Quick Links

How to Find Us

Division of Rheumatology
1959 NE Pacific St
Health Science Bldg BB561
Campus Box 356428
Seattle, WA 98195

Email Us

Phone: 206-543-3414

Click here for directions & other rheumatology locations.


J. Lee Nelson, M.D.

Professor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave N
Immunogenetics, D2-112
Box 358080
Seattle, WA 98109-1024


Nelson Lab | Phone: 206-667-6840




  • M.D., University of California, Davis, CA 1977
  • Internship in Family Medicine, Spokane, WA, 1977-78
  • Residency in Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 1978-81
  • Fellowship in Rheumatology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1981-84




Dr. Nelson studies how tissue antigens such as HLA influence susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In addition, she is investigating how transfer of cells between mothers and the fetus influence susceptibility to scleroderma and other diseases. Read more about her research...





Gammill, HG, Nelson JL. Naturally acquired microchimerism. Int J Dev Bio, 54:531-43, 2010. PMCID: In process.

Guthrie KA, Gammill HS, Madeleine MM, Dugowson CE, Nelson JL. Parity and HLA alleles in risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Chimerism. 2011 Jan;2(1):11-15.

Adams-Waldorf K, Gammill HS, Lucas J, Aydelotte TM, Leisenring W, Lambert NC, Nelson JL. Dynamic changes in fetal microchimerism in maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells, CD4+ and CD8+ cells in normal pregnancy. Placenta, May 31, 2010. [Epub ahead of print.]

Radstake TRDJ, Gorlova O, Rueda B, Martin JE, Alizadeh B, Palomino-Morales R, Coenen M, Vonk M, Voskuyl A, Scheurweg A, Broen J, van Riel PLCM, Riemekasten G, Gay G, Gonzalez-Escribano M, Spanish Scleroderma Group, Gregersen P, Lee A, Wigley F, Hummers L, Nelson JL, Agarwal S, Assassi S, Gourh P, Tan F, Koeleman B, Arnett F, Martin J, Mayes M. Genome-wide association study in systemic sclerosis identifies novel susceptibility loci. Nature Genetics, Apr 11 2010. [Epub ahead of print].

Guthrie KA, Dugowson C, Voigt LF, Koepsell TD, Nelson JL. Does pregnancy provide vaccine-like protection against rheumatoid arthritis? Arthritis Rheum, Mar 22 2010. [Epub ahead of print.]

Nelson JL. Naturally acquired microchimerism: For better or for worse. Arthritis Rheum 60:5-7, 2009. PMCID: PMC2693961.

Stevens, AM, Hermes HM, Kiefer MM, Rutledge JC, Nelson JL. Chimeric Maternal cells with tissue-specific antigen expression and morphology are common in infant tissues. Pediatr Dev Pathol 12:337-46, 2009. PMCID: PMC2783488.

Adams KA, Nelson JL. Autoimmune disease during pregnancy and the microchimerism legacy of pregnancy. Immunol Invest 37:631-44, 2008. PMCID: PMC2709983.

Guthrie KG, Tishkevich NR, Nelson JL. Non-inherited maternal HLA alleles in susceptibility to familial rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 68:107-9, 2009. PMCID: PMC2760537.

Nelson JL. Your cells are my cells. Scientific American 298:72-76, 2008. PMCID: PMC2693961.

Gadi VK, Malone KE, Guthrie KA, Porter PL. Nelson JL. Case-Control study of fetal microchimerism and breast Cancer. PLoS One 3:1706-10, 2008. PMCID: PMC2248618.

Nelson JL, Gillespie KM, Lambert NC, Stevens AM, Loubiere LS, Rutledge JC, Leisenring WM, Erickson TD, Yan Z, Mullarkey ME, Boespflug ND, Bingley PJ, Gale EAM. Maternal microchimerism in peripheral blood in type 1 diabetes and pancreatic islet  cell microchimerism. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:1637-42, 2007.

Adams K, Yan Z, Stevens AM, Nelson JL. The changing maternal “self” hypothesis: A mechanism for maternal tolerance of the fetus. Placenta 28:378-82, 2007.

Yan Z, Ostensen M, Lambert NC, Guthrie KA, Nelson JL. Prospective study of cell-free fetal DNA and disease activity during pregnancy in women with inflammatory arthritis.



Quick Links:

Division Publications | Clinical Faculty



Go to top