative and is the co-chair of the extramural NCI Data Access Committee.

Dr. Nelson came to EGRP from The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc., where she was a Research Associate. In this capacity, she provided scientific support to several DCCPS programs, NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). She previously worked as a scientist at Meso Scale Discovery, where she identified novel activators and inhibitors of nuclear-factor kappa ß (NF-Kß) and developed assays to detect transcription factor and steroid hormone receptor DNA binding using the company's electrochemiluminescent detection technology. Earlier in her career, Dr. Nelson was a postdoctoral fellow in NCI's Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, where she studied signal transduction by growth factors implicated in cancer and identified new genes in growth factor signaling pathways.


Feigelson HS, Goddard KA, Hollombe C, Tingle SR, Gillanders EM, Mechanic LE, Nelson SA. Approaches to integrating germline and tumor genomic data in cancer research. Carcinogenesis. 2014 Oct;35(10):2157-63.

Verma M, Rogers S, Divi RL, Schully SD, Nelson S, Joseph Su L, Ross SA, Pilch S, Winn DM, Khoury MJ. Epigenetic research in cancer epidemiology: trends, opportunities, and challenges. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Feb;23(2):223-33.

Weil CJ, Mechanic LE, Green T, Kinsinger C, Lockhart NC, Nelson SA, Rodriguez LL, Buccini LD. NCI think tank concerning the identifiability of biospecimens and "omic" data. Genet Med. 2013 Dec;15(12):997-1003.

Freedman AN, Sansbury LB, Figg WD, Potosky AL, Weiss Smith SR, Khoury MJ, Nelson SA, Weinshilboum RM, Ratain MJ, McLeod HL, Epstein RS, Ginsburg GS, Schilsky RL, Liu G, Flockhart DA, Ulrich CM, Davis RL, Lesko LJ, Zineh I, Randhawa G, Ambrosone CB, Relling MV, Rothman N, Xie H, Spitz MR, Ballard-Barbash R, Doroshow JH, Minasian LM. Cancer pharmacogenomics and pharmacoepidemiology: setting a research agenda to accelerate translation. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 Nov 17;102(22):1698-705.

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