Erik Beadle was recently featured as a graduate of Biological Sciences at Louisiana Tech. Erik completed his BS in Biological Sciences and then continued to work in the lab to earn his MS in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology. Erik was a great student who demonstrate a strong work ethic and compassion for those around him. I have missed having him in Carson-Taylor Hall but am so proud of what he is achieving in a PhD program at Vanderbilt.
Erik is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the program for cancer biology. He recently passed his qualifying exams, a huge milestone in graduate school. Erik works in the lab of Dr. Julie Rhoades, where his lab predominantly focuses on tumor induced bone disease (TIBD). They use engineering and biological approaches to block tumor cells’ ability to induce bone resorption by disrupting the “vicious cycle”, which is outlined in the figure below. This includes the use of 3D printed scaffolds that mimic the internal architecture of bone and drug delivery nanoparticles to model tumor drug response and tumor cell behavior in the bones.
Tumor induced bone disease is often the result of tumor cells secreting proteins that coax bone cells to destroy bones faster than they build them. The particular bone tumor that Erik studies is osteosarcoma, a very aggressive pediatric tumor. He studies the molecular mechanism that the Gli2 protein uses to induce bone breakdown by osteosarcoma.
You can learn more about his lab here.
Outside of the lab Erik was able to rotate with clinicians in the oncology clinic for a course through Vanderbilt aimed at understanding precision cancer medicine. This course is largely beneficial for PhD students to see how their research translates back to the clinic. Erik has also begun to become more involved in attending many of the cancer oriented events around Nashville, and was recently named the top individual fundraiser at the American Liver Foundation’s Liver Life Walk in September. Outside of that he’s been enjoying what Music City has to offer!
Learn more about his graduate program and the IGP at Vanderbilt!
Feel free to email him with any questions about graduate school, Nashville, or Vanderbilt at email@example.com.
The vicious cycle of tumor induced bone disease: Tumor cells colonize the bone microenvironment and secrete PTHrP. PTHrP stimulates osteoblasts to express RankL, which promotes osteoclast differentiation and accelerates bone resorption. This bone resorption releases matrix bound growth factors that promotes tumor growth. Gli2 is a transcription factor of the Hedgehog pathway that increases PTHrP expression and bone resorption.
Dr. Jamie Newman
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences