Dr. Erin Giles

BSc (Honors), Biomedical Science, University of Guelph, Canada

PhD, Medical Science (Cancer Biology), McMaster University, Canada

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Division of Endocrinology (Obesity & Cancer), University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA

“The goal of our research is to understand why women with obesity are more likely to develop breast cancer, and to develop intervention strategies to decrease risk and improve outcomes for patients. We primarily use rodent models, but with the help of our collaborators we extend our findings to ask similar questions in women. Currently, our work is focused on understanding how weight gain and resulting inflammation during menopause increases cancer risk and progression.”

Research Specialties

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Medical Genetics- Human and Animal

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

How long have you been a faculty member at Texas A&M?

I here in 2016.

How have your experiences in the Genetics graduate program shaped your thinking?

I love the diversity of both faculty and students in the Genetics program. Students come in to this program with diverse backgrounds and expertise, and I think this allows them to approach research questions from an entirely new angle. This allows them to ask interesting questions that can then move the work in directions that we would never have expected.

What is your favorite conference to go to? And why?

My two favorite conferences have the same things in common – great people, great science, and time to have fun! I love going to both the annual meeting of The Obesity Society, and to the Gordon Conference on Mammary Gland Biology. Because my work crosses two major fields, I learn a lot scientifically at both of these meetings. They’re also both meetings where I always have lots of fun! The Obesity Society is a HUGE meeting, but is it a time for me to catch up with a lot of former colleagues. On the other end of the spectrum, Gordon Conferences are like summer camp for scientists – they’re small and have lots of time for science, networking, and are always in great locations where you can take a break and have fun outdoors.

Fun Facts:

When I am not in the lab, I am… 

Running, biking, and sometimes swimming. I’m usually training for a triathlon or running race of some sort! I’ve run the Boston Marathon among others, and triathlons up 70.3 distance (including the Ironman 70.3 World Championships a few years back).

My favorite restaurant in College Station is? 

It’s not open yet, but Snooze is one of my all-time favorites for breakfast. It started as a single location in Denver, and they make the best pancakes & eggs benedict. I can’t wait until they officially open in College Station.

What is the most gratifying aspect about mentoring graduate students?

Having them get to the point where they’re confident enough to tell me that I’m wrong (or at least debate a topic with me). I want my students to become independent thinkers. I think all grad students have great ideas, but they’re not always confident enough to believe that their ideas are good ones!

Do you have any hidden talents? 

I’d say I’m a good cook and baker.  I was also a competitive figure skater growing up, so I can still do a few tricks on the ice.

Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.

I have a rescue dog named Scout. He’s almost 3, and maybe a border-collie/terrier mix of some sort??  He’s energetic, a great runner, and will do anything to make people pet him.

Scout at Lake Tahoe from the top of a hike.

Scout – it’s a view of Lake Tahoe from the top of a hike.