Dr. Felice Elefant

Biology Department

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Associate Professor



1988 Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, USA

1983 M.S., Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University, USA

1980 B.S., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA

Research Fields


Cognitive Science

Neurodegenerative disorders

Publications (selected)

  1. Manseau, L., Baradaran, A., Brower, D., Budhu, A., Elefant, F., Phan, H., Philip,A., Yang, M., Glover, D., Kaiser, K., Palter, K.B., Selleck, S. 1997. GAL4 enhancer traps expressed in the embryo, larval brain, imaginal discs, and ovary of Drosophila. Developmental Dynamics 209: 310-322.
  2. Mehta, A.S., Rubin, D,M., Elefant, F., Palter, K.B. 1997. Drosophila melanogaster HSC4 proteins. In Guidbook to Molecular Chaperones and Protein Folding Catalysts, ed. M.J. Gething. Oxford University Press. pg. 42-45.
  3. Elefant, F. and Palter, K.B. 1999. Tissue-specific expression of dominant negative mutant Drosophila HSC70 causes developmental defects and lethality. Mol. Biol. Cell 10: 2101-2117.
  4. Elefant, F., Cooke, N.E., Liebhaber, S.A. 2000(a). Targeted recruitment of histone acetyltransferase activity to a locus control region. JBC 275: 13827-13834.
  5. Elefant, F., Su, Y., Liebhaber, S.A., and Cooke, N.E. 2000(b). Patterns of histone acetylation suggest dual pathways for gene activation by a bifunctional locus control region. EMBO J. 19: 6814-6822.
  6. Ho, Y., Elefant, F., Cooke, N.E., and Liebhaber, S.A. 2002. A defined locus control region determinant links chromatin domain acetylation with long-range gene activation. Molecular Cell. 9: 291-302. Highlighted in Daily University Science News, Penn Medicine News.
  7. Cooke, N., Ho, Y., Shewchuk, B., Kimura, A., Elefant, F., Cajiao, I., and Liebhaber, S. 2004. Distinct epigenetic pathways activate the human growth hormone genes in pituitary and placenta. In 12th International Congress of Endocrinology. ed Medimond International Proceedings. pg. 79-85.
  8. Ho, Y., Elefant, F., Cooke, N.E., and Liebhaber, S.A. 2006. Locus control region transcription is required for long range gene activation. Mol. Cell. 23: 365-375. Highlighted in Scientist Live, Penn.Medicine News, Medical News today,, Drexel Link.
  9. Zhu, X., Singh, N., Donnelly, C., Boimel, P. & Elefant, F.* 2007. The cloning and characterization of the histone acetyltransferase human homolog Dmel\TIP60 in Drosophila melanogaster: Dmel\TIP60 is essential for multicellular development. Genetics 175, 1229-40. Featured as Issue Highlight.
  10. Lorbeck, M.T., Singh, N., Zervos, A., Dhatta, M., Lapchenko, M.,Chen, and Elefant, F.* 2010. The histone demethylase Kdm4a controls genes required for male-specific longevity and sex-determination in Drosophila. Gene 450, 8-17.
  11. Singh, N., Lorbeck, M.T., Zervos,A., Zimmerman, J, and Elefant, F.* 2010. The histone acetylatransferase Elp3 plays an active role in the control of synaptic bouton expansion and sleep in Drosophila. J. of Neurochemistry 115, 493-504.
  12. Lorbeck, M.T., Pirooznia, K., Sarthi, J. and Elefant, F.* 2011. Microarray analysis uncovers a role for Tip60 in nervous system function and general metabolism. PLoS ONE 11;6(4):e18412.
  13. Sarthi, J.and Elefant, F.* 2011. Tip60 HAT activity controls synaptic bouton growth at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. PLoS ONE 27;6(10):e26202.
  14. Pirooznia, K., Sarthi, J., Johnson, A.A. Toth, M.S., Chieu, K., Koduri, S., and Elefant, F.* 2012. Tip60 HAT activity mediates APP induced lethality and apoptotic cell death in the CNS of a Drosophila Alzheimer’s disease model. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41776.
  15. Pirooznia, K.., J., Chieu, K., Chan, M., Zimmerman, J and Elefant, F.* 2012 Tip60 and APP mediate axonal growth and PDF levels in Drosophila clock neurons to regulate sleep. Genetics 192(4):1327-45. Editorially featured on cover as Issue Highlight.
  16. Pirooznia S. and Elefant, F*. 2012 Modulating epigenetic HAT activity: A promising therapeutic option for neurological disease? J Mol Cloning Genet Recomb 1:1. doi:10.4172/jmcgr.1000e102.
  17. Pirooznia, S. and Elefant , F*. 2013. Targeting Specific HATs for Neurodegenerative Disease Treatment: Translating Basic Biology to Therapeutic Possibilities. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2013;7:30. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00030. Epub 2013 Mar 28.18).
  18. Pirooznia, S., and Elefant, F*. 2013. A HAT for sleep? – Epigenetic regulation of sleep by Tip60 in Drosophila. Invited “Extra Views” Fly. 2013 Apr 1;7(2).
  19. “An Alzheimer’s Cure- with Fruit Flies” 2013 Exel: Drexel University Research Magazine
  20. Johnson, A., Sarthi, J., Pirooznia, S., Ruebe, B., and Elefant, F.* 2013 Increasing Tip60 HAT levels rescues axonal defects and associated behavioral defects in a Drosophila Alzheimer’s disease model. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013 Apr 24;33(17):7535-47. Featured as a ‘Key Research Article’ in “Psychology Progress”.

Profile Details

Last Updated: 2013-12-13

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