The time since our Annual Meeting has been busy for the Society. Realizing our Strategic Goals put in place in 2011 is the main focus for 2012 and beyond. I am encouraged by our progress and optimistic about the many opportunities for impact. The ASBMR 2011-2014 Strategic Plan has four main objectives:
Increase Public and Healthcare Professional Awareness of Bone Diseases
- Initial efforts towards communication and changing primary care practice towards osteoporosis are underway, and a Work Group has been formed to evaluate additional options and make recommendations for approaches the ASBMR can take to expand education and outreach to clinicians in order to improve clinical practice and clinical outcomes.
- The Society continues to work closely with the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) to increase public and professional awareness of bone diseases. ASBMR’s Immediate Past President Sundeep Khosla, M.D. serves as the NBHA Chairman. Included in these efforts is the "20/20 Vision" campaign aimed at reducing hip and other fractures in the U.S. by 20 percent by 2020.
- ASBMR is supporting NBHA in its development of a Public and Health Professional Awareness Campaign that will launch in the Spring of 2012. The campaign will highlight the connection between osteoporosis and fractures in individuals over 50 years of age and will be closely aligned with NBHA’s “20/20 Vision” goal.
Expand ASBMR Leadership of the Research Agenda in Bone and Related Fields
- Lynda Bonewald, Ph.D. and the Topical Meeting Organizing Committee have been hard at work planning the 2012 Forum on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions that will take place July 17-18, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. They have developed an outstanding program and speaker roster. We look forward to the meaningful research agenda and collaborations that will undoubtedly be created as a result of this meeting.
- A Work Group has been formed to identify outreach strategies targeted toward Chinese bone researchers with the expectation of rolling out similar work groups in the near future targeted toward researchers in other developing countries and regions.
- Another Work Group has been formed to explore opportunities for associating with the Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA) consortium to develop collaborations to advance bone research. The work group is in the process of developing objectives and desired outcomes.
Expand Two-Way Dialogue and Exchange of Ideas Between ASBMR and NIH Thought Leaders
- Representatives from NIH Institutes including NIDDK, NIA, NICHD, NIAMS, NCI, NCCATS, NCCAM and NIDCR participated in a dialogue with ASBMR Councilors and Committee Chairs during the February Council Meeting.
- Topics and ideas generated from this meeting include methods of stimulating research collaborations, training ASBMR members on the needs and qualifications for study section reviewers, increasing opportunities for NIH leaders to interact with Young Investigators at the Annual Meeting and establishing international partnerships to generate funding opportunities.
- The Society is working on innovative means by which NIH programs and award opportunities can be disseminated to ASBMR members with context as to how the opportunities could be valuable to researchers in the bone and mineral field.
Invest in our Research Future by Positioning Young Investigators for Success
- Staff have begun work with committees to implement programs targeted at addressing priorities identified by recent Focus Group conference calls with young investigators, including creating new opportunities at the Annual Meeting for YIs to interact one-on-one with senior scientists and collecting international and private grant funding mechanisms to post on the ASBMR website.
- The Society also continues to make it a high priority to support young investigator travel to attend important scientific meetings in the field. This year, the Harold Frost YI Award and ECTS Ph.D. Training program awards will again be offered, as well as the Career Enhancement Award (CEA), Junior Faculty Osteoporosis Research Awards (JFOR) and young investigator travel awards to the Topical Meeting in July and the Annual Meeting in October.
- New in 2012, the ASBMR Phoebe Leboy Professional Development Award will be offered to one female young investigator from an emerging country to attend the ASBMR Annual Meeting. The award provides, travel, accommodations, registration, as well as onsite mentorship from senior women in the field and access to their professional and educational resources.
Planning for the ASBMR 2012 Annual Meeting
Program Co-Chairs, Robert Adler, M.D. and Xu Cao, Ph.D. and I are finalizing the planning the 2012 Annual Meeting being held October 12-15 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Some highlights to look for this fall are:
- Gerald D. Aurbach Lecture - MSC and Tissue Repair, Darwin Prockop, M.D., Ph.D. from Texas A&M Health Science Center
- Louis V. Avioli Lecture - Advanced Imaging as a Surrogate for Fracture Risk, Harry Genant, M.D., UCSF/Synarc
- ASBMR/ECTS Clinical Debate – Patients Identified by FRAX as being at High Risk of Fracture Respond to Available Treatments of Osteoporosis
- Plenary Symposia on Bone Turnover Markers and Steroid Hormonal Regulation
- Symposia on Fracture Risk Assessment,, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, TGF-beta, Bone and Kidney, Safety of Osteoporosis Therapy and Fracture Healing
- State-of-the-Art Lectures on Bone/Muscle Interactions, Bone/Vascular Interactions and Matricellular Signaling
ASBMR Collaborations with Other Groups
ASBMR continues to seek opportunities to collaborate with other organizations. These initiatives include:
- ASBMR member Meryl LeBoff, M.D., will represent ASBMR at the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) Position Development Conference related to body composition analysis using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, to be held September 14-16, 2012 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
- ASBMR has joined the Alliance for Aging Research Aging in Motion Coalition, which will initiate and lead on-going interactions with clinicians, regulators and policy influencers to overcome the obstacles that impede the development and evaluation of promising treatments for sarcopenia and associated functional declines in the elderly.
- Laurie McCauley, D.D.S., Ph.D. will represent ASBMR in the development of the Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) International Consensus Paper being supported by the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS), IOF, ISCD and ECTS.
Along with all of this, and most importantly, the Society continues to foster and support our members’ robust research progress. I look forward to the opportunities and obstacles we will face this year in continuing to be the premier society in the field of bone and mineral metabolism, and in making the discoveries that keep bones healthy for a lifetime.
Keith Hruska, M.D.