James Palis, M.D.

James Palis, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 703
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-5098
Fax: (585) 276-0233
Lab: (585) 275-5073
Administrative: (585) 273-2428

Research Bio

Dr. Palis' research interests are:
1) Ontogeny of the mammalian hematopoietic system,
2) Differentiation of the erythroid lineage,
3) Erythroid precursor self-renewal, and
4) Response of the hematopoietic system to ionizing radiation

Hematopoietic stem cells responsible for the production of blood cells throughout life arise during embryogenesis. However, the mechanisms that initiate blood cell development are largely unknown. The long-term aim of Dr. Palis' laboratory is to elucidate the cellular and molecular events underlying the initiation of hematopoiesis in the mammalian embryo. The first hematopoietic cells to emerge during mammalian embryogenesis are "primitive" red cells that are necessary for survival of the fetus. Their recent studies indicate that the primitive erythroid lineage in mice as "mammalian", rather than "non-mammalian" in character. Primitive erythropoiesis will thus serve as an important model of mammalian erythroid differentiation. Hematopoiesis originates in the yolk sac of embryos and transitions to the liver of the fetus. Two waves of hematopoietic progenitors have been identified in the yolk sac prior to colonization of the liver and the lineage composition and relationships of these primitive and definitive progenitor waves are under active investigation. Their studies indicate that the onset of hematopoiesis within the yolk sac of mammals is much more complex than previously thought.

The hematopoietic system of the adult is exquisitely sensitive to xenotoxic insults. The Palis laboratory is investigating the response of the erythroid and megakaryocyte lineages to ionizing radiation. These studies will provide for the rational use of cytokines and other agents to mitigate the deleterious effects of external radiation.

An understanding of the ontogeny of mammalian hematopoiesis and its reponse to damage will ultimately produce insights into the regulation and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells. These insights will also lead to a better understanding of genetic disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes and leukemias, ultimately leading to improvements in bone marrow transplantation for the curative treatment of numerous congenital anemias, genetic diseases, and several forms of childhood and adult cancers.

Awards & Honors (Local)

George Washington Goler Associate Professor of Pediatrics 2005
George Washington Goler Professor of Pediatrics 2005
University of Rochester Postdoctoral Academic Mentoring Award 1999
Second Choremion Research Award, Athens, Greece 1982


Extensively Self-Renewing Erythroblasts (ESRE)

United States Serial NO.: 14/888,110
Filed Date: May 15, 2014
Title: Human Extensively Self-Renewing Erythroblasts (ESRE)
Invented by: James Palis, Samantha England, Ah Ram Kim

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 81 available »

2015 Oct
Liang R, Campreciós G, Kou Y, McGrath K, Nowak R, Catherman S, Bigarella CL, Rimmelé P, Zhang X, Gnanapragasam MN, Bieker JJ, Papatsenko D, Ma'ayan A, Bresnick E, Fowler V, Palis J, Ghaffari S. "A Systems Approach Identifies Essential FOXO3 Functions at Key Steps of Terminal Erythropoiesis." PLoS genetics. 2015 Oct; 11(10):e1005526. Epub 2015 Oct 09.
2015 Sep 29
Frame JM, Fegan KH, Conway SJ, McGrath KE, Palis J. "Definitive Hematopoiesis in the Yolk Sac Emerges from Wnt-Responsive Hemogenic Endothelium Independently of Circulation and Arterial Identity." Stem cells. 2015 Sep 29; Epub 2015 Sep 29.
2015 Sep 17
Konstantinidis DG, Giger KM, Risinger M, Pushkaran S, Zhou P, Dexheimer P, Yerneni S, Andreassen P, Klingmüller U, Palis J, Zheng Y, Kalfa TA. "Cytokinesis failure in RhoA-deficient mouse erythroblasts involves actomyosin and midbody dysregulation and triggers p53 activation." Blood. 2015 Sep 17; 126(12):1473-82. Epub 2015 Jul 30.
2015 Jun 30
McGrath KE, Frame JM, Fegan KH, Bowen JR, Conway SJ, Catherman SC, Kingsley PD, Koniski AD, Palis J. "Distinct Sources of Hematopoietic Progenitors Emerge before HSCs and Provide Functional Blood Cells in the Mammalian Embryo." Cell reports. 2015 Jun 30; 11(12):1892-904. Epub 2015 Jun 18.
2015 Jun 9
Kim AR, Olsen JL, England SJ, Huang YS, Fegan KH, Delgadillo LF, McGrath KE, Kingsley PD, Waugh RE, Palis J. "Bmi-1 Regulates Extensive Erythroid Self-Renewal." Stem cell reports. 2015 Jun 9; 4(6):995-1003. Epub 2015 May 28.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology (SMD) - Primary


Pediatric Hematology-Oncology - American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics


MD | Medicine | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry1981
BA | Biology and Hellenic Studies | University of Rochester1975

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 1988
Residency in Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 1984