Associate Professor, Department of Biological SciencesVisit the Feliciano Lab
Dr. David M. Feliciano joined Clemson University as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in 2013 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2019. Dr. Feliciano received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemical Pharmacology in 2003 and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 2008 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. In 2008, Feliciano was appointed as an NIH T32 postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and was awarded an Epilepsy Foundation fellowship in 2009 and an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowship in 2010 while working in the Department of Neurosurgery in the School of Medicine at Yale University. Since establishing a laboratory at Clemson University, Feliciano has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Whitehall Foundation, has served on federal and international grant review panels, and given numerous invited talks. In 2021, Dr. Feliciano was a visiting scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Research from Dr. Feliciano and colleagues include that published in Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Neuron, and Cell Reports.
The Feliciano lab translates fundamental biological knowledge about the brain into clinically relevant ideas. They achieve this by studying gene mutations that alter brain architecture. Many of these mutations effect small populations of people throughout the world. But because the genes are known, scientific approaches can be taken to perform loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments. The laboratory achieves these goals by studying brain cells, including stem cells, neurons, and astrocytes in culture. Arguably more important is that they can also perform these manipulations in vivo in living animals. These genetic alterations are then coupled with state-of-the art imaging and next generation RNA sequencing technologies to reveal the underlying molecular pathways and cellular physiology that are consequently altered by these changes. Many of the common neurological diseases that affect society have no known etiology but by studying rare disorders with known gene mutations, much of what is learnt can be applied to these other diseases. Diseases studied include neurodevelopmental disorders with high rates of comorbidity with epilepsy, intellectual delay, autism, and a predisposition to nervous system tumors.