Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D., Professor
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Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D., Professor

Cornelis Elferink, Ph.D., Professor

Mary Gibbs Jones Distinguished Chair in Environmental Toxicology
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Director, Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine
Associate Director, MD/PhD Combined Degree Program
Email: coelferi@utmb.edu

The major focus of Dr. Elferink’s research is the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor, in liver homeostasis with an emphasis on the AhR-mediated regulation of cell cycle control.  The long-term objectives are to garner a mechanistic understanding of AhR activity in liver regeneration following hepatic injury.  These studies hold the promise of identifying new therapeutic targets for the treatment of various liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).  In a second research endeavor, the laboratory is actively seeking to identify serum biomarkers for early detection of HCC in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infected patients at-risk for developing cancer.  The approach involves proteomic strategies based on 2D-difference in gel electrophoresis and stable isotope labeling coupled to mass spectrometry, and multiplexed Selected Reaction Monitoring for use in validation studies.  Successful development of serum biomarkers will enhance surveillance of millions who are HCV-positive and at risk of developing HCC.