• Professor of Biology and Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health (IACH)
  • 864.294.3527
  • TNS 071F
  • eli.hestermann@furman.edu

Dr. Eli Hestermann graduated summa cum laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in biology with biochemistry specialization. He was awarded an NSF Fellowship to study biological oceanography at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he completed a Ph.D. dissertation on mechanisms of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) toxicity in fish. A paper from that work was recognized with the Carl Smith Award for Mechanisms of Toxicity from the Society of Toxicology. After a year as a guest investigator at the Niigata College of Pharmacy in Japan, Dr. Hestermann began postdoctoral research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School funded by the Department of Defense and National Cancer Institute (NCI) on regulation of gene expression by nuclear receptors in breast and endometrial cancer. Dr. Hestermann joined the faculty of Furman in 2003, where he teaches cell biology, pharmacology and to xicology, and several introductory courses and seminars. His research has been funded by NCI, SC-IdEA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, and the National Science Foundation Research Infrastructure Improvement grant. In 2008, he was the South Carolina INBRE nominee for the Sydney McNairy Mentoring award; in 2012, he was recognized as an HHMI Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor, and 2012-2014 he holds the Henry Keith and Ellen Hard Townes Chair in science. He is the founding director of Furman's Interdisciplinary Molecular Core research facility.

Dr. Hestermann has taught study away programs in Belize, Italy and Bermuda. He has a strong interest in cooking and food, teaching First Year Seminars and travel study courses on food and wine. He also enjoys the outdoors and is hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections. ​​

Name Title Description


Seminar in Biology

Presentations of current topics in biology by students, faculty, and visiting scientists. Emphasis is on effective oral communication and critical examination of scientific information and ideas.


Principles of Biology

The basic principles common to living organisms, including: cell and molecular biology, genetics, organismal physiology, ecology, evolution. All sections address these topics, but the focus for each may vary. Designed for non-science majors.


Research and Analysis

Introduction to purposes and methods of scientific inquiry. Topics include: philosophy of science, research design, use of biological literature sources, fundamental laboratory techniques, statistical analysis, and survey of careers in biology. Laboratory includes designing, performing, and reporting on research projects.


Cell Biology

Comprehensive study of plant, animal, and microbial cell biology dealing with the chemistry of cells, bioenergetics, cell ultrastructure and its relation to function, specialized cell types, and cell-to-cell communication. Laboratory emphasis on investigations using modern cytological techniques.


Pharmacology and Toxicology

The action of drugs and toxic compounds in the body. Broad physiological principles of absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and mechanisms of action will be emphasized. Laboratory sessions will include techniques for drug and toxicity testing.


Tch Mthds & Mtrls in Biology

Practicum for developing teaching skills in biology, including the laboratory and field work. Topics include planning and preparation, safety and storage, and instruction. Practicum will provide experiences teaching in the university classroom.


Biological Chemistry

Analysis of biochemical systems from a rigorously-chemical viewpoint. Topics include: the chemical properties of biological macromolecules, enzyme kinetics and thermodynamics, reaction mechanisms in metabolic pathways, and structural and functional aspects of gene expression. Laboratories involve contemporary methods in biochemistry including high-resolution gel electrophoresis and enzyme kinetic assays.


HHMI Undergraduate Research

Introduction of concepts necessary to conduct undergraduate research through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Good laboratory practice, ethical conduct of research, and scientific presentation and publication.


Metabolic Biochemistry

Exploration of the chemical principles that underlie basic physiological processes, with a focus on the action and regulation of enzymes that function in major metabolic pathways and maintain homeostasis. These principles will be applied to understand and solve problems in human health.

Dr. Eli Hestermann's research focuses on regulation of gene expression by hormones and toxicants in a variety of cell types and animals, from breast cancer to endometriosis to trout brain. He uses molecular and biochemical techniques, including tissue culture, real-time PCR, chromatin immunoprecipitation, receptor ligand binding, immunoblots, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, high throughput sequencing, bioinformatics, and DNA cloning and sequencing. His students have presented at regional, national and international conferences, and include best poster, best oral presentation, and best student paper awards received in competitions involving graduate students. He collaborates with several colleagues in biology and chemistry on campus, and with others at Greenville Memorial Hospital, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Boston University, University of South Florida and University of the Pacific. Future plans include application of bioinformatics approaches to conservation biology.

*Denotes undergraduate coauthor

  • Yang, X., S. Solomon, L.R. Fraser*, A.F. Trombino, D. Liu, G.E. Sonenshein, E.V. Hestermann, D.H. Sherr (2008). Constitutive Regulation of CYP1B1 by the aryl hydrocarbon heceptor (AhR) in pre-malignant and malignant mammary tissue. J. Cell. Biochem. 104:402-417.
  • Hahn, M.E. and E.V. Hestermann (2008). "Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity" in The Toxicology Of Fishes, Richard T. DiGiulio and David E. Hinton, eds. CRC Press.
  • Yang, X., D. Liu, T.J. Murray, G.C. Mitchell*, E.V. Hestermann, S.I. Karchner, R.R Merson, M.E. Hahn, D.H. Sherr (2005). The aryl hydrocarbon receptor constitutively represses c-myc transcription in human mammary tumor cells. Oncogene 24:7869-7881.
  • Carroll, J. S. X. S. Liu, A.S. Brodsky, W. Li, C. A. Meyer, A. J. Szary, J. Eeckhoute, W. Shao, E. V. Hestermann, T. R. Geistlinger, E. A. Fox, P. A. Silver, M. Brown. (2005). Chromosome-wide mapping of estrogen receptor binding reveals long-range regulation requiring the forkhead protein FoxA1. Cell 122:33-43.
  • Hestermann, E. V. and M. Brown (2003). Agonist and Chemopreventative Ligands Induce Differential Transcriptional Cofactor Recruitment by Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor. Molecular and Cellular Biology 23 (21):7920-5.
  • Hestermann, E. V., J. J. Stegeman, and M. E. Hahn (2000). Relative Contributions of Affinity and Intrinsic Efficacy to Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligand Potency. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 168:160-172.
  • S. C. Amaya, R. F. Savaris, C. J. Filipovic, J. D. Wise*, E. Hestermann, S. L. Young, B. A. Lessey (in press). Resveratrol and endometrium: a closer look at an active ingredient of red wine using in vivo and in vitro models. Reproductive Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Purdue University

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