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Jacqueline Payton, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Medical Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
Director, Clinical Pathology Physician Scientist Training Program


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  • BS: Bradley University, Peoria, IL (1996)
  • PhD: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL (2002)
  • Genetic Epidemiology Certificate Program: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (2007)
  • Clinical Pathology Residency: Washington University and Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO (2008)

Board Certifications

  • Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, Physician and Surgeon License No. 2008022583 (2008)
  • Diplomate, American Board of Pathology, Clinical Pathology (2008)


  • 2016 Distinguished Investigator Award, Washington University School of Medicine
  • 2009 International Assoc. for Comparative Research on Leukemia & Related Diseases Travel Award
  • 2008 College of American Pathologists Foundation Research Scholar Award
  • 2007 Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians & Scientists
  • 2004 University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Charles Spencer Williamson Award, Internal Medicine
  • 2004 Pediatrics Award, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2004 American Medical Women’s Association Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Citation, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2004 Medical Scholars Program Certificate, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2004 MD with Honors, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, elected as a Junior, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2003 Scholar Award from P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organization
  • 2003 Daniel K. and Frances A. Bloomfield Fellowship, University of Illinois at Chicago College ofMedicine at Urbana-Champaign Medical Scholars Program
  • 2003 Otto Saphir Award for Excellence in Pathology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
  • 2002 American Federation for Aging Research Scholarship
  • 1998 Paul D. Doolen Graduate Scholarship, Alternate
  • 1999 Developmental Psychobiology and Neurobiology Training Grant, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 1997 Harry J. Diffenbaugh Fellowship

  • 1997 Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention

  • 1996 Enhancement Scholarship, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign Medical Scholars Program

  • 1996 Summa Cum Laude, Bradley University, Peoria, IL

  • 1996 Winner, Science Division, Bradley University Research Symposium, Peoria, IL

  • 1996 Outstanding Senior in Biology and Academic Wall of Fame, Bradley University, Peoria, IL

  • 1992-1996 National Merit Scholarship, Bradley University, Peoria, IL

Clinical Interests

  • Molecular Pathology

Research Interests

The Payton Lab is a “damp” lab that integrates -omics discovery via bioinformatic analysis of large datasets with cellular and molecular experimental models to elucidate novel regulatory mechanisms. Our research focuses on the roles of non-coding regulatory elements in promoting cellular transformation and cancer, specifically in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Using chromatin profiling, we identified novel enhancers that are recurrently altered in primary NHL tumors and perturb the expression of genes involved in cellular transformation (Koues et al, Immunity, 2015) . We also demonstrated that mutations in enhancers alter their function by abrogating transcription factor binding and reducing target gene transcription. In parallel studies, we are developing therapeutic approaches that specifically target lymphoma-altered enhancers for epigenetic reversal (Luo et al, 2016). While examining these NHL enhancers, we discovered an enrichment of novel and annotated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) with altered activity in lymphoma B cells. The Payton lab is investigating these lncRNAs, in order to elucidate novel mechanisms by which they regulate or modulate lymphomagenic pathways. Our ultimate goal is to identify novel pathways and regulatory elements that may be future therapeutic targets in hematologic malignancy.


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