Cedric Feschotte

Cedric Feschotte




Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
Cornell University
216 Biotechnology Building
Ithaca, NY 14853


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Department Profile

Lab Web site


Cedric Feschotte received a B.S. in 1996 from the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France and a Ph.D. in 2001 from the Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris, France working on mosquito transposable elements in the laboratory of Dr. Claude Mouchès. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Georgia from 2004-2009 in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Wessler studying plant transposable elements. He was an Assistant (2004-2009) and Associate (2009-2012) Professor at the University of Texas, and then Associate (2012-2016) and Professor (2016-2017) at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He joined the Cornell MBG faculty as a Professor in July 2017.

Research Description

We study mobile genetic elements such as transposons and endogenous viruses and their biological impact primarily in vertebrates, including humans. We use an integrative approach combining functional and computational genomics, reverse genetics, and biochemistry to characterize the contribution of mobile elements to the evolution and physiology of species. Ongoing projects leverage several experimental systems (zebrafish, cell culture) to investigate various forms of co-option or "domestication" of mobile element sequences that have fueled the emergence of genetic novelties during evolution. This encompasses both protein-coding and noncoding regulatory sequences derived from mobile elements and repurposed to facilitate the remodeling of biological processes as fundamental as immunity and development. We also have a long-standing interest in deciphering the forces and mechanisms underlying the propagation of mobile elements within and between species, and the long-term consequences for the evolution of genome architecture and complexity.

Selected Publications

Frank J.A. & Feschotte C. (2017) Co-option of endogenous viral sequences for host cell function. Current Opinion in Virology [in press]

Kapusta A., Suh A. & Feschotte C. (2017) Dynamics of genome size evolution in birds and mammals. PNAS 114:1460-1469

Chuong E.B., Elde N.C. & Feschotte C. (2017) Regulatory activities of transposable elements: from conflicts to benefits Nature Reviews Genetics 18:71-86

Chuong E.B., Elde N.C. & Feschotte C. (2016) Regulatory evolution of innate immunity through co-option of endogenous retroviruses Science 351:1087-1087

Zhuo X. & Feschotte C. (2015) Cross-species transmission and differential fate of an endogenous retrovirus in three mammal lineages. PLOS Pathogens 11: e1005279

Kapusta A., Kronenberg Z., Lynch V.J., Zhuo X., Ramsay L., Bourque G., Yandell M. & Feschotte C. (2013) Transposable elements are major contributors to the origin, diversification, and regulation of vertebrate long noncoding RNAs. PLOS Genetics 9:e1003470

Feschotte C. & Gilbert C. (2012) Endogenous viruses: insights into viral evolution and impact on host biology. Nature Reviews Genetics 13:283-296

Gilbert C. & Feschotte C. (2010) Genomic fossils calibrate the long-term evolution of Hepadnaviruses. PLOS Biology 8:e1000495

Gilbert C., Schaack S., Pace J.K, II, Brindley P.J. & Feschotte C. (2010) A role for host-parasite interactions in the horizontal transfer of DNA transposons across animal phyla. Nature 464:1347-1350

Gilbert C., Maxfield D.G., Goodman S.M. & Feschotte C. (2009) Parallel germline infiltration of a lentivirus in two Malagasy lemurs. PLOS Genetics 5(3): e1000425

Pace J.K., II, Gilbert C., Clark M.S. & Feschotte C. (2008) Repeated horizontal transfer of a DNA transposon in mammals and other tetrapods. PNAS 105:17023-17028

Pace J.K, II & Feschotte C. (2007) The evolutionary history of human DNA transposons: evidence for intense activity in the primate lineage. Genome Research 17:422-432  

Pritham E.J. & Feschotte C. (2007) Massive amplification of rolling-circle transposons in the lineage of the bat Myotis lucifugus. PNAS 104:1895-1900

Cordaux R, Udit S., Batzer MA & Feschotte C (2006) Birth of a chimeric primate gene by capture of the transposase gene from a mobile element. PNAS 103: 8101-8106