Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Erin L K Hsu, PhD

Erin L K Hsu, PhD

Research Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Focus of Work

Bio

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, Erin Hsu completed her PhD in Molecular Toxicology at UCLA in 2007, where she studied the role of the Aryl hydrocarbon receptor in both carcinogenesis and phytochemical-based chemoprevention. After completing post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Bradfield in the University of Wisconsin McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Erin joined the Feinberg School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, whe...[Read full text]After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, Erin Hsu completed her PhD in Molecular Toxicology at UCLA in 2007, where she studied the role of the Aryl hydrocarbon receptor in both carcinogenesis and phytochemical-based chemoprevention. After completing post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Bradfield in the University of Wisconsin McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Erin joined the Feinberg School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, where she pursues research focused on bone regeneration and healing. As resident faculty in the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology (SQI), the Hsu group’s laboratory space is located within this state-of-the-art facility, in close proximity to many of their materials scientist collaborators. Erin also serves as Assistant Director of the Simpson Querrey Institute.[Shorten text]

Academic Focus

The overarching focus of their research is the process of osteogenic differentiation, or the differentiation of stem cells into bone-forming cells. Aiming to develop musculoskeletal tissue regenerative technologies that are both safer and more effective than currently available products, their bone regeneration work includes the development of novel approaches to induce bone growth, such as the use of peptide amphiphile nanofiber scaffolds to deliver ultra low-dose growth factor, enhance the ut...[Read full text]The overarching focus of their research is the process of osteogenic differentiation, or the differentiation of stem cells into bone-forming cells. Aiming to develop musculoskeletal tissue regenerative technologies that are both safer and more effective than currently available products, their bone regeneration work includes the development of novel approaches to induce bone growth, such as the use of peptide amphiphile nanofiber scaffolds to deliver ultra low-dose growth factor, enhance the utility of autograft bone, and deliver stem cells to promote bone regeneration. They also work to develop 3D-printed osteoregenerative scaffolds, with a goal to create products that elicit high rates of spine fusion without the need for exogenous growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic protein-2.

The Hsu group’s bone toxicology team continues to explore the molecular mechanisms by which pervasive environmental contaminants—such as those present in cigarette smoke—inhibit osteoblastic differentiation and bone healing. Their major focus is dioxin-like compounds and other aryl hydrocarbons, which are potent carcinogens that also inhibit bone healing. Their work ultimately aims to identify a therapeutic approach to mitigate those inhibitory effects, with a particular interest in natural phytochemical-based therapeutics (or “nutraceuticals”), such as resveratrol. They have found that resveratrol, which is found in red wine, provides protection against the effects of cigarette smoke on bone forming cells, and they are now exploring the utility nanofiber scaffolds to co-deliver low-dose growth factor and resveratrol or other phytochemicals in a setting of cigarette smoke exposure.[Shorten text]

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • PhD: University of California-Los Angeles (2007)