Nalo Hamilton, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC is an associate professor with the UCLA School of Nursing. While earning her PhD in Biochemistry, she studied factors controlling the regulation of BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are genes associated with inherited breast cancer. Dr. Hamilton then obtained a Master's in Nursing, and became a nurse practitioner dually certified in adult and women’s health. At UCLA, Dr. Hamilton is investigating the regulatory effects of the insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-2) signaling pathway on triple-negative breast cancer development, progression, metastasis and invasion.  Dr. Hamilton's research is readily adapted to clinical-translation and is closely related to the overall goals of translational research and patient care in breast cancer. Her unique background in biochemistry and molecular biology coupled with her clinical expertise as a nurse practitioner positions her to investigate questions related to women's health and health disparities in breast cancer.

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Research: Dr. Hamilton's research focuses on understanding the role of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) signaling in the development and progression of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in premenopausal women.  She is also interested in the interplay of IGF2, androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) in TNBC progression and metastasis. One goal of her research program is to understand the prognostic and therapeutic potential of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

Professional Societies and Activities

2007-PresentSigma Theta Tau International

2009-PresentAmerican Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Affiliate Member

2011-PresentUCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

2016-PresentOncology Nursing Society

2011Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation (JCCCF) at UCLA, Grant Reviewer

2017-PresentJournal of Practical and Professional Nursing, Reviewer

2017-PresentMedical Care, Official Journal of American Public Health Association, Reviewer

2017-PresentClinical Journal of Oncology, Reviewer

2018Journal of Women’s Health, Reviewer


Oakwood (College) University, BS, 1995, Biochemistry

Meharry Medical College, PhD, 2003, Biochemistry

Vanderbilt University, 2005, Nursing

Honors and Awards

2011-2014Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar

2018 NPWH Inspirations in Women’s Health Research Award

2019Anna Gawlinski Research Scholar


Richardson, A. E., Hamilton, N., Davis, W., Brito, C., De Leon, D. (2011) Insulin-like Growth Factor-2 (IGF-2) Activates Estrogen Receptor-α and -β via the IGF-1 and the Insulin Receptors in Breast Cancer Cells. Growth Factors. 29(2-3): 1-12.

Gamble, K.L., Motsinger-Reif, A. A., Hida, A., Bosetti, H. M., Sevick, S. V., Ciarleglio, C. M., Robbins, s., Hicks, J., Carver, K., Hamilton, N., Wells, N., Summar, M. L., McMahon, D. G., Johnson, C. (2011) Shift Work in Nurses:  Contribution of Phenotypes and Genotypes in Adaptation. PLOS One. 6(4) e18395.

Kazmi, N., Ayvazian, L., Marquez-Garban, D. C., Hamilton, N., Garon, E. B., Goodglick, L., & Pietras, R. J. (2012) The role of estrogens and aromatase in non-small cell lung cancer.  Lung Cancer Mang. 1(4): 259-272.

Davis, C. , Myers, H., Brecht, L., Nyamathi, A., Lewis, M.A., Hamilton, N. M. (2014) Bio-psychosocial Predictors of Psychological Functioning Among African American Breast Cancer Survivors. J of Psychosocial Oncology. 32(5): 493-516.

Hamilton, N., Márquez-Garbán, D., Fernando, G., Elshimali, Y., Mah, V., Vadgama, J., Goodglick, L., Pietras, R. (2015) Biologic Roles of Estrogen Receptor –β and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-2 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. BioMed Res Intl. 2015:925703.

Hamilton, N., Márquez-Garbán, D., Mah, V., D., Elshimali, Y. Elashoff, D., Garcon, E., Vadgama, J., & Pietras, R. (2015) Estrogen Receptor-β and the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis. 20(5-6)373-390.

Hamilton, N. & Haozous, E. A. (2017) Retention of Faculty of Color (FOC) In Academic Nursing. Nursing Outlook. 65(2):212-221. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2016.11.003.

Cohn E. G., Hamilton, N., Larson, E. L., & Williams, J. K. (2017) Self-reported race and ethnicity of US biobank participants compared to the US Census. J Community Genet. 8(3):229-238. doi: 10.1007/s12687-017-0308-6.

Hamilton, N. M., Stenman, C. W., Sang, E., & Palmer, C (2017) Genetics Education in Nurse Residency Programs: A Natural Fit. J Contin Educ Nurs. 48(8):379-384. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20170712-11.

Hamilton, N., Austin, D., Márquez-Gabán, D., Sanchez, R., Chau, B., Foos, K., Wu, Y., Vadgama, J., & Pietras, R. (2017) Receptors for Insulin-like Growth Factor-2 and Androgens as Therapeutic Targets in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 18(11). doi: 10.3390/ijms18112305.

Boonyaratanakornkit, V., Hamilton, N., Márquez-Garbán, DC, Pateetin, P., McGowan, E. M., & Pietras R. J. (2017) Extranuclear signaling by sex steroid receptors and clinical implications in breast cancer. Mol Cell Endocrinol. Nov 14. pii: S0303-7207(17)30575-0. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.11.010.

Austin, D., Hamilton, N., Elshimali, Y., Pietras, R., Wu, Y., & Vadgama, J. (2018) Estrogen receptor-beta is a potential target for triple negative breast cancer treatment. OncoTarget. Sept.21;9(74):33912-33930.doi:10.18632/oncotarget.26089.

Gorin-Rivas, M., Marquez-Garban, D. C, Chen, H.W., Elashoff, D., Hamilton, N., & Pietras. (2019)  Squalamine blocks tumor-associated angiogenesis and growth of human breast cancer cells with or without HER-2 over-expression human breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett May 1;449:66-75. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2019.02.009.

Hamilton, N., Marquez-Garban D., Rogers, B., Austin, D., Foos, K., Tong, A., Adams, D., Vadgama, J., Brecht, M.L. & Pietras, R. (2019) Dual Therapy with Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Receptor/Insulin Receptor (IGF1R/IR) and Androgen Receptor (AR) Antagonists Inhibits Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell Migration In Vitro. SPG BioMed. doi: .org/10.32392/biomed.69.

Márquez-Garbán, DC, Deng, G., Comin-Anduix, B., Garcia, AJ, Xing, Y, Chen, HW, Cheung-Lau, G., Hamilton, N., & Pietras, RJ. (2019)  Antiestrogens in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors in breast cancerimmunotherapy. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 19;193:105415. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2019.105415.