Phil Osdoby, M.A., Ph.D.
ASBMR committee/leadership positions held:
ASBMR Council, 1997-2000; ASBMR Science Policy Committee, 2001-05 and Chair, 2002-05; FASEB Science Policy Committee ASBMR Representative, 2002-2005; Board of Directors for US Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD), ASBMR Representative, 2002-04; USBJD Research Committee, Chair 2002-04; ASBMR Nominating Committee, 2002-03; ASBMR Primer Evaluation Committee, Chair, 2000; ASBMR Local Arrangements Committee, 1999; ASBMR Annual Meeting Program Committee, 1986, 1990-92, 1994-97, 1999-01, 2003-05; ASBMR Scientific Program Co-Chair, 2008; ASBMR Publication Review Committee, 2009-2010; ASBMR Publication Committee, 2009-2013 and Chair 2010-13; ASBMR Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism Editor–in–Chief Search Committee, Chair 2012; ASBMR Working Group on Clinician Education and Outreach, 2012.
Cellular, molecular, and biochemical analyses of bone cell interactions and development; role of chemokines in normal or pathological bone processes; mechanisms of nitric oxide regulation and action in osteoclasts; interactions between vascular, immune, MSCs, and bone cells in skeletal physiology, osteoimmunology, inflammation, and osteoporosis; cellular mechanisms associated with bone loss and fragility in osteogenesis imperfecta
1. What brought you to the bone field and why have you stayed?
I first developed a fascination and curiosity about developmental biology when I enrolled in an undergraduate developmental biology class and realized the complexity and elegant processes involved in embryonic development. I was especially intrigued by regulated or controlled cell death and tissue remodeling processes. These interests led me to pursue a Master’s project at City University in New York that focused on specific tissue and cell changes associated with tail regression during amphibian metamorphosis. Thereafter, I became a Ph.D. student at Case Western Reserve University where I was exceedingly fortunate to work in the lab of Dr. Arnold Caplan, a pioneering researcher in mesenchymal stem and precursor cell differentiation (to muscle, cartilage, bone, or fat) and tissue regeneration. Most work in the lab had been centered on muscle and cartilage, so he and I decided that an interesting unresolved question to investigate was whether osteoblastic bone cells arose from cartilage tissue or derived from embryonic limb mesenchymal cells. Before long, I was completely hooked on bone research because it seemed to me to be the perfect developmental (and adult) tissue in which to study tissue remodeling, programmed cell death, and bone cell interactions. My work as a postdoctoral fellow led me into studies on the other key bone cell– the osteoclast-and decades of work investigating what controls its recruitment, differentiation, phenotype, function, survival, and interactions with bone matrix, other skeletal or immune cells, and vasculature. Over the years, bone research has progressed and evolved in unforeseen ways as the field has grown, matured, and as even more exciting discoveries have revealed new insights that advanced basic science, translational, and clinical knowledge. The ways in which basic studies in bone research interface with diverse interests in development, genetics, endocrine physiology, tissue engineering and regeneration, clinical studies, and pharmaceutical development keeps this field vibrant, challenging, and the perfect fit for me.
2. What has been your favorite ASBMR Annual Meeting moment?
The annual ASBMR meeting is always the research highlight of the year. The annual meeting moment for me was not exactly a moment, but a time period associated with one of the annual meetings. I was fortunate to be chosen by Dr. Barbara Kream to work with her and Dr. Raj Thakker to put together the 2008 ASBMR meeting. I can easily affirm that serving as Program Co-Chair was an outstanding, challenging, and thoroughly positive (and fun) experience. The pleasure of working with these energetic leaders, together with the capable ASBMR staff and countless session chairs, speakers and young investigators, combined to provide an outstanding experience for me in helping to plan the program. I was especially proud of the new symposiums and sessions on pediatric bone accrual, tissue engineering, stem cells, and nanotechnology that we arranged. I would heartily recommend that members get involved in some facet of ASBMR activity, not only to contribute to our society but also to have the valuable opportunity to directly meet and interact with other ASBMR members in a personal, professional and rewarding manner.
3. How does your research make a difference?
Dr. Patricia Collin-Osdoby and I share a laboratory and our current interests include continuing investigations of bone cell interactions with MSCs, immune, or vascular cells and the role of various chemokines, nitric oxide, or other signaling molecules in the recruitment, development, function and intercellular communication between these cell types and tissues. Our work has helped provide an important foundation for modifying such interactions, which has great potential to achieve outcomes that could translate into new therapeutic approaches for alleviating such skeletal pathologies as osteoporosis, inflammatory osteopenia or osteolysis, arthritis, periodontal disease, or avascular necrosis. A key focus of our lab in recent years has been our research in collaboration with Dr. Joan Marini to understand the cell and tissue pathophysiology associated with osteogenesis imperfecta, and to seek new therapeutic avenues (such as RANKL inhibition and other strategies) to potentially alleviate bone loss or fragility in OI.
Dr. Osdoby is a full, tenured professor at Washington University in St. Louis.