Erik Nelson, PhD

May 26, 2021

Dr. Erik Nelson is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois. He is currently an Era of Hope Scholar (Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program) and a University of Illinois I.C. Gunsalus Scholar. Dr. Nelson is an expert in nuclear receptor pharmacology, cholesterol homeostasis, and cancer biology. Dr. Nelson received his PhD in comparative endocrinology from the University of Calgary, Canada where he characterized the hormonal regulation and functional significance of nuclear receptors using a fish model. Mentored by Dr. Donald P. McDonnell, he pursued his postdoctoral studies in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. Here, he studied how obesity and cholesterol impact various disease pathologies including osteoporosis and breast cancer. His research interests are in how endocrine and metabolic factors impact cancer pathophysiology. The current focus of the laboratory is on how cholesterol metabolism and homeostasis alter the tumor and metastatic microenvironment to promote cancer progression. 

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