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Marcus Nashelsky, MD

Assistant Iowa State Medical Examiner
Clinical Professor of Pathology

Contact Information

Primary Office
5244C Carver Pavilion (RCP)
Iowa City, IA 52242


BA, University of Wyoming
MD, University of Nebraska College of Medicine
Resident, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, University of Missouri-Columbia Hospitals and Clinics
Fellow, Forensic Pathology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Licensure and Certifications

Diplomate, Forensic Pathology - American Board of Pathology
Diplomate, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology - American Board of Pathology

Research Summary

The autopsy is a low-tech, high-yield medical procedure firmly rooted in the history of medicine. It is an extraordinary tool for quality improvement of medical care, public heath and, most important, clear explanation of why a person has died. Few autopsies are performed in the United States (approximately 7% of deaths have an autopsy). This low utilization is not, fortunately, a challenge at UIHC (approximately 30% institutional autopsy rate). My primary research interests are the educational benefits of the autopsy and developing effective strategies for communicating this information.


Persons, J. E., Hefti, M. M. & Nashelsky, M. B. (2019). Epidemiology of suicide in an Iowa cohort. Public health, 177, 128-134. PMID: 31563700.

Sainju, R. K., Dragon, D. N., Winnike, H. B., Nashelsky, M. B., Granner, M. A., Gehlbach, B. K. & Richerson, G. B. (2019). Ventilatory response to CO 2 in patients with epilepsy. Epilepsia, 60(3), 508-517. PMID: 30756391.

Eigsti, R., Firchau, D. J. & Nashelsky, M. B. (2018). 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) Intoxication in a Young Adult with Giant Coronary Aneurysms from Kawasaki Disease. Academic Forensic Pathology, 8(3), 752-762. DOI: 10.1177/1925362118797751.

Davis, G. G., Winters, G. L., Fyfe, B. S., Hooper, J. E., Iezzoni, J. C., Johnson, R. L., Markwood, P. S., Naritoku, W. Y., Nashelsky, M., Sampson, B. A., Steinberg, J. J., Stubbs, J. R., Timmons, C. & Hoffman, R. D. (2018). Report and Recommendations of the Association of Pathology Chairs’ Autopsy Working Group. Academic Pathology, 5, 237428951879398. DOI: 10.1177/2374289518793988.

Dlouhy, B. J., Ciliberto, M., Cifra, C., Kirby, P., Shrock, D., Nashelsky, M. & Richerson, G. (2017). Unexpected death in a child with complex febrile seizures- similar pathophysiology to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy?. Front Neurol, 8(21). PMID: 28203222.

Nashelsky, M., Sinard, J. H. (2017). Chapter 10: Decedent Affairs Program. In K. A. Collins (Eds.) Autopsy Performance & Reporting. (3rd), pp. 69-72. Northfield, IL: College of American Pathologists.

(2016). Fractures of the hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage. (FRA-01) College of American Pathologists Press.

Nashelsky, M., Firchau, D. (2015). Anamalous coronary artery circulation. (FRA-03) College of American Pathologists Press.

Lin, L. H., Jin, J., Nashelsky, M. B. & Talman, W. T. (2014). Acid-sensing ion channel 1 and nitric oxide synthase are in adjacent layers in the wall of rat and human cerebral arteries. J Chem Neuroanat, 61-62, 161-8. PMID: 25462386.

Jacob, M., Nashelsky, M. B. & Dailey, M. O. (2014). Accidental ingestion of a grill brush wire resulting in death. Acad Forensic Pathol, 4(2), 240-3. DOI: 10.23907/2014.037.

Behonick, G., Shanks, K. G., Firchau, D. J., Mathur, G., Lynch, C. F., Nashelsky, M., Jaskierny, D. J. & Meroueh, c. (2014). Four postmortem case reports with quantitiative detection of the synthetic cannabinoid, 5F-PB-22. (Vols. 38). (8), pp. 559-562. J Anal Toxicol. PMID: 24876364.

Nashelsky, M. (2014). Hemochromatosis. (FRB-11) College of American Pathologists Press.

Nashelsky, M., Kilborn, S. (2013). Schizophrenia and sudden, unexpected death. (FRA-02) College of American Pathologists Press.

Nashelsky, M., Kurt-Mangold, M. & Firchau, D. (2013). Myxomatous mitral valve disease. (FRB-07) College of American Pathologists Press.

Harris, M. L., Massaquoi, D., Soyemi, K., Brend, S. M., Klein, D., Pentella, M., Kraemer, J., Nashelsky, M., Schmunk, G., Smith, T. & Pleva, A. (2012). Recent Iowa trends in sudden unexpected infant deaths: the importance of public health collaboration with medical examiners' offices. Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 33(2), 113-8. PMID: 20938328.

Nashelsky, M. (2012). Death certification-Revisiting the primary CDC and NAME literature. Acad Forensic Pathol, 2(2), 120-5. DOI: 10.23907/2012.018.

Laczniak, A. N., Sato, Y. & Nashelsky, M. (2011). Postmortem gastric perforation (gastromalacia) mimicking abusive injury in sudden unexplained infant death. Pediatr Radiol, 41(12), 1595-7. PMID: 21607601.

Nashelsky, M., Pinckard, J. K. (2011). The death of SIDS. (Vols. 1). pp. 92-8. Annual meeting of the National Association of Medical Examiners, Alaska.

Light, T. D., Royer, N. A., Zabell, J., Le, M. B., Thomsen, T. A., Kealey, G. P., Alpen, M. A. & Nashelsky, M. B. (2011). Autopsy after traumatic death--a shifting paradigm. J Surg Res, 167(1), 121-4. PMID: 20031159.

Nashelsky, M., Pinckard, J. K. (2011). The death of SIDS. Acad Forensic Pathol, 1, 92-8.

(2011). Zip guns. (FRB-12) College of American Pathologists Press.

Baumer, T., Nashelsky, M., Hurst, C., Passalacqua, N., Fenton, T. & Haut, R. (2010). Characteristics and prediction of cranial crush injuries in children. J Forensic Sci, 55(6), 1416-21. PMID: 20533974.

Taktakishvili, O. M., Lin, L. H., Vanderheyden, A. D., Nashelsky, M. B. & Talman, W. T. (2010). Nitroxidergic innervation of human cerebral arteries. Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical, 156(1-2), 152-3. PMID: 20537599.

Nashelsky, M. (2009). Sudden death in a young woman with pulmonary hypertension. In Forensic Pathology Check Samples. (FP05-9) American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Zabell, J., Nashelsky, M., Thomsen, T., Alpen, M. A., Kealey, G. P. & Light, T. D. (2009). Rural versus urban trauma: demographic influences on autopsy rates. J Surg Res, 155(1), 132-5. PMID: 19135684.

Dwyre, D. M., Dursteler, B., Nashelsky, M., Friedman, K. D. & Raife, T. J. (2009). Value of ADAMTS13 activity and inhibitor in the postmortem diagnosis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. J Clin Apher, 24(3), 106-10. PMID: 19253359.

Oral, R., Yagmur, F., Nashelsky, M., Turkmen, M. & Kirby, P. (2008). Fatal abusive head trauma cases: consequence of medical staff missing milder forms of physical abuse. Pediatr Emerg Care, 24(12), 816-21. PMID: 19050665.

Bassuk, A. G., Wallace, R. H., Buhr, A., Buller, A. R., Afawi, Z., Shimojo, M., Miyata, S., Chen, S., Gonzalez-Alegre, P., Griesbach, H. L., Wu, S., Nashelsky, M., Vladar, E. K., Antic, D., Ferguson, P. J., Cirak, S., Voit, T., Scott, M. P., Axelrod, J. D., Gurnett, C., Daoud, A., Kivity, S., Neufeld, M., Mazarib, A., Straussberg, R., Walid, S., Korczyn, A. D., Slusarski, D. C., Berkovic, S. F. & El-Shanti, H. I. (2008). A homozygous mutation in human PRICKLE1 causes an autosomal-recessive progressive myoclonic epilepsy-ataxia syndrome. Am J Hum Genet, 83(5), 572-81. PMID: 18976727.

Clapper, A., Nashelsky, M. & Dailey, M. (2008). Evaluation of serum cortisol in the postmortem diagnosis of acute adrenal insufficiency. Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 29(2), 181-4. PMID: 18520491.

Zabell, J., Nashelsky, M. B., Light, T., Kealey, G. P. & Thomsen, T. (2008). Rural vs. urban trauma: demographic influences on autopsy rates. (Abstract #QS184), pp. 29. Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Academic Surgical Congress.

Royer, N. A., Zabell, J., Nashelsky, M. B., Thomsen, T., Kealey, G. P. & Light, T. (2007). Incidental genetic and public health diseases discovered on autopsy after traumatic death. (Vols. 35). (12 (Suppl)), pp. A63. Crit Care Med.

Cook, R. T., Schlueter, A. J., Coleman, R. A., Tygrett, L., Ballas, Z. K., Jerrells, T. R., Nashelsky, M. B., Ray, N. B., Haugen, T. H. & Waldschmidt, T. J. (2007). Thymocytes, pre-B cells, and organ changes in a mouse model of chronic ethanol ingestion--absence of subset-specific glucocorticoid-induced immune cell loss. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 31(10), 1746-58. PMID: 17681030.

Nolte, K. B., Lathrop, S. L., Nashelsky, M. B., Nine, J. S., Gallaher, M. M., Umland, E. T., McLemore, J. L., Reichard, R. R., Irvine, R. A., McFeeley, P. J. & Zumwalt, R. E. (2007). "Med-X": a medical examiner surveillance model for bioterrorism and infectious disease mortality. Human Pathology, 38(5), 718-25. PMID: 17437862.

Harre, B., Nashelsky, M. B., Douvoyiannis, M. & Shulman, S. T. (2006). Fatal group A streptococcal myopericarditis during influenza A infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 25(7), 660-1. PMID: 16804446.

Havlik, D. M., Nashelsky, M. B. (2006). Ruptured cerebral artery aneurysm and bacterial meningitis in a man with osteogenesis imperfecta. Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 27(2), 117-20. PMID: 16738428.

Nashelsky, M. B. (2005). Occupational health: Autopsy Pathology. In J. Payne-James , R. Byard , T. Corey , C. Henderson (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Ltd.

Nashelsky, M. B., Lawrence, C. H. (2003). Accuracy of cause of death determination without forensic autopsy examination. Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 24(4), 313-9. PMID: 14634467.

Nashelsky, M. B., McFeeley, P. J. (2003). Time of Death. In R. C. Froede (Eds.) Handbook of Forensic Pathology. (2nd) Northfield, IL: College of American Pathologists.

Nolte, K. B., Durka, G. R., Nashelsky, M. B., McLemore, J. L., Bollinger, B. K., McFeeley, P. J. & Zumwalt, R. Z. (2001). Medical examiner surveillance for bioterrorism mortality. Annual meeting of the National Association of Medical Examiners, Richmond, VA, October 2001..

Nashelsky, M. B. (2001). Call for help. West J Med, 174(3), 214-5. PMID: 11238367.

Nashelsky, M. (2001). Very long chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency study set. In Autopsy Pathology APEX case studies. College of American Pathologists.

Fischer, E. G., Marek, J. M., Morris, A. & Nashelsky, M. B. (2000). Cholesterol granulomas of the lungs associated with microangiopathic hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia in pulmonary hypertension. Report of a case and review of the literature. Arch Pathol Lab Med, 124(12), 1813-5. PMID: 11100063.

Savarirayan, R., Cormier-Daire, V., Curry, C. J., Nashelsky, M. B., Rappaport, V., Rimoin, D. L. & Lachman, R. S. (2000). New mesomelic dysplasia with absent fibulae and triangular tibiae. Am J Med Genet, 94(1), 59-63. PMID: 10982484.

Nashelsky, M. (1999). Undiagnosed Graves disease, thyrotoxicosis and sudden death. (FP99-2) American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Nashelsky, M. B., Dix, J. D. (1995). The time interval between lethal infant shaking and onset of symptoms: a review of the shaken baby syndrome literature. Am J Forensic Med Pathol, 16(2), 154-7. PMID: 7572873.

Benke, T. T., Zitsch, R. P. & Nashelsky, M. B. (1995). Bilateral oncocytic cysts of the nasopharynx. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 112(2), 321-4. PMID: 7838557.

Nashelsky, M. B., Dix, J. D. & Adelstein, E. H. (1995). Homicide facilitated by chloroform. J Forensic Sci, 40(1), 134-8. PMID: 7876797.

Nashelsky, M. B., Hess, M. M., Weisenburger, D. D., Pierson, J. L., Bast, M. A., Armitage, J. O. & Sanger, W. G. (1994). Cytogenetic abnormalities in B-immunoblastic lymphoma. Leuk Lymphoma, 14(5-6), 415-20. PMID: 7812201.

Loy, T. S., Nashelsky, M. B. (1993). Reactivity of B72.3 with adenocarcinomas: an immunohistochemical study of 472 cases. Cancer, 72(8), 2495-8. PMID: 8402466.