Alicia Bolt, PhD
UNM College of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cancer Control and Population Sciences
I have 11 years of metals toxicology research experience, including 6 years of investigating tungsten. Notably, I have investigated how tungsten accumulates in the bone, making it a site of storage and toxicity. In addition, I have found that the effects of tungsten extend beyond the bone marrow niche. Tungsten enhances cells in the tumor microenvironment critical for tumor progression; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), in order to enhance breast cancer metastasis to the lung. Interestingly, both MDSCs and CAFs originate from bone marrow precursors, so I am now interested in investigating if tungsten targets bone marrow precursors to drive breast cancer progression. I have also investigated how tungsten halts B-cell development, which could have negative consequences on the systemic immune response. In addition, I have 6 years of experience using orthotopic animal models to investigate the effect of environmental agents on tumor progression and 6 years of experience developing and using multi-parameter flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry to characterize immune cell populations in the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, primary tumor, and metastatic sites. In addition, I have 6 years of experience designing and running mouse studies to evaluate various toxicological endpoints including immune parameters, bone biology, and tumor progression.