Dr. John Nelson was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and had his formal education in that state, receiving his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1954. After an internal medicine internship, he served two years in the U.S. Army in Nuremberg, Germany, where he changed his career goal from internal medicine to pediatrics. In 1957 he came to Dallas for pediatric residency training, and he has remained at UT Southwestern ever since.

Dr. Nelson's initial research produced fluorescent antibody diagnostic tests for pertussis, enteropathogenic E. coli, toxigenic diphtheria organisms, Listeria and group A streptococci. He was the first to report on suprapubic bladder aspiration of urine in newborns for diagnostic purposes. Later research was in diarrheal diseases, especially shigellosis, in pharmacokinetic studies of antibiotics to establish safe and effective dosages for infants and children, bone and joint infections and meningitis.

In 1975 he produced the first edition of Pocket Book of Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy which has gone through 21 editions and is now edited by Dr. John Bradley and titled Nelson's Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy.

In 1981 Dr. Nelson and Dr. George McCracken established the National Pediatric Infectious Disease Seminar, which continued until the 28th annual meeting in 2007. In 1982 Drs. Nelson and McCracken founded The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal for which they continue as Chief Editors.

Dr. Nelson became Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in 1997.


University of Minnesota Twin Cities (1951)
Medical School
University of Minnesota Twin Cities (1954)


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Community-acquired pneumonia in children: Guidelines for treatment
John D Nelson Pediatric Infectious Disease 2000 19 251-3
Suppurativre and reactive arthritis in children
Trujillo M and Nelson JD Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases 1997 8
Toward simple but safe management of osteomyelitis
John D Nelson Pediatrics 1997 99 883-4
Mechanisms of antibacterial resistance
John D Nelson Advances in Pediatrics 1997 44
Clinical importance of compliance and patient tolerance.
John D Nelson Infectious Disease 1995 4 (2 Suppl): S95-S97