Ed van Veen
Adjunct Assistant Professor
I moved from British Columbia to California when I was in the first grade, and since then have loved being a part of the California public school system. I earned my B.S. at UC Davis where I double-majored in genetics and applied mathematics and worked in the lab of Scott Hawley studying meiotic recombination in drosophila. I did my Ph.D. in molecular biology at M.I.T. with Frank Gertler, studying how neurons sense extracellular cues during the development of the nervous system. I came back to California for my post-doctoral work, studying mouse models of cancer in the lab of Martin McMahon at UCSF. I am exceptionally proud of now having the opportunity to contribute to the world’s best system of public universities as a Professor in the department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at UCLA.
My lab is interested in how the nervous system interacts with and responds to cancer and cancer therapeutics. Currently we are focusing on the selective estrogen receptor modulator, tamoxifen, which is standard of care therapy for many breast cancer patients. Tamoxifen prevents tumor initiation or recurrence in up to 50% of patients. Tamoxifen is available as an inexpensive generic medication and protects bone density, making it the most widely prescribed chemotherapeutic worldwide. Unfortunately, tamoxifen also conveys harmful side effects that limit patient treatment initiation and compliance, leading to countless breast cancer deaths. The biggest complaint among women taking tamoxifen is the experience of temperature dysregulation, specifically hot flashes. Our lab has recently demonstrated that tamoxifen causes temperature dysregulation via estrogen sensitive neurons in the hypothalamus, in mice. We are now probing the mechanisms of tamoxifen induced hot flashes and will continue to work to identify adjuvant therapies that improve patient compliance and quality of life. This is an important issue in healthcare equity as black women have significantly higher breast cancer associated mortality rates than white women. Black women are generally more likely to experience hot flashes and less likely to initiate and/or complete tamoxifen treatment, contributing to unequitable health outcomes. We believe that recognizing, understanding, and treating tamoxifen-induced hot flashes will increase quality of life for many breast cancer patients, and contribute to more equitable healthcare treatment.
B.S. Genetics, Applied Mathematics. University of California, Davis, 2001
Ph.D. Molecular Biology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012
Zhang, Z., Park, J. W., Ahn, I. S., Diamante, G., Sivakumar, N., Arneson, D. V., Yang, X., van Veen, J. E.# and Correa, S. M.# #: Corresponding authors.
Estrogen receptor alpha in the brain mediates tamoxifen-induced changes in physiology in mice. eLife 2021;10:e63333
Zhang, Z., Reis, F. M. C. V., He, Y., Park, J. W., DiVittorio, J. R., Sivakumar,N., van Veen, J. E., Pereira, S., Shum, M., Anderson, S., Nichols, I., Paul, K. N., Liesa, M., Ajijola, O. A., Xu, Y, Adhikari, A., and Correa, S. M.
Estrogen-Sensitive Medial Preoptic Area Neurons Coordinate Torpor in Mice, Nature Communications, 11:6278, 2020.
Prokop, J. W., Chhetri, S., van Veen, J. E., Chen, X., Underwood, A. C., Uhl, K., Dwinell, M. R., Geurts, A. M., Correa, S. M., and Arnold, A. P.
Transcriptional analysis of the multiple Sry genes and developmental program at the onset of testis differentiation in the rat, Biology of Sex Differences 11, Article number: 28 (2020).
van Veen, J. E., Kammel, L. G., Bunda, P. C., Shum, M., Reid, M. S., Massa, M. G., Arneson, D., Park, J. W., Zhang, Z., Joseph, A. M., Hrncir, H., Liesa, M., Arnold, A. P., Yang, X. and Correa, S. M.
Estrogen receptor alpha signaling in the ventromedial hypothalamus establishes a sexually dimorphic regulatory node of energy expenditure, Nature Metabolism, 2020.
– 2020 UCLA Life Science Excellence Award for Outstanding Research Publication
van Veen, JE., Scherzer M., Boshuizen, J., Chu, M., Liu, A., Landman, A., Green, S., Trejo, C., and McMahon M.
Mutationally-activated PI3’-kinase-α promotes de-differentiation of lung tumors initiated by the BRAFV600E oncoprotein kinase, eLife 2019;8:e43668
Lee, S. D., Priest, C., Bjursell., M., Gao, J., Arneson, D. V., Ahn, I. S., Diamante, G., van Veen, J. E., Massa, M. G., Calkin, A. C., Kim, J., Andersén, H., Porritt, M., Carreras, A., Ahnmark, A., Seeliger, F., Maxvall, I., Eliasson, P., Althage, M., Åkerblad, P., Lindén, D., Cole, T. A., Lee, R., Boyd, H., Bohlooly-Y, M., Correa, S. M., Yang, X., Tontonoz, P., and Hong, C.
IDOL regulates systemic energy balance through control of CNS VLDLR expression. Nature Metabolism, October 28, 2019.
McConnell, R., van Veen, JE., Vidaki, M., Kwiatkowski, A., Meyer, A., Gertler, F.
A requirement for filopodia extension toward Slit during Robo-mediated axon repulsion. The Journal of Cell Biology. 2016, 213(2), 261-274.
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