Erica K. Sloan, Ph.D.

Brief Biography
Erica Sloan completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) at the Australian National University, where she was awarded the University Medal in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Her PhD, at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia, focused on mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis and helped to identify genes involved in the spread of cancer. More recently, Erica’s work at UCLA School of Medicine has investigated how stress modulates neural wiring in peripheral lymphoid organs and has explored the implications of dynamic neural-immune interactions on progression of HIV infection.

Research Project

Increasing evidence has linked psychosocial factors and their neuroendocrine consequences to clinical tumor progression. However, the neural structures that support psychosocial influences on tumor progression in vivo have not been identified. To address this, we are investigating if breast and ovarian cancers initiate their own innervation or if interactions with local tissue innervation influence tumor dynamics. In addition, we are investigating the effect of stress on the density of sympathetic innervation and tumor progression in vivo.