Don A. Delker, PhD

Research Interests

  • Translational Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Gene Expression
  • Cancer Biology
  • Toxicology


  • English
  • Spanish

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Research Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Gastroenterology

Academic Office Information

  • 801-585-0328
  • School of Medicine
    30 N 1900 E
    Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Academic Bio

Don A. Delker, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. As a nationally recognized genomics scientist, his research interests include the discovery of gene profiles predictive of chemical toxicity and human disease. He specializes in RNA sequencing analysis of human biospecimens to identify novel expression patterns predictive of cancer risk.

Dr. Delker’s research includes the characterization of gene expression profiles in sessile serrated colon polyps (SSA/Ps). Approximately 20-30% of colon cancers are thought to arise from SSA/Ps. He uses next generation sequencing technology and custom bioinformatics programs to develop gene signatures that distinguish SSA/Ps from other colon polyp types. The goal of this research is to develop improved diagnostics for SSA/Ps since histologically they are often difficult to distinguish from other more benign polyps.

Dr. Delker is a long time member of the Society of Toxicology and is a councilor for the Stem Cell Specialty Section. He also serves as an Investigator on an international research team studying the toxicity of bromate, a disinfection byproduct found in drinking water. Dr. Delker received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut. Previously, Dr. Delker served as Branch Chief of the Molecular Toxicology Branch at the National Health and Environmental Research Laboratory located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship The Dow Chemical Company
Genetic Toxicology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training University of Connecticut
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Undergraduate Brigham Young University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Ashktorab H, Delker D, Kanth P, Goel A, Carethers JM, Brim H (2019). Molecular Characterization of sessile serrated adenoma/polyps from a large African American cohort. (Epub ahead of print) Gastroenterology.
  2. Sanders KA, Delker DA, Huecksteadt T, Beck E, Wuren T, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Hazel MW, Hoidal JR (2019). RAGE is a Critical Mediator of Pulmonary Oxidative Stress, Alveolar Macrophage Activation and Emphysema in Response to Cigarette Smoke. Sci Rep, 9(1), 231.
  3. Kanth P, Hazel MW, Boucher KM, Yang Z, Wang L, Bronner MP, Boylan KE, Burt RW, Westover M, Neklason DW, Delker DA (2019). Small RNA sequencing of sessile serrated polyps identifies microRNA profile associated with colon cancer. Genes Chromosomes Cancer, 58(1), 23-33.
  4. Chang K, Willis JA, Reumers J, Taggart MW, San Lucas FA, Thirumurthi S, Kanth P, Delker DA, Hagedorn CH, Lynch PM, Ellis LM, Hawk ET, Scheet PA, Kopetz S, Arts J, Guinney J, Dienstmann R, Vilar E (2018). Colorectal premalignancy is associated with consensus molecular subtypes 1 and 2. Ann Oncol, 29(10), 2061-2067.
  5. 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.
  6. Schell JC, Wisidagama DR, Bensard C, Zhao H, Wei P, Tanner J, Flores A, Mohlman J, Sorensen LK, Earl CS, Olson KA, Miao R, Waller TC, Delker D, Kanth P, Jiang L, DeBerardinis RJ, Bronner MP, Li DY, Cox JE, Christofk HR, Lowry WE, Thummel CS, Rutter J (2017). Control of intestinal stem cell function and proliferation by mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism. Nat Cell Biol, 19(9), 1027-1036.
  7. 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.
  8. Zhang Y, Liu C, Barbier O, Smalling R, Tsuchiya H, Lee S, Delker D, Zou A, Hagedorn CH, Wang L (2016). Bcl2 is a critical regulator of bile acid homeostasis by dictating Shp and lncRNA H19 function. Sci Rep, 6, 20559.
  9. Delker DA, McGettigan BM, Kanth P, Pop S, Neklason DW, Bronner MP, Burt RW, Hagedorn CH (2014). RNA sequencing of sessile serrated colon polyps identifies differentially expressed genes and immunohistochemical markers. PLoS ONE, 9(2), e88367.
  10. McFarland AP, Horner SM, Jarret A, Joslyn RC, Bindewald E, Shapiro BA, Delker DA, Hagedorn CH, Carrington M, Gale M Jr, Savan R (2014). The favorable IFNL3 genotype escapes mRNA decay mediated by AU-rich elements and hepatitis C virus-induced microRNAs. Nat Immunol, 15(1), 72-9.
  11. Kolisetty N, Delker DA, Muralidhara S, Bull RJ, Cotruvo JA, Fisher JW, Cummings BS (2013). Changes in mRNA and protein expression in the renal cortex of male and female F344 rats treated with bromate. Arch Toxicol, 87(11), 1911-1925.
  12. Smalling RL, Delker DA, Zhang Y, Nieto N, McGuiness MS, Liu S, Friedman SL, Hagedorn CH, Wang L (2013). Genome-wide transcriptome analysis identifies novel gene signatures implicated in human chronic liver disease. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 305(5), G364-74.
  13. Negash AA, Ramos HJ, Crochet N, Lau DT, Doehle B, Papic N, Delker DA, Jo J, Bertoletti A, Hagedorn CH, Gale M Jr (2013). IL-1β production through the NLRP3 inflammasome by hepatic macrophages links hepatitis C virus infection with liver inflammation and disease. PLoS Pathog, 9(4), e1003330.
  14. Folkers ME, Delker DA, Maxwell CI, Nelson CA, Schwartz JJ, Nix DA, Hagedorn CH (2011). ENCODE tiling array analysis identifies differentially expressed annotated and novel 5' capped RNAs in hepatitis C infected liver. PLoS ONE, 6(2), e14697.
  15. Delker D, Hatch G, Allen J, Crissman B, George M, Geter D, Kilburn S, Moore T, Nelson G, Roop B, Slade R, Swank A, Ward W, DeAngelo A (2006). Molecular biomarkers of oxidative stress associated with bromate carcinogenicity. Toxicology, 221(2-3), 158-65.
  16. Delker DA, Yano BL, Gollapudi BB (2000). Evaluation of cytotoxicity, cell proliferation, and genotoxicity induced by p-cresidine in hetero- and nullizygous transgenic p53 mice. Toxicol Sci, 55(2), 361-9.
  17. Bolt AB, Papanikolaou A, Delker DA, Wang QS, Rosenberg DW (2000). Azoxymethane induces KI-ras activation in the tumor resistant AKR/J mouse colon. Mol Carcinog, 27(3), 210-8.
  18. Delker DA, Papanikolaou A, Suhr YJ, Rosenberg DW (2000). Diallyl sulfide enhances azoxymethane-induced preneoplasia in Fischer 344 rat colon. Chem Biol Interact, 124(3), 149-60.
  19. Delker DA, Wang QS, Papanikolaou A, Whiteley HE, Rosenberg DW (1999). Quantitative assessment of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in inbred mice. Exp Mol Pathol, 65(3), 141-9.


  1. Delker DA and Kanth P (2016). Methods and compositions for predicting a colon cancer subtype. U.S. Patent No. WO2017132139A1. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. Hagedorn C, Delker D and Burt R (2014). Compositions and methods for detecting sessile serrated adenomas/polyps. U.S. Patent No. WO2014062845 A1. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.