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 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.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Davey Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Research 2015 - 2015
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. 93 available »

2017 Jan 1
McGrath KE, Catherman SC, Palis J. "Delineating stages of erythropoiesis using imaging flow cytometry." Methods : a companion to Methods in enzymology. 2017 Jan 1; 112:68-74. Epub 2016 Aug 28.
2016 Oct
Liddicoat BJ, Hartner JC, Piskol R, Ramaswami G, Chalk AM, Kingsley PD, Sankaran VG, Wall M, Purton LE, Seeburg PH, Palis J, Orkin SH, Lu J, Li JB, Walkley CR. "Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing by ADAR1 is essential for normal murine erythropoiesis." Experimental hematology. 2016 Oct; 44(10):947-63. Epub 2016 Jul 01.
2016 Sep 1
Palis J. "Behaving better: stem cells singled out." Blood. 2016 Sep 1; 128(9):1157-8.
2016 Feb
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. 2016 Feb; 34(2):431-44. Epub 2015 Oct 23.
2015 Dec
McGrath KE, Frame JM, Palis J. "Early hematopoiesis and macrophage development." Seminars in immunology. 2015 Dec; 27(6):379-87. Epub 2016 Mar 25.

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