• Doug Kiel President's Letter - June

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    ASBMR President’s Report
    June 2016

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am honored to present the mid-year report as ASBMR President. Since we last met in January, we have continued to follow our trajectory of high activity within the organization and I’d like to thank all of you for your hard work and continued dedication to ASBMR.

    ASBMR Strategic Plan
    In the last five months, ASBMR has continued to drive forward the four components of our 2015-2018 strategic plan through numerous activities. Our four key initiatives are:

    • Closing the Treatment Gap, including Identification of an Improved Trial Endpoint
    • Drive, Expand and Translate the Research Agenda in Musculoskeletal Science
    • Increase International Outreach and Strengthen International Engagement to Create ‘One Global ASBMR Family’ 
    • Develop New Strategies and Revenue Streams to Enable ASBMR to Invest in the Future of the Field

    Each of these components is a part of our overall mission: To advance bone, mineral and musculoskeletal science worldwide and to promote the translation of basic and clinical research to improve human health.

    With the strategic plan as our guide, the following activities highlights the ways in which we are advancing bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal science and translating basic and clinical research to improve human health.

    Closing the Treatment Gap, including Identification of an Improved Trial Endpoint

    Expand Communications to Members and Public About Evidence on the Effectiveness and Safety of Treatments
    In February, I had the opportunity to represent ASBMR on the Sirius XM Radio show “Beyond the Heart”, where I fielded questions from listeners on osteoporosis. We also created an aggressive communications campaign in May for National Osteoporosis Awareness Month, which included a new website landing page, “sound bite” graphics posted to our social media channels, articles in the e-News Weekly, and the promotion of patient videos highlighting the importance of osteoporosis treatment. Also in May we worked in collaboration with NBHA to put out a press release in response to a recent study presented at the IOF Annual Meeting that reported that one year after the first major osteoporotic fracture, the risk of a second fracture tripled compared with the general study population and the risk factor was doubled even 10 years later. The press release was an urgent call to physicians to be more aggressive in treating patients at high risk, and for patients to be more aware of the need for treatment. The press release directly led to outreach by Gina Kolata with the New York Times on further information to aid her in an article that she was putting together on osteoporosis.

    On June 1st, the Gina Kolata article titled: “Fearing Drugs’ Rare Side Effects, Millions Take Their Chances With Osteoporosis” was published on the front page of the New York Times. ASBMR had a few days of notice prior to the publication of the article. Working in partnership with our communications firm, Burness Communications, we pitched national media outlets immediately following the release of the article as to my availability to discuss the topic. In addition, we outreached to ASBMR members in the top 20 media markets in the country to ask them to make themselves available to local media as an osteoporosis expert as Burness pitched local media markets. Though we had no takers in regards to interviews, the foundation has been laid for the Society to more rapidly respond to media inquiries when they arise.

    Create a Research Agenda to Close the Treatment Gap
    The research agenda around closing the treatment gap on the number of patients needing treatment continues to be formed and moved forward. Some accomplishments and areas to highlight are:

    • The NBHA Medicare Data Working Group and DXA Coalition submitted an abstract to the ASBMR 2016 Annual Meeting that used the 5% Medicare dataset to determine the number of osteoporosis diagnoses, percent of hip fractures without an osteoporosis diagnosis, and the number of age adjusted hip fractures
    • ASBMR, NBHA, and NOF participated in a meeting with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to express the need, and provide opportunities, for new approaches to improve osteoporosis patient outcomes through comparative effectiveness research. A follow up meeting will occur in the coming months.

    ASBMR Task Forces on Clinical Issues
    The Society’s task forces continue to work toward providing clarity on clinical issues that will better inform health care providers in the diagnosis and treatment of bone disease. We are currently working to develop media strategies for the published reports from our active task forces expected later in 2016:

    • Task Force on Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Vertebral Augmentation – Co-chairs Peter Ebeling, M.D., FRCP and Mary Bouxsein, Ph.D.
    • Task Force on Cell-Based Therapies – A joint effort with the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), co-chaired by Regis O’Keefe, M.D., Ph.D. and Rocky Tuan, Ph.D.

    I would like to thank the chairs and members of all of these task forces for their contributions toward these important initiatives.

    National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA)
    ASBMR continues to play a leadership role in the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA). We have worked closely in collaboration with them on several initiatives that I’ve already mentioned, as well as efforts to educate physician ASBMR members on how to implement a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) in their health care system.

    Drive, Translate and Expand the Research Agenda in Musculoskeletal Science

    Creation of Standards and Definitions Around Significant Research Tools
    Last year, the strategic plan team identified two research tools to target initially, one clinical and one basic ―high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (“HR-pQCT”) and mesenchymal stem cells (“MSCs”). To address standards for HR-pQCT, the International Osteoporosis Foundation and ASBMR have agreed to partner on this initiative. In regard to MSCs, the Strategic Direction Workgroup is coordinating with the Task Force on Cell Based Therapies to ensure that there is no overlap between the two groups. Once the report from the task force is issued in summer 2016, recommendations will be communicated to leadership on the next steps to seek a formal approval for an initiative on MSC standards.

    Advance Knowledge on Functional Genomics
    Providing support to advance knowledge on functional genomics of skeletal disease is also a priority. This year, it has been my privilege to lead the planning of the ASBMR 2016 Annual Meeting Pre-meeting Symposium on ‘Bone–Omics: Translating Genomic Discoveries into Clinical Applications.” To build on the pre-meeting symposium, the Aurbach Lecturer, Michael Snyder, Ph.D., will speak on genomics and proteomics. Additionally, three hands-on-workshops, developed in conjunction with the IFMRS Big Data Work Group, ASBMR Program Committee, and Strategic Plan Team, will be piloted at the ASBMR 2016 Annual Meeting. Finally, the IFRMS Big Data Work Group continues to compile and expand its inventory of existing databases for musculoskeletal research.

    Enhancing Clinical-Basic Interactions
    A “champions group” of ASBMR members has been created to address this topic with many great ideas generated. Five “Meet-the-Professor” sessions featuring two instructors (one clinician and one basic science investigator) have been included in the 2016 Annual Meeting on a variety of subjects. One Meet-the-Professor session is entirely dedicated to bridging the gap between clinicians and scientists for meaningful collaboration. Also poster tour sessions, “Clinical Posters for the Basic Scientist” and “Basic Posters for the Practicing Clinician” have been developed for the 2016 Annual Meeting. There are also future plans to include a terminology list to be available and disseminated to Annual Meeting attendees in both print and mobile app versions.

    Publishing the Best Science
    Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the JBMR® under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Juliet Compston, M.D. continues to be the most cited bone journal, with an impact factor of 6.832, notably higher than those of any other journal in the field. The number of manuscript submissions to the Journal continues to grow and will likely exceed 950 in 2016. Online access is also increasing steadily, to the point that we expect 1 million visits to the JBMR® website this year. In addition, Council recently approved a seven-year extension to the ASBMR-Wiley contract. The negotiated contract includes a $1 million signing bonus that will be amortized over the duration of the contract, as well as favorable terms to ASBMR. Also, the process of identifying the next Editor-in-Chief of JBMR® kicked-off this spring with a determination expected for Council’s consideration at our fall meeting in Atlanta, GA, USA. Finally, production has started on the 9th edition of the Primer under the direction of Editor-in-Chief, John Bilezikian.

    Reducing Publication Fees
    As was approved by Council in April, a flat-rate fee of $1,800 will be implemented for manuscripts published in the JBMR®, replacing the current separate color fee charge. This change will dramatically decrease the cost of authors that currently publish in color, as well as lower the cost barrier for individuals who have previously not published in color due to the high price.

    New ASBMR Open Access Journal
    My thanks go out the ASBMR Publications Committee and the Society’s publishing partner, Wiley-Blackwell for the great deal of effort put forth over the past 18 months to conceptualizing a new open access journal. Council approved the concept in April and work has begun with an expected 2017 launch of the new ASBMR Open Access Journal. The new journal will seek original submissions and accept referrals from the JBMR®, providing bone scientists around the world with yet another outlet for publishing their work. A search for the inaugural Editor-in-Chief is currently in process and a candidate will be presented to the Council in September for its approval.

    Increase International Outreach and Strengthen International Engagement to Create ‘One Global ASBMR Family’

    ASBMR International Outreach
    In April we surveyed all ASBMR members to gain insights into their impressions of our current membership benefits and what they find to be most valuable. Our international members identified that networking opportunities are where they find the most value and serves as the chief motivation for their involvement with volunteer work within the society. As a result, we plan to tailor the messaging around our various initiatives and volunteer opportunities to appeal to the different motivating factors of our members based on geography.

    John Bilezikian, M.D. and Roberto Civitelli, M.D. are again presenting ASBMR Annual Meeting Highlights Sessions at several meetings, including the October Brazilian Society for Bone Metabolism (ABRASSO) meeting and this month’s Brazilian Society of Orthopedics on Bone Metabolism (ABOOM) meeting. Other opportunities in 2016 are still in development and we will make it a priority to continue our outreach internationally.

    International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS)
    ASBMR has served, together with the ECTS, as a leader for the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS) since its inception in 2013. Our Executive Committee members have been actively involved in planning for the future of IFMRS, which will result in the winding down of the International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS) and the transfer of its assets to IFMRS, as has been approved by all seven member societies. The planning has involved several work groups, which include strategic planning, governance and publications. The future of BoneKEy Reports continues to be a topic of considerable attention with a resolution expected in the coming weeks.
    Develop New Strategies and Revenue Streams to Enable ASBMR to Invest in the Future of the Field

    ASBMR Fund for Research and Education
    The ASBMR Development Committee, co-chaired by Bart Clarke, M.D. and Shonni Silverberg, M.D., has worked hard over the last year to develop an individual giving campaign, the ASBMR Fund for Research and Education. “The Fund” was formally launched at last year’s ASBMR Annual Meeting. The website, www.asbmrfund.org, is live and accepting donations for the following programs: Travel Fellowships, Honor Your Mentor Young Investigator Awards, Pilot Projects for Young Investigators, General Donations, Memorial Gifts and Honorary Gifts. Our goal in 2016 is to increase the number of donors to around 85 individual donors and $25,000 in revenue.

    ASBMR 2016 Annual Meeting
    The ASBMR Annual Meeting is the highlight of each year. I have truly enjoyed working with my colleagues Serge Ferrari, M.D., Ernestina Schipani, Ph.D., Jennifer Westendorf, Ph.D. and ASBMR staff to develop the scientific program for this year’s meeting in Atlanta. Some highlights of the program include:

    • Gerald D. Aurbach Lecture on “-omics”, Michael Snyder, Ph.D., Stanford (USA)
    • Louis V. Avioli Lecture on Sex Steroids and Bone, Sundeep Khosla, M.D., Mayo Clinic (USA) 
    • Clinical Evening on “Can We Close the Treatment Gap for Osteoporosis?”
    • Basic Evening on Brain Signaling to Bone 
    • A variety of symposia on BMPs, EPO, Cancer and Bone, Aging, Microbiome, Cortical Bone and Matricellular Proteins

    In addition to the Annual Meeting, we will again host a pre-meeting symposium, ASBMR Symposium – Bone–Omics: Translating Genomic Discoveries into Clinical Applications, organized by Douglas P. Kiel, M.D., M.P.H., Fernando Rivadeneira, M.D., Ph.D., Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, Ph.D. and Eric Orwoll, M.D. Highlights of the program include:

    • The –Omics Revolution In Molecular Medicine 
    • Model Cells and Organisms To Understand Genome Biology
    • Big Data and Networks
    • Genomics Applied In Therapeutics

    Thank you for your efforts to support the ASBMR mission to advance bone, mineral and musculoskeletal science worldwide and to promote the translation of basic and clinical research to improve human health. We continue to make substantial progress, but there is much left to be done. I am honored to be working alongside you to accomplish this.


    Douglas P. Kiel, M.D., M.P.H
    ASBMR President