Elaine R. Mardis, PhD

Elaine Mardis

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Elaine Mardis, PhD, is co-executive director of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and holds the Rasmussen Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine. She also is a professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Mardis is an internationally recognized expert in cancer genomics, with ongoing interests in the integrated characterization of cancer genomes, defining DNA-based somatic and germline interactions and RNA-based pathways, and immune microenvironments that lead to cancer onset and progression, specifically involving pediatric cancers. Most recently, her research has been oriented toward translational aspects of cancer genomics, specifically identifying how the cancer genome changes with treatment, including acquired resistance, the use of genomics in understanding immune therapy response, and the clinical benefit of cancer molecular profiling in the pediatric setting.

Dr. Mardis is principal investigator for the Molecular Characterization Initiative: a collaborative project between the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and Nationwide Children's that aims to collect, analyze, and report clinical molecular data to support COG-affiliated clinicians in choosing the best individualized treatment for pediatric cancer patients. This program is part of the NCI Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI).

Her expertise in developing high throughput pipelines for DNA sequencing at large scale was a pivotal contribution to the sequencing and completion of the Human Genome Project, considered one of the greatest scientific feats in history. She also co-led the research team that first sequenced and analyzed a whole cancer genome using next-generation sequencing methods.

Dr. Mardis has authored over 489 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been listed since 2013 as one of the most highly cited researchers in the world by Thompson Reuters/Clarivate. She currently serves as deputy editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms, as co-editor-in-chief of Cancer Research Communications, and is the editor-in-chief of Molecular Case Studies.  The latter is a Cold Spring Harbor Press journal that she founded.

She was awarded the Morton K. Schwartz Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in 2016, and the Heath Memorial Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2019. Dr. Mardis served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) from 2019-2020 and in 2019 was elected a fellow of the AACR Academy and to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.

Educated at the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Zoology and a PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dr. Mardis conducted postgraduate work in industry at BioRad Laboratories. She was on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine from 1993-2016 where she served as co-director of the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University.

See Elaine R. Mardis’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Graduate School University of Oklahoma Date Completed: 12/31/1989
Undergraduate School University of Oklahoma Date Completed: 12/31/1984
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Institute for Genomic Medicine
Elaine Mardis

Meet Elaine Mardis, PhD: The Institute for Genomic Medicine

Dr. Elaine Mardis is one of the most respected and prolific names in science today. She serves as the co-director of our Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital.