Edward L Nelson

Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology
School of Medicine

Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine

Associate Professor Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
School of Biological Sciences

M.D., Oregon Health Sciences University

Phone: (949) 824-2860
Fax: (949) 824-2305
Email: enelson@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
Sprague Hall, Room 136
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Edward L Nelson

Tumor Immunology, Dendritic Cell Biology, Immunotherapeutics & Genetic Vaccines, Viral vectors - alphavirus
URL Clinical Web Site
Elected as Fellow of the American College of Physicians - 2010: OCMA Physician of Excellence – 2007, 2008, 2009; ASCO Merit Award - 1994; Pfizer Immunology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - 1992; Dean's List - 1986; Merck Award for Scholastic Achievement - 1986; Sneeden Award for Excellence in Pathology - 1986; Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society - 1985; Tartar Research Fellowship - 1982
Appointments 1992-95 Stanford University-Pfizer Postdoctoral Immunology Research Fellowship
Dr. Nelson is a translational Physician/Scientist, tumor immunologist who conducts both laboratory and clinical studies with a focus of improving the ability of the immune system to fight patient’s cancer. He is leader of the ad hoc UCI Breast Cancer Research Group, co-investigator in the NSF funded LifeChips IGERT program, and a member of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Research Institute, Center for Immunology. His work incorporates cutting edge technologies to improve patient care and outcomes.

Dr Nelson conducts laboratory research into mechanisms for eliciting antigen specific, anti-tumor immune responses and methods for translation into clinical trials. Specifically, he is developing strategies for anti-tumor immunotherapy that take advantage of immune system dendritic cell biology. He is one of only a handful of investigators developing anti-tumor immunotherapy strategies using vectors derived from alphaviruses, specifically the VEE replicon system. These replicons exhibit in vivo and in vitro tropism for a subset of professional antigen presenting cells, i.e. dendritic cells. His laboratory has demonstrated very promising results for this immunotherapy targeting a non-mutated tumor associated antigen, the homologue of human Her 2/neu, in an animal model of breast cancer. Additionally, his laboratory is studying the basic biology of dendritic cells as it pertains to eliciting a particular class and magnitude of anti-tumor immune responses and the interactions with the VEE replicon vector and has recently identified and characterized a heretofore-unrecognized dendritic cell subset.

Dr. Nelson is the principle investigator on several clinical trials including, 1) studies of the growth factor GM-CSF, which is a requisite trophic factor for dendritic cells, as an immunomodulatory biological adjuvant, and 2) studies conducted with Dr. Lari Wenzel to explore the impact of individual psychosocial interventions, designed to improve cancer survivor’s quality of life, on their neuroendocrine and immune systems, the so-called “mind-body connection”. The Nelson/Wenzel team has provocative data supporting cancer survivorship as a chronic stressor and a positive impact on the immune system when this stress is diminished. They are conducting a large NIH funded confirmatory clinical study.

Finally, Dr. Nelson is a co-investigator and faculty member in the NSF funded IGERT LifeChips program. Together with nanotechnology engineers and experts in advanced optics at the Beckman Laser Institute, Dr Nelson is developing a novel pallet array technology to be able to examine the cellular profile of individual patients’ tumors in a manner that has the potential to lead to the rational design of individualized treatment strategies. Dr. Nelson holds a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in the School of Biological Sciences.


US Application No. 09/242,202 and European Patent 0920522 (issued 10/03)
“Novel Vector for Polynucleotide Vaccines.” Edward L. Nelson, Peter J. Nelson

U.S. Patent No. 6,479,286 B1 (Issued Nov 12, 2002)
"Methods and Compositions for Making Dendritic Cells from Expanded Populations of Monocytes for Activating Cells." Edward L. Nelson, Susan L. Strobl;

U.S. Patent No. 7,446,185, (Issued November 4, 2008)
“HER 2/neu Target Antigen and Use of Same to Stimulate an Immune Response.” Edward L. Nelson
Available Technologies
Publications Fraser DA, Laust AK, Nelson EL, Tenner AJ. C1q differentially modulates phagocytosis and cytokine responses during ingestion of apoptotic cells by human monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. J Immunol. 2009 Nov 15;183(10):6175-85. Epub 2009 Oct 28.
  Nishimoto K.P., Laust A.K., Nelson E.L. A Human Dendritic Cell Subset Receptive to the Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus-Derived Replicon Particle Constitutively Expresses IL-32. Journal of Immunology, Sept 15 2008, 181: 4010–4018.
  Entringer S, Kumsta R, Nelson EL, Hellhammer DH, Wadhwa PD, and Wüst S. Prenatal Psychosocial Stress and Immune Parameters in Young Women. Dev Psychobiol. 2008 Aug 5;50(6):579-587.
  Nelson E.L, Wenzel LB, Osann K, Dogan Ates A, Chantana N, Reina-Patton A, Laust AK, Nishimoto KP, Chicz-DeMet A, du Pont N, Monk BJ. Stress, Immunity, and Cervical Cancer: Biobehavioral Outcomes of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Clin Cancer Res. April 1, 2008;14(7):2111-18.
  Gunn N. M., Li G. P., Nelson E.L., Bachman M. Micropallet Technology for Investigating Tumor Cellular Profiles and Analysis of Rare Cell Subsets. Proceedings of BioMed2008, 3rd Frontiers in Biomedical Devices Conference, June 18-20, 2008, Irvine, California, USA.
  Sur B.W.R., Nguyen P., Sun C.H., Tromberg B. J., Nelson E.L. Immunophototherapy, Combined Photodynamic Therapy and Intratumoral Administration of Dendritic Cells: Evidence for Retention of Dendritic Cell Functional Status and Improved Survival in Rats with Orthotopic Mammary Tumors. Photochemistry & Photobiology April 23, 2008 DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2008.00356.x.
  Entringer S, Wüst S, Kumsta R, Layes I, Nelson EL, Hellhammer DH, and Wadhwa PD. Prenatal Stress Associated with Insulin Resistance in Young Adults. Am J Obstet Gynecol. March 6, 2008, doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.03.006
  Moore J.C., Zhao X. Nelson E.L. A Case Report of a 33 Year Old Female with Concomitant Sinus Histiocytosis with Massive Lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman Disease) and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Journal of Medical Case Reports 2008, 2:70 (05 Mar 2008), http://www.jmedicalcasereports.com/content/2/1/70
  Nishimoto K.P., Newkirk D, Hou S, Fruehauf J, Nelson E.L. Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) Using RNALater to Minimize RNA Degradation and Perturbation of mRNA Expression from Cells Involved in Initial Host Microbe Interactions. Journal of Microbiological Methods Ap 2007, doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2007.03.022.
  Laust A.K., Wang K., Sur B.W.R., Hubby B., Smith J.F., Nelson E.L. VRP immunotherapy targeting neu: treatment efficacy and evidence for immunoediting in a stringent rat mammary tumor model. Breast Cancer Res Treat, Mar 10, 2007, DOI 10.1007/s10549-007-9517-8, Dec 2007, 106 (3):371-82.
  Nishimoto K.P., Laust A, Wang K, Van C., Kamrud K.I., Fralish B., Smith J.F., Nelson E.L. Restricted and selective tropism of a Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus-derived replicon vector for human dendritic cells. 2007 Viral Immunol 20, 88-104.
  Zhou C., Tabb M.M., Sadatrafiei1 A., Lin M., Nelson E.L., Forman B.M., and Blumberg B. Mutual repression between SXR and NF-kB signaling pathways mediates inflammation and xenobiotic metabolism. J Clin Invest. 2006 Aug;116(8):2280-2289.
  Wang K, Nishimoto K.P., Mehta R.S., Nelson E.L. An alternative flow cytometry strategy for peripheral blood dendritic cell enumeration in the setting of GM-CSF repetitive dosing. Journal of Translational Medicine April 2006, 4:18 doi:10.1186/1479-5876-4-18
  Metzke M., O’Connor N., Maiti S., Nelson E. and Guan Z. Saccharide-peptide Hybrid Copolymers as a New Class of Biomaterials. Angewandte Chemie, Intl. Sept 2005; http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200501944
  duPont N.C., Wang, K., Wadhwa P., Culhane, J., Nelson E.L. Validation and Comparison of Luminex Multiplex Cytokine Analysis Kits with ELISA: Determination of a Panel of Nine Cytokines in Clinical Sample Culture Supernatants. Journal of Reprod Immunol. Aug 2005; 66(2):175-191. DOI information: 10.1016/j.jri.2005.03.005
  Edward L. Nelson & Jonathan Smith. Alphaviral-based Strategies for Immmunotherapy of Cancer. Handbook of Cancer Vaccines in Cancer Drug and Discovery Series, K. Lyerly, M. Morse and T. Clay Eds. Human Press, (2004, Chapter 15).
  Nelson EL, Prieto D., Alexander T.G., Pushkow P., Hodgson L. A., Raynor J., Kamrud K., Fralish B., and Smith J. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Replicon Immunotherapy Overcomes Tolerance and Elicits Anti-tumor Immunity to the Tumor-Associated Antigen neu in a Rat Mammary Tumor Model. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Dec. 2003 82(3):169-183.
  Fonesca MI, Carpenter PM, Park M, Palmarini G, Nelson EL, and Tenner AJ.C1qRp, a myeloid cell receptor in blood, is predominantly expressed on endothelial cells in human tissue. J Leukoc Biol 2001; 70:793-800.
  Fessele, S., S. Böhlk, N. G. Miyamoto, E. L. Nelson, T. Werner, D. Schlöndorff and P. J. Nelson 2001. Molecular and in silico Characterization of a Promoter Module and C/EBP Element that Regulate LPS Induced RANTES Expression in Monocytic cells. FASEB Journal (January 5, 2001) 10.1095/fj.01-0459fje FASEB J 2001; 15(3):577-9
  Kuhns DB, Nelson EL, Alvord WG, and Gallin JI Fibrinogen Induces IL-8 Synthesis in Human Neutrophil Stimulated with Formyl-Methionyl-Leucyl-Phenylalanine or Leukotriene B(4). J Immunology 2001;167(5):2869-78.
  Prieto DA, Harvey LK, and Nelson EL. Separation and Purification of Plasmid DNA Using Continuous Elution Electrophoresis: Isolation of individual components from mixtures of plasmids. BioTechniques 2000 29(6):1204-1206.
  Bölk, S, Fessele S, Mojaat A, Miyamoto N G, Werner T, Nelson EL, Schlöndorff D and Nelson PJ. ATF and Jun Transcription Factors Acting Through an Ets/CRE Promoter Module, Mediate LPS Inducibility of the Chemokine RANTES in Monocytic MonoMac 6 cells. Eur J Immunology 2000 30(4):1102-12.
  Curti BD, Ochoa AC, Powers GC, Kopp WC, Alvord GW, Janik JE, Gause BL. Dunn B, Kopreski M, Fenton R, Zea AH, Dansky-Ullmann C, Strobl SL, Nelson E, Sznol M, Longo DL. A Phase I Trial of Anti-CD3 Stimulated CD4+ T cells given with Infusional Interleukin -2 and Cyclophosphamide to Patients with Advanced Cancer. J Clin Oncology 1998; 16(8):2752-2760.
  Nelson EL, Strobl SL, Subleski J, Prieto DA, Kopp WC, Nelson PJ. Cycling of Human Dendritic Cell Effector Phenotypes in Response to TNF-alpha: Modification of the Current "maturation" Paradigm and Implications for in-vivo Immunoregulation. FASEB J 1999; 13(14):2021-30.
  Nelson EL, Li X, Hsu F, Kwak LW, Clayberger C, Levy R, Krensky AM. Tumor Specific, Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Response after "Idiotype" Vaccination for B cell, non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Blood 1996; 88(2):580-89.
American Association for Cancer Research
American Association of Immunologists
American Society for Clinical Oncology
Clinical Immunology Society
International Society for Biological Therapy
American College of Physicians/American Society for Internal Medicine
Other Experience
Graduate Programs Cellular and Molecular Biosciences

Research Centers Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Center for Immunology,
NSF-IGERT LifeChips Program
Cancer Research Institute
Head, Breast Cancer Research Group
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=4910
Last updated 01/06/2012