Deborah Wood Neklason, PhD

Research Interests

  • Genetics Colon Cancer


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Research Associate Professor, Oncological Sciences - Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Divisions: Epidemiology

Academic Bio

Deborah Neklason, PhD, is a member of Huntsman Cancer Institute's gastrointestinal cancer research team and research associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program and the Program Director of Utah Genome Project.

Neklason's work focuses characterizing the clinical phenotype and the genetic and environmental risk factors underlying familial cancers with a focus on gastrointestinal cancers. This work has led to multiple successful clinical studies targeting the prevention of cancer in these high risk families. Currently efforts are directed at preventing cancer in individuals with Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis. She also uses data managed by the Utah Population Database (state-wide genealogy overlaid with statewide cancer records, electronic medical records, and environmental exposures) and Utah Cancer Registry to define genetic and environmental exposures underlying the rise in small intestinal carcinoid (neuroendocrine) cancer incidence. She leads lead the Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry at Huntsman Cancer Institute which is a longitudinal research registry of over 4000 research participants dating back 20 years. Many productive collaborations have come from this research registry.

Prior to joining Huntsman Cancer Institute, Neklason was manager for biochemical assay products at Echelon Biosciences in Salt Lake City. She received her PhD in human genetics from the University of Utah in 1999.

Education History

Type School Degree
Doctoral Training University of Utah, Department of Human Genetics, Laboratory of James Metherall, Ph.D
Human Genetics
Other Training University of Utah, Department of Continuing Education
Management Certificate Program
Undergraduate University of Washington

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. VanDerslice J, Taddie MC, Curtin K, Miller C, Yu Z, Hemmert R, Cannon-Albright LA, Neklason DW (2020). Early life exposures associated with risk of small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors. PLoS One, 15(4), e0231991.
  2. Samadder NJ, Neklason D, Snow A, Samowitz W, Cessna MH, Rowe K, Sandhu I, Boucher K, Pappas L, Smith KR, Wong J, Curtin K, Provenzale D, Burt RW (2019). Clinical and Molecular Features of Post-Colonoscopy Colorectal Cancers. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 17(13), 2731-2739.e2.
  3. Curtin K, Cannon-Albright LA, VanDerslice J, Yu Z, Herget KA, Thota R, Neklason DW (2019). Associations of Tobacco and Alcohol Use with Risk of Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Small Intestine in Utah. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 28(12), 1998-2004.
  4. Millar MM, Kinney AY, Camp NJ, Cannon-Albright LA, Hashibe M, Penson DF, Kirchhoff AC, Neklason DW, Gilsenan AW, Dieck GS, Stroup AM, Edwards SL, Bateman C, Carter ME, Sweeney C (2019). Predictors of Response Outcomes for Research Recruitment Through a Central Cancer Registry: Evidence From 17 Recruitment Efforts for Population-Based Studies. Am J Epidemiol, 188(5), 928-939.
  5. Sample DC, Samadder NJ, Pappas LM, Boucher KM, Samowitz WS, Berry T, Westover M, Nathan D, Kanth P, Byrne KR, Burt RW, Neklason DW (2018). Variables affecting penetrance of gastric and duodenal phenotype in familial adenomatous polyposis patients. BMC Gastroenterol, 18(1), 115.
  6. Young EL, Thompson BA, Neklason DW, Firpo MA, Werner T, Bell R, Berger J, Fraser A, Gammon A, Koptiuch C, Kohlmann WK, Neumayer L, Goldgar DE, Mulvihill SJ, Cannon-Albright LA, Tavtigian SV (2018). Pancreatic cancer as a sentinel for hereditary cancer predisposition. BMC Cancer, 18(1), 697.
  7. Samadder NJ, Kuwada SK, Boucher KM, Byrne K, Kanth P, Samowitz W, Jones D, Tavtigian SV, Westover M, Berry T, Jasperson K, Pappas L, Smith L, Sample D, Burt RW, Neklason DW (2018). Association of Sulindac and Erlotinib vs Placebo With Colorectal Neoplasia in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol, 4(5), 671-677.
  8. Delker DA, Wood AC, Snow AK, Samadder NJ, Samowitz WS, Affolter KE, Boucher KM, Pappas LM, Stijleman IJ, Kanth P, Byrne KR, Burt RW, Bernard PS, Neklason DW (2018). Chemoprevention with Cyclooxygenase and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Patients: mRNA Signatures of Duodenal Neoplasia. Cancer Prev Res (Phila), 11(1), 4-15.
  9. Bong YS, Assefnia S, Tuohy T, Neklason DW, Burt RW, Ahn J, Bueno De Mesquita PJ, Byers SW (2016). A role for the vitamin D pathway in non-intestinal lesions in genetic and carcinogen models of colorectal cancer and in familial adenomatous polyposis. Oncotarget, 7(49), 80508-80520.
  10. Kanth P, Bronner MP, Boucher KM, Burt RW, Neklason DW, Hagedorn CH, Delker DA (2016). Gene Signature in Sessile Serrated Polyps Identifies Colon Cancer Subtype. Cancer Prev Res (Phila), 9(6), 456-65.
  11. Li J, Woods SL, Healey S, Beesley J, Chen X, Lee JS, Sivakumaran H, Wayte N, Nones K, Waterfall JJ, Pearson J, Patch AM, Senz J, Ferreira MA, Kaurah P, Mackenzie R, Heravi-Moussavi A, Hansford S, Lannagan TRM, Spurdle AB, Simpson PT, da Silva L, Lakhani SR, Clouston AD, Bettington M, Grimpen F, Busuttil RA, Di Costanzo N, Boussioutas A, Jeanjean M, Chong G, Fabre A, Olschwang S, Faulkner GJ, Bellos E, Coin L, Rioux K, Bathe OF, Wen X, Martin HC, Neklason DW, Davis SR, Walker RL, Calzone KA, Avital I, Heller T, Koh C, Pineda M, Rudloff U, Quezado M, Pichurin PN, Hulick PJ, Weissman SM, Newlin A, Rubinstein WS, Sampson JE, Hamman K, Goldgar D, Poplawski N, Phillips K, Schofield L, Armstrong J, Kiraly-Borri C, Suthers GK, Huntsman DG, Foulkes WD, Carneiro F, Lindor NM, Edwards SL, French JD, Waddell N, Meltzer PS, Worthley DL, Schrader KA, Chenevix-Trench G (2016). Point Mutations in Exon 1B of APC Reveal Gastric Adenocarcinoma and Proximal Polyposis of the Stomach as a Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Variant. Am J Hum Genet, 98(5), 830-842.
  12. Samadder NJ, Neklason DW, Boucher KM, Byrne KR, Kanth P, Samowitz W, Jones D, Tavtigian SV, Done MW, Berry T, Jasperson K, Pappas L, Smith L, Sample D, Davis R, Topham MK, Lynch P, Strait E, McKinnon W, Burt RW, Kuwada SK (2016). Effect of Sulindac and Erlotinib vs Placebo on Duodenal Neoplasia in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 315(12), 1266-75.
  13. Neklason DW, VanDerslice J, Curtin K, Cannon-Albright LA (2016). Evidence for a heritable contribution to neuroendocrine tumors of the small intestine. Endocr Relat Cancer, 23(2), 93-100.
  14. Snow AK, Tuohy TM, Sargent NR, Smith LJ, Burt RW, Neklason DW (2015). APC promoter 1B deletion in seven American families with familial adenomatous polyposis. Clin Genet, 88(4), 360-5.
  15. Knight S, Abo RP, Abel HJ, Neklason DW, Tuohy TM, Burt RW, Thomas A, Camp NJ (2012). Shared genomic segment analysis: the power to find rare disease variants. Ann Hum Genet, 76(6), 500-9.
  16. Neklason DW, Done MW, Sargent NR, Schwartz AG, Anton-Culver H, Griffin CA, Ahnen DJ, Schildkraut JM, Tomlinson GE, Strong LC, Miller AR, Stopfer JE, Burt RW (2011). Activating mutation in MET oncogene in familial colorectal cancer. BMC Cancer, 11, 424.
  17. Jasperson KW, Tuohy TM, Neklason DW, Burt RW (2010). Hereditary and familial colon cancer. Gastroenterology, 138(6), 2044-58.
  18. Neklason DW, Kerber RA, Nilson DB, Anton-Culver H, Schwartz AG, Griffin CA, Lowery JT, Schildkraut JM, Evans JP, Tomlinson GE, Strong LC, Miller AR, Stopfer JE, Finkelstein DM, Nadkarni PM, Kasten CH, Mineau GP, Burt RW (2008). Common familial colorectal cancer linked to chromosome 7q31: a genome-wide analysis. Cancer Res, 68(21), 8993-7.
  19. Neklason DW, Thorpe BL, Ferrandez A, Tumbapura A, Boucher K, Garibotti G, Kerber RA, Solomon CH, Samowitz WS, Fang JC, Mineau GP, Leppert MF, Burt RW, Kuwada SK (2008). Colonic adenoma risk in familial colorectal cancer--a study of six extended kindreds. Am J Gastroenterol, 103(10), 2577-84.
  20. Neklason DW, Stevens J, Boucher KM, Kerber RA, Matsunami N, Barlow J, Mineau G, Leppert MF, Burt RW (2008). American founder mutation for attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 6(1), 46-52.
  21. Kerber RA, Neklason DW, Samowitz WS, Burt RW (2005). Frequency of familial colon cancer and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome) in a large population database. Fam Cancer, 4(3), 239-44.
  22. Burt RW, Leppert MF, Slattery ML, Samowitz WS, Spirio LN, Kerber RA, Kuwada SK, Neklason DW, Disario JA, Lyon E, Hughes JP, Chey WY, White RL (2004). Genetic testing and phenotype in a large kindred with attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis. Gastroenterology, 127(2), 444-51.


  1. Deborah Neklason, Kim Herget, Austin Wood, Angela Snow, Lisa Cannon-Albright, James VanDerslice, Carol Sweeney, Rachael Hemmert, Marissa Taddie, Karen Curtin (10/20/2017). Incidence and Familial Etiology of Small Intestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors from Utah Population [Abstract]. Collaborative Group of Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer, Orlando, FL.
  2. Neklason, DW, Kerber, R, Nilson, D, Mineau, G, Burt, RW (2006). Common familial colorectal cancer linked to chromosome 7q32.33: a sibpair study [Abstract]. Hered Cancer Clin Pract.


  1. Neklason DW, Burt RW (2011). Methods of detecting hereditary cancer predisposition. U.S. Patent No. 61/505,926. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


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