Marcus Nashelsky, MD

Johnson County, Iowa Medical Examiner
Clinical Professor of Pathology

Contact Information

Primary Office
5244C Roy Carver Pavilion
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.


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.

Harris, M. L., Massaquoi, D., Soyemi, K., Brend, S. M., Klein, D., Pentella, M., Kraemer, J., Nashelsky, M., Schmunk, G. & 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.

Light, T., Royer, N., Zabell, J., Le, M., Thomsen, T., Kealey, G., Alpen, M. A. & Nashelsky, M. (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.

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.

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

Dwyre, D., Dursteler, B., Nashelsky, M., Friedman, K. & Raife, T. (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.

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.

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.

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

Nashelsky, M. (2009). Sudden death in a young woman with pulmonary hypertension. (05-09) American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Bassuk, A., Wallace, R., Buhr, A., Buller, A. R., Afawi, Z., Shimojo, M., Miyata, S., Chen, S., Gonzalez-Alegre, P., Griesbach, H., Wu, S., Nashelsky, M., Vladar, E., Antic, D., Ferguson, P. J., Cirak, S., Voit, T., Scott, M., Axelrod, J., Gurnett, C., Daoud, A., Kivity, S., Neufeld, M., Mazarib, A., Straussberg, R., Walid, S., Korczyn, A., Slusarski, D., Berkovic, S. & El-Shanti, H. (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. T., Nashelsky, M. B. & 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.

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. 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. 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.

Nashelsky, M. Undiagnosed Graves disease, thyrotoxicosis and sudden death. (99-2) American Society of Clinical Pathologists.