Joy Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
Institution: Stanford University School of Medicine
Career Stage: Early – Assistant Professor of Medicine
Research Focus: Osteoblast differentiation, Bone marrow hematopoietic niches
ASBMR committee/leadership positions held: Membership Engagement Committee Member
What brought you to the bone field and why have you stayed?
After PhD training in mouse genetics and cellular signaling, I returned to my clinical training and was searching for a lab that used similar approaches to address endocrine diseases. I was advised to select a lab based on the mentor rather than a project, which turned out to be excellent advice.
I chose to work with Dr. Hank Kronenberg (a past president of ASBMR) because his lab was using similar techniques to study skeletal development. When I began my endocrinology fellowship I did not imagine that I might end up in the bone field, but it has turned out to be a fantastic career choice. Osteoporosis is a growing clinical problem, and several new classes of medications are now or soon will be on the market. Plus my research in the role of the skeleton in supporting hematopoiesis means that I get to spend time learning about hematology and immunology, and thinking about how these fields intersect with bone biology, which is a lot of fun. This is a tremendously exciting time in bone biology, with so many opportunities for young investigators in both basic and clinical research.
What has been your favorite ASBMR Annual Meeting moment?
The chance to go to Hawaii in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow was definitely a highlight, and the travel grants provided by the ASBMR for that meeting really demonstrated the society’s commitment to its young investigators. But I enjoy every annual meeting as an opportunity to hear about the latest exciting research, and to (re)connect with my growing network of friends and colleagues around the world.
If you knew at the beginning of your career what you know now, what advice would you give to yourself?
Stay focused on the joys of research – the intellectual stimulation, the excitement of unexpected findings – and take the long view. It’s easy to feel discouraged by every unsuccessful grant and manuscript submission, but if you step back and remember the many reasons that academic medicine is a fulfilling career, it’s well worth it to be resilient.