David W. Ellison, MD, PhD
David W. Ellison, MD, PhD

David W. Ellison, MD, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Chair, Pathology Department
  • Director, Neuropathology
  • St. Jude Endowed Chair in Neuropathology



MA / MBBChir / MD – Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
MSc / PhD – Universities of London and Southampton

Research Interests

  • The diagnosis and classification of childhood nervous system tumors
  • Molecular markers of biologic behavior in childhood nervous system tumors  

Selected Publications

Godfraind C, Kaczmarska JM, Kocak M, Dalton J, Wright KD, Sanford RA, Boop FA, Gajjar A, Merchant TE, Ellison DW. Distinct disease-risk groups in pediatric supratentorial and posterior fossa ependymomas. Acta Neuropathol 124:247-257, 2012.

Kool M, Korshunov A, Remke M, Jones DT, Schlanstein M, Northcott PA, Cho YJ, Koster J, Schouten-van Meeteren A, van Vuurden D, Clifford SC, Pietsch T, von Bueren AO, Rutkowski S, McCabe M, Collins VP, Bäcklund ML, Haberler C, Bourdeaut F, Delattre O, Doz F, Ellison DW, Gilbertson RJ, Pomeroy SL, Taylor MD, Lichter P, Pfister SM. Molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma: an international meta-analysis of transcriptome, genetic aberrations, and clinical data of WNT, SHH, Group 3, and Group 4 medulloblastomas. Acta Neuropathol 123:473-484, 2012.

Wu G, Broniscer A, McEachron TA, Lu C, Paugh BS, Becksfort J, Qu C, Ding L, Huether R, Parker M, Zhang J, Gajjar A, Dyer MA, Mullighan CG, Gilbertson RJ, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Ellison DW, Zhang J, Baker SJ; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital–Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project. Somatic histone H3 alterations in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and non-brainstem glioblastomas. Nat Genet 44:251-253, 2012.

Patay Z, Mills JC, Löbel U, Lambert A, Sablauer A, Ellison DW. Cerebral neoplasms in L-2 hydroxyglutaric aciduria: 3 new cases and meta-analysis of literature data. Am J Neuroradiol 33:940-943, 2012.

Paugh BS, Broniscer A, Qu C, Miller CP, Zhang J, Tatevossian RG, Olson JM, Geyer JR, Chi SN, da Silva NS, Onar-Thomas A, Baker JN, Gajjar A, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Genome-wide analyses identify recurrent amplifications of receptor tyrosine kinases and cell-cycle regulatory genes in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. J Clin Oncol 29:3999-4006, 2011.

Chow LM, Endersby R, Zhu X, Rankin S, Qu C, Zhang J, Broniscer A, Ellison DW, Baker SJ. Cooperativity within and among Pten, p53, and Rb pathways Induces high-grade astrocytoma in adult brain. Cancer Cell 19:305-316, 2011.

Lawson AR, Hindley GF, Forshew T, Tatevossian RG, Jamie GA, Kelly GP, Neale GA, Ma J, Jones TA, Ellison DW, Sheer D. RAF gene fusion breakpoints in pediatric brain tumors are characterized by significant enrichment of sequence microhomology. Genome Res 21:505-514, 2011.

Ellison DW, Dalton J, Kocak M, Nicholson SL, Fraga C, Neale G, Kenney AM, Brat DJ, Perry A, Yong WH, Taylor RE, Bailey S, Clifford SC, Gilbertson RJ. Medulloblastoma: clinicopathological correlates of SHH, WNT, and non-SHH/WNT molecular subgroups. Acta Neuropathol 121:381-396, 2011.

Ellison DW, Kocak M, Dalton J, Megahed H, Lusher ME, Ryan SL, Zhao W, Nicholson SL, Taylor RE, Bailey S, Clifford SC. Definition of disease-risk stratification groups in childhood medulloblastoma using combined clinical, pathological and molecular variables. J Clin Oncol 29:1400-1407, 2011.

Gibson P, Tong Y, Robinson G, Thompson MC, Currle DS, Eden C, Kranenburg TA, Hogg T, Poppleton H, Martin J, Finkelstein D, Pounds S, Weiss A, Patay Z, Scoggins M, Ogg R, Pei Y, Yang ZJ, Brun S, Lee Y, Zindy F, Lindsey JC, Taketo MM, Boop FA, Sanford RA, Gajjar A, Clifford SC, Roussel MF, McKinnon PJ, Gutmann DH, Ellison DW, Wechsler-Reya R, Gilbertson RJ. Subtypes of medulloblastoma have distinct developmental origins. Nature 468:1095-1099, 2010.

Tatevossian RG, Tang B, Dalton J, Forshew T, Lawson AR, Ma J, Neale G, Shurtleff SA, Bailey S, Gajjar A, Baker SJ, Sheer D, Ellison DW. MYB upregulation and genetic aberrations in a subset of pediatric low-grade gliomas. Acta Neuropathol 120:731-743, 2010.

Ellison DW. Childhood medulloblastoma: novel approaches to the classification of a heterogeneous disease (Invited review). Acta Neuropathol 120:305-316, 2010.

Forshew T, Tatevossian RG, Lawson AR, Ma J, Neale G, Ogunkolade BW, Jones TA, Aarum J, Dalton J, Bailey S, Chaplin T, Carter RL, Gajjar A, Broniscer A, Young BD, Ellison DW*, Sheer D*. Activation of the ERK/MAPK pathway: a signature genetic defect in posterior fossa pilocytic astrocytomas. J Pathol 218:172-181, 2009.

Zhu L, Gibson P, Currle DS, Tong Y, Richardson RJ, Bayazitov IT, Poppleton H, Zakharenko S, Ellison DW, Gilbertson RJ. Prominin-1 marks intestinal stem cells that are susceptible to neoplastic transformation. Nature 457:603-607, 2009.

McManamy CS, Pears J, Weston CL, Hanzely Z, Ironside JW, Taylor RE, Grundy RG, Clifford SC, Ellison DW. Nodule formation and desmoplasia in medulloblastomas - defining the nodular / desmoplastic variant and its biological behavior. Brain Pathol 17:151-164, 2007.

Clifford SC, Lusher ME, Lindsey JC, Langdon JA, Gilbertson RJ, Straughton D, Ellison DW. Wnt / wingless pathway activation and chromosome 6 loss characterize a distinct molecular sub-group of medulloblastomas associated with a favorable prognosis. Cell Cycle 5:2666-2670, 2006.

Lamont JM, McManamy CS, Pearson AD, Clifford SC, Ellison DW. Combined histopathological and molecular cytogenetic stratification of medulloblastoma patients. Clin Cancer Res 10:5482-5493, 2004.

Ellison DW, Onilude OE, Weston CL, Lusher ME, Lindsey JC, Taylor RE, Pearson AD, Clifford SC. b-catenin status predicts a favorable outcome in childhood medulloblastoma; on behalf of the United Kingdom Children's Cancer Study Group Brain Tumour Committee. J Clin Oncol 23:7951-7957, 2005.

McManamy CS, Lamont JM, Taylor RE, Cole M, Pearson AD, Clifford SC, Ellison DW. Morphophenotypic variation predicts clinical behavior in childhood non-desmoplastic medulloblastomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 62:627-632, 2003.

Gilbertson RJ, Bentley L, Hernan R, Junttila TT, Frank AJ, Haapasalo H, Connelly M, Wetmore C, Curran T, Elenius K, Ellison DW. ErbB receptor signaling promotes ependymoma cell proliferation and represents a potential novel therapeutic target for this disease. Clin Cancer Res 8:3054-3064, 2002.

Carter M, Nicholson J, Ross F, Crolla J, Allibone R, Balaji V, Perry R, Walker D, Gilbertson RJ, Ellison DW. Genetic abnormalities detected in ependymomas by comparative genomic hybridisation. Br J Cancer 86:929-939, 2002.

Gilbertson RJ, Wickramasinghe C, Hernan R, Balaji V, Hunt D, Jones-Wallace D, Crolla J, Perry R, Lunec J, Pearson A, Ellison DW. Clinical and molecular stratification of disease risk in medulloblastoma. Br J Cancer 85:705-712, 2001.

Nicholson JC, Ross FM, Kohler JA, Ellison DW. Comparative genomic hybridization and histological variation in primitive neuroectodermal tumours. Br J Cancer 80:1322-1331, 1999.

Bennetto L, Foreman N, Harding B, Hayward R, Ironside J, Love S, Ellison DW. Ki-67 immunolabelling index is a prognostic indicator in childhood posterior fossa ependymomas. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 24:434-440, 1998.

Ellison DW, Steart PV, Bateman AC, Pickering RM, Palmer JD, Weller RO. Prognostic indicators in a spectrum of astrocytic tumours: an immunohistochemical study with Ki-67 and p53 antibodies. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 59:413-419, 1995.

Ellison DW, Zygmunt SC, Weller RO. Neurocytoma / lipoma (neurolipocytoma) of the cerebellum. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 19:95-98, 1993.

Ellison DW, Gatter KC, Steart PV, Lane DP, Weller RO. Expression of the p53 protein in a spectrum of astrocytic tumours. J Pathol 168:383-386, 1992.

Ellison DW, Kowall NW, Martin JB. A subset of neurons characterised by the presence of NADPH-diaphorase in human substantia innominata. J Comp Neurol 260:233-245, 1987.

Ellison DW, Beal MF, Mazurek MF, Malloy JR, Bird ED, Martin JB. Amino acid neurotransmitter abnormalities in Huntington’s disease and the quinolinic acid model of Huntington’s disease. Brain 110:1657-1673, 1987.

Beal MF, Kowall NW, Ellison DW, Mazurek MF, Swartz KJ, Martin JB. Replication of the neurochemical characteristics of Huntington’s disease by quinolinic acid. Nature 321:168-171, 1986.

Last update: March 2012