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Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD

Paul Nghiem

Associate Professor, Division of Dermatology
Adjunct Associate Professor, Oral Health Sciences
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Pathology


Office: 815 Mercer Street
Box: 358050

Research Interests

Skin cancer biology, particularly the molecular mechanism by which the protein kinase ATR mediates an essential cell cycle arrest following DNA damage such as by ultraviolet radiation.

A major portion of the lab is focused on basic, clinical and translational research aspects of Merkel cell carcinoma. We are involved in several clinical studies on this increasingly common and often lethal skin cancer to determine its basic genetic underpinnings as well as its clinical course and optimal management. The Merkel cell carcinoma Multicenter Interest Group (MMIG), an international collaborative group, has been formed to leverage diverse resources, interests and expertise to make a difference in this cancer.


  1. Boswell SA, Ongusaha PP, Nghiem P, Lee SW. The Protective Role of a Small GTPase RhoE Against UVB-induced DNA Damage in Keratinocytes. J Biol Chem. 282(7):4850-4858, 2007.
  2. *Kawasumi M, Nghiem P.  Chemical genetics: Elucidating biological systems with small molecules.  J Invest Dermatol. 127(7):1577-84, 2007.
  3. *Koo S-W, Hirakawa S, Fujii S, Kawasumi M, Nghiem P.  Protection from photodamage by topical application of caffeine after UV. Br J Dermatol. 156:957, 2007.
  4. *Lu YP, Lou YR, Peng QY, Xie JG, Nghiem P, Conney AH. Effect of Caffeine on the ATR/Chk1 Pathway in the Epidermis of UVB-Irradiated Mice. Can Res. 68(7):2523-2529, 2008.
  5. *Heffernan T, Kawasumi M, Blasina A, Anderes K, Conney A, Nghiem P.  ATR–Chk1 Pathway Inhibition Promotes Apoptosis after UV Treatment in Primary Human Keratinocytes: Potential Basis for the UV Protective Effects of Caffeine.  J Invest Dermatol. 2009.
  6. * Lemos B, Storer B, Iyer J, Phillips JL, Bichakjian CK, Fang LC, Johnson TM, Liegeois-Kwon NJ, Otley CC, Paulson KG, Ross MI, Yu SS, Zeitouni NC, Byrd DR, Sondak VK, Gershenwald JE, Sober AJ, Nghiem P. Pathologic nodal evaluation improves prognostic accuracy in Merkel cell carcinoma: Analysis of 5,823 cases as the basis of the first consensus staging system for this cancer. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010. [PubMed]
  7. Kelly G. Paulson*, Joseph J. Carter*, Lisa G. Johnson, Kevin W. Cahill, Jayasri G. Iyer, David Schrama, Juergen C. Becker, Margaret M. Madeleine, Paul Nghiem**, Denise A.Galloway**. Antibodies to Merkel cell polyomavirus T-antigen oncoproteins reflect Merkel cell carcinoma tumor burden. Can Res. 2010. [PubMed]
  8. Kelly G. Paulson, Jayasri G. Iyer, Paul Nghiem. Asymmetric lateral distribution of melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma in the United States. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011.