Erik Nelson, PhD, received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Calgary with a major in Zoology and a minor in Chemistry. He completed his PhD in Comparative Endocrinology at the University of Calgary, and specialized in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology as a postdoctoral associate at Duke University School of Medicine. In August 2014 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. He is also a member of the Cancer Center at Illinois, Division of Nutritional Sciences and Institute for Genome Biology, and an associate member of the University of Illinois Cancer Center (Chicago). His research focuses on how endocrine and metabolic factors impact the progression of breast and ovarian cancers. They are particularly interested in the convergence between cholesterol metabolism, nuclear receptor signaling and the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Nelson was the lead author on a seminal study which found that by activating the estrogen receptors, a cholesterol metabolite (27-hydroxycholesterol) was a biochemical link between obesity and breast tumor growth (Science, 2013). His group has recently shown that 27-hydroxycholesterol dramatically increases breast cancer metastasis by modulating the immune system (Nature Communications, 2017). Ongoing work aims to exploit these findings in order to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.