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David R. Nelson, PhD

858 Madison Ave.
101 I Molecular Science Building
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901.448.8303
Fax: 901.448.7360

Research Interests

My work is on the evolutionary genomics of Cytochrome P450. This involves bioinformatic methods to find, assemble and name all P450 (CYP) genes in public and project specific databases. This data is used to trace the evolutionary history of this large and biochemically significant gene superfamily. The data I collect and curate is kept on the Cytochrome P450 Homepage. This site lists more than 4500 named P450 genes, with various links to other related sites. Many of my lectures given at cytochrome P450 meetings are posted there with slides and text. Also, many relevant publications are posted in PDF format on the site, and more are being added, including those rare and hard to find papers from before the internet days publications link.

I am also interested in the early evolution of eukaryotes as defined by unique events in the history of life like the fusion of Cytochrome oxidase I and II in the mitochondrial genomes of Mycetozoans. This molecular rarity is called a synapomorphy and marks a clade in the tree of life. Because the event is so rare, it can be inferred to have happened only one time, so all organisms that share this feature must share a common ancestor. The history of life can be reconstructed by finding such events in the genome databases. For more info see my Molecular History of Life Page.

One must always keep a sense of humor about oneself, and so I offer this picture showing me hard at work in bioinformatics Nirvana.

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  • BS Chemistry and Biology, University of Washington 1977
  • BS Numerical Analysis, University of Washington 1977
  • PhD Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 1985

Dr. David Nelson's CV

Last Published: Dec 20, 2019