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James Palis, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-2981

Administrative: (585) 273-2428

Office: (585) 275-5098

Fax: (585) 276-0233

Research Labs

Palis Lab

Lab: (585) 275-5073

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Faculty Appointments


Pediatric Hematology and Oncology


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 response 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.



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


BA | University of Rochester
Biology and Hellenic Studies

MD | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1984 - 06/30/1988
Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial

07/01/1982 - 06/30/1984
Residency in Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial

07/01/1981 - 06/30/1982
Internship in Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial

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2015 - 2015
Davey Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Research

George Washington Goler Associate Professor of Pediatrics

George Washington Goler Professor of Pediatrics

University of Rochester Postdoctoral Academic Mentoring Award

Second Choremion Research Award, Athens, Greece

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Title: Human Extensively Self-Renewing Erythroblasts (ESRE)
U.S. Serial #: 14/888,110
Filed: May 15, 2014
Invented By: SamanthaEngland, Ah RamKim, JamesPalis


Journal Articles

Palis J, Koniski A. "Functional Analysis of Erythroid Progenitors by Colony-Forming Assays." Methods in molecular biology.. 2018 1698:117-132.

Peraki I, Palis J, Mavrothalassitis G. "The Ets2 Repressor Factor (Erf) Is Required for Effective Primitive and Definitive Hematopoiesis." Molecular and cellular biology.. 2017 Oct 1; 37(19)Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Zhou S, Huang YS, Kingsley PD, Cyr KH, Palis J, Wan J. "Microfluidic assay of the deformability of primitive erythroblasts." Biomicrofluidics. 2017 Sep 0; 11(5):054112. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Hematology of the Newborn
Book Title: William's Hematology
Author List: Palis J, Segel G
Published By: McGraw-Hill2010 in New York, NY

Chapter Title: Molecular Biology of Erythropoiesis
Book Title: Molecular Basis of Hematopoiesis
Author List: Palis J
Published By: Springer2009 in New York, NY

Chapter Title: Ontogeny of erythropoiesis in the mammalian embryo
Book Title: Red Cell Development
Author List: McGrath KE, Palis J
Edited By: Bieker J
Published By: Elsevier Press2008