Return to the Faculty List

Elliot Nelson, MD

Current Position
Professor of Psychiatry

Education and Training
B.A.: Natural Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 1982
Medical School: University Of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, Illinois, 1986
Residency: Psychiatry, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, 1990

Areas of Clinical Interest
Anxiety and affective disorders

Areas of Research Interests
I have expertise in genetic studies of opioid and other drug dependence. I also have a strong interest in the contribution of trauma exposure to liability for psychopathology. I have conducted large investigations in these areas.

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Nelson EC, Heath AC, Madden PA, Cooper ML, Dinwiddie SH, Bucholz KK, Glowinski A, McLaughlin T, Dunne MP, Statham DJ, Martin NG, (2002 Feb). Association between self-reported childhood sexual abuse and adverse psychosocial outcomes: results from a twin study. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 59(2): 139-45.  Full Article ->

Agrawal A, Nelson EC, Littlefield AK, Bucholz KK, Degenhardt L, Henders AK, Madden PA, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Pergadia ML, Sher KJ, Heath AC, Lynskey MT, (2012 Jul). Cannabinoid receptor genotype moderation of the effects of childhood physical abuse on anhedonia and depression. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 69(7): 732-40.  Full Article ->

Nelson EC, Lynskey MT, Heath AC, Wray N, Agrawal A, Shand FL, Henders AK, Wallace L, Todorov AA, Schrage AJ, Saccone NL, Madden PA, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, (2013 Mar). ANKK1, TTC12, and NCAM1 polymorphisms and heroin dependence: importance of considering drug exposure. JAMA Psychiatry. 70(3): 325-33.  Full Article ->

Nelson EC, Lynskey MT, Heath AC, Wray N, Agrawal A, Shand FL, Henders AK, Wallace L, Todorov AA, Schrage AJ, Madden PA, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, (2014 Jan). Association of OPRD1 polymorphisms with heroin dependence in a large case-control series. Addict Biol. 19(1): 111-21.  Full Article ->

Hancock DB, Levy JL, Gaddis NC, Glasheen C, Saccone NL, Page GP, Hulse GK, Wildenauer D, Kelty EA, Schwab SG, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Attia J, Holliday EG, McEvoy M, Scott RJ, Bierut LJ, Nelson EC, Kral AH, Johnson EO, (2015 Oct). Cis-Expression Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping Reveals Replicable Associations with Heroin Addiction in OPRM1. Biol. Psychiatry. 78(7): 474-84.  Full Article ->

Nelson EC, Agrawal A, Heath AC, Bogdan R, Sherva R, Zhang B, Al-Hasani R, Bruchas MR, Chou YL, Demers CH, Carey CE, Conley ED, Fakira AK, Farrer LA, Goate A, Gordon S, Henders AK, Hesselbrock V, Kapoor M, Lynskey MT, Madden PA, Moron JA, Rice JP, Saccone NL, Schwab SG, Shand FL, Todorov AA, Wallace L, Wang T, Wray NR, Zhou X, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Hariri AR, Kranzler HR, Gelernter J, Bierut LJ, Clark DJ, Montgomery GW, (2016 May). Evidence of CNIH3 involvement in opioid dependence. Mol. Psychiatry. 21(5): 608-14.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NIDA(PI):Using Transgenic Mice to Examine the Role of CHIH3 Variants in Opioid Dependence
NIDA(Co-I) Cannabis, Depression and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
NIAAA(Co-I):Center on Women and Alcoholism

NIDA(PI of Center for Inherited Disease Research Project (CIDR)): A GWAS of Heroin Dependence
NIAAA(PI): Project 7: Examining genotype x environment interaction in the context of a GWAS (P60 Lead PI: A.Heath)
NIDA(PI):Opioid Dependence: Candidate Genes and G x E Effects
NIAAA (& NICHD / NIMH) (PI): Childhood Trauma, Parental Alcoholism, and Comorbidity