Cornelis Elferink

  • Professor
    Director, Center for Environmental Toxicology

    Phone: (409) 772-9624
    Fax: (409) 747-7050

  • 1982 – BSc, University of Adelaide, South Australia
    1983 – BSc (Hons), University of Adelaide, South Australia
    1988 – PhD, University of Adelaide, South Australia
    1988-1992, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University CA
  • The major focus of Dr. Elferink's research is the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in liver function and extra-hepatic processes affecting adiposity and glucose homeostasis.  The AhR is a ligand-activated soluble transcription factor historically studied in the context of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD, dioxin) toxicity following DNA binding to xenobiotic response elements (XREs).  TCDD toxicity however, represents a disruption of normal AhR biology that influences fundamental physiological processes underlying growth and differentiation.  Dr Elferink‘s studies have demonstrated that AhR biology regulates transcriptional and epigenetic processes affecting hepatocyte cell cycle control, apoptosis, and the production of hepatocrines (liver-derived hormones) with systemic properties.  The long-term objectives are to garner a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of AhR biology in the liver using contemporary molecular, cellular, and genome-wide methodologies in model systems.

    A second major research endeavor in the laboratory is focused on actively seeking to identify and develop serum biomarkers for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients at-risk for developing liver cancer.  The approach uses proteomic strategies based sophisticated separation strategies coupled with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry including multiplexed Selected Reaction Monitoring for use in validation studies.  Successful development of specific and sensitive serum biomarkers for early HCC will enhance surveillance of millions who are at risk of developing HCC.

    Elferink 1

    1. Joshi, A.D., Mustafa, G. M., Lichti, C.F., and Elferink, C.J. (2015).  Homocitrullination is a novel histone H1 epigenetic mark dependent on Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor recruitment of Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthase 1. J. Biol. Chem. 290:27767-27778.
    2. Mustafa, G..M., Denner, L., Petersen, J.R., and Elferink, C. (2015). Targeted Proteomics for Biomarker Discovery and Validation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Infected Patients. World Journal of Hepatology. 7:1312-1324.
      Joshi, A.D., Carter, D.E., Harper, T.A., and Elferink, C.J. (2015).  Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Dependent Stanniocalcin 2 Induction by Cinnabarinic Acid Provides Cytoprotection Against ER and Oxidative Stress. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 353:201-212.
    3. Jackson, D.P., Li, H., Mitchell, K.A., Joshi, A.D., and Elferink, C.J. (2014).  Ah Receptor Mediated Suppression of Liver Regeneration through NC-XRE-Driven p21Cip1 Expression.  Mol. Pharmacol. 85:533-541
      Wickliffe, J., Overton, E., Fricel, S., Howard, J., Wilson, M., Simon, B., Echsner, S., Nguyen, D., Gauthe, D., Blake, D., Miller, C., Elferink, C., Ansari, S., Fernando, H., Trapido, E., and Kane, A. (2014). Contemporary determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in environmental media: an opportunity to reconcile the results of analytical chemistry with human health risk assessment.  Environmental Health Perspectives. 122:6-9
    4. Mustafa, M.G., Petersen, J.R., Ju , H., Cicalese, L., Snyder, N., Haidacher, S.J., Denner, L., and Elferink, C. (2013). Biomarker Discovery for Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in Hepatitis C (HCV) Infected Patients. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics. 12:3640-3652.
    5. Wilson, S.R.*, Joshi, A.D.*, and Elferink, C.J. (2013).  The Tumor Suppressor Kruppel-Like Factor 6 is a Novel Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor DNA Binding Partner  JPET 345:419-429.  * denotes equal first authors.
      Harper, T.A., Joshi, A.D., and Elferink, C. (2013) Identification of Stanniocalcin 2 as a Novel Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Target Gene Implicated in Cell Survival.  JPET 344:579-588
    6. Sullivan, J., Croisant, S., Bambas-Nolen, A., Prochaska, J., Parras, B., and Elferink, C. (2012) Building Community-Research CBPR Capacity and Incubating Partnerships Through an Environmental Justice Network/Community Science Workshop.  International Journal of Community Based Research, 10:12-16.
    7. Huang, G. and Elferink C. (2012) A Novel Non-Consensus Xenobiotic Response Element Capable of Mediating Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Dependent Gene Expression.  Mol. Pharmacol. 81:338-347.

    Link to NCBI mybibliography