Professor Andrew Elefanty
Professor Andrew Elefanty trained as a physician and completed a PhD in leukemogenesis at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. He subsequently worked on globin gene regulation with Professor Frank Grosveld at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London before returning to the Hall Institute to pursue interests in developmental haematopoiesis and the differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
He moved to Monash University in 2002 with colleague Professor Ed Stanley to initiate studies with human embryonic stem cells. In July 2012, his laboratory relocated to the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
Professor Elefanty's work has focused on human pluripotent stem cell differentiation, with a special interest in haematopoietic lineages.
His laboratory aims to generate cells to model blood diseases in vitro and for transplantation. The laboratories of Professor Elefanty and Professor Stanley have generated genetically modified human stem cell lines in which lineage-specific fluorescent reporters allow monitoring of differentiation. Professor Elefanty is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow.
- Honorary Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne
- Adjunct Professor, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University
- Postgraduate Medical Fellowship, NHMRC, 1988 - 1991
- Pfizer Award of the RACP, 1990
- Neil Hamilton Fairley Fellowship, NHMRC, 1993- 1996
- Roche Travelling Fellowship, RACP, 1993
- Lion's Special Fellowship, ACCV, 1996- 1999
- NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, 2000- 2015
Research in Professor Elefanty's laboratory is focused on the biology and manipulation of human pluripotent (hESC and hiPSC) stem cells. His team's core interest lies in the regulation of human pluripotent stem cell differentiation to mesendodermal precursors (corresponding to the primitive streak in the mammalian embryo) and then to mesodermal lineages, as exemplified by blood and endothelium. Although most of this work has focused on hESCs, researchers have begun to culture and differentiate patient derived hiPSCs.
In order to facilitate the optimisation of differentiation protocols for various cell types, Professor Elefanty and team have generated genetically modified human ES cell lines into which reporter genes have been inserted by homologous recombination in gene loci that are expressed at specific developmental stages or in specific lineages. In collaboration with the laboratory of Prof Ed Stanley, more than 10 different gene loci in multiple hESC lines have been targeted to date.
A major goal of his work is to realise some of the scientific and therapeutic potential that hESCs and hiPSCs promise. These include unique opportunities for the study of early human development, the generation of in vitro models for human diseases, testing of pharmaceuticals and other therapeutic products and the production of transplantable cells for tissue repair and regeneration.
- Haematopoietic differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells
- Induced pluripotent stem cell models of human disease
- Stem cell models of human development
- Genetic manipulation of pluripotent stem cells