Kristy Nicks, Ph.D.
Institution: Mayo Clinic
Career Stage: Post-doctoral Fellow
Research Focus: Changes in sex steroids across the menopause transition
ASBMR committee/leadership positions held: Member of Membership Development Committee and Minority Subcommittee
What brought you to the bone field and why have you stayed?
While working as a chlamydiologist, I took a course in Cellular Endocrinology under the direction of my future graduate advisor, Dr. Dana Gaddy. Having had limited previous exposure to endocrinology, I found myself entering a new world of physiology. I was intrigued by the material covered and wanted to get involved in aspects of the research beyond the coursework. I was most interested in defining and integrating paracrine and endocrine aspects of hormone action on multiple tissues. This interest led me to obtain a degree in Physiology and Biophysics in Dr. Gaddy’s lab. She cultivated understanding of endocrinology, reproductive biology and, through the research being performed in her lab, gonadal Inhibins and their role in bone formation using primarily in vitro culture systems and in vivo animal models.
My dissertation project tested the overall hypothesis of whether the gonadal hormone Inhibin A is anabolic in the skeleton, allowing me to become and remain a “Bonehead”. However, I was not able to translate my dissertation work to the clinic and sought a post-doctoral position that would allow me to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to be a successful translational scientist. I am currently a research fellow in the lab of Dr. Sundeep Khosla, a well-established researcher in the bone field. His focus on the pathophysiology of bone loss in elderly women and men involves a multi-disciplinary approach that utilizes clinical and basic research providing me the opportunity to develop as a translational researcher.
Share a funny story from the lab.
I’m from Arkansas, so the move to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN has been a major adjustment weather-wise. I live close enough to work to walk, as I still do not drive very well in the snow. The running joke in the lab involves Dr. Khosla lowering the temperature on our thermostat under the assumption that I’ve raised it. (One time I was cold and I had the temperature set at 85oF).
What topic or session would you be excited to see at an upcoming ASBMR Annual Meeting?
Based on recent publications detailing the health disparities in endocrine disorders, a session focusing on the health disparities in bone disease could be beneficial to raising awareness in the field.
Dr. Nicks is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.