Skip to main content

Deborah Wood Neklason, Ph.D.

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

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

Divisions: Epidemiology

Academic Office Information


Research Interests

  • Genetics Colon Cancer

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

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