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James R. Eshleman, MD, PhD

Department Affiliations Department of Pathology, Department of Oncology, Associate Director Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
Rank Professor
Office Phone 410-955-3511
Lab Phone
Fax 410-614-0671
SOM Address 344 Cancer Research Building II

Alexis Norris 2010-2015

Research Interests

Dr. Eshleman’s research program involves two major areas. The first is basic science of colon cancer, specifically the involvement of mutator phenotypes in colon carcinogenesis. Mutator phenotypes are increased mutation rates which commonly arise due to defects in DNA replication or repair. We are investigating the hypothesis that during carcinogenesis, cells acquire defects in DNA repair systems (e.g. mismatch repair) that profoundly increases their spontaneous mutation rate and their ability to deal with mutagens/carcinogens. These mutations then drive carcinogenesis and may play a role in evading therapy. It is also possible that cell defects in DNA repair can also be used therapeutically.

The other area of Dr. Eshleman’s research is translational research involving molecular diagnostics. The sequence of the human genome, knowledge of disease causing mutations, and molecular diagnostic tools are all significantly increasing. However, substantial gaps exist between basic science findings and the ability to apply them in the clinical setting.


Research Profile

  • Eshleman JR, Donover PS, Littman SJ, Swinler SE, Li GM, Lutterbaugh JD, Willson JKV, Sedwick WD, Markowitz SD, and Veigl ML. Increased transversions in a novel mutator colon cancer. Oncogene, 16: 1125-1130, 1998.
  • Eshleman JR, Casey G, Kochera ME, Sedwick WD, Swinler SE, Veigl ML, Willson JKV, Schwartz S, and Markowitz SD. Chromosome number and structure both are markedly stable in RER colorectal cancers and are not destabilized by mutation of p53. Oncogene, 17: 719-726, 1998
  • Berg KD, Glaser CL, Thompson RE, Hamilton SR, Griffin CA, and Eshleman JR. Detection of microsatellite instability by fluorescence multiplex PCR. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2: 20-28, 2000.
  • Oliver DH, Thompson RE, Griffin CA, and Eshleman JR. Use of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) and Real-Time PCR for Bone Marrow Engraftment Analysis. The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2: 202-208.
  • Lee SC, Berg KD, Sherman ME, Griffin CA, Eshleman JR. Microsatellite instability is infrequent in medullary breast cancer. Am J Clin Pathol. 2001 Jun;115(6):823-7.