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  • 2024 ASBMR Women's History Month

    2024 ASBMR Women's History Month

    • Mar 22, 2024

    March 25, 2024

    In celebration of the 2024 Women’s History Month, the ASBMR Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee is highlighting five women who have served ASBMR as President, our current President Dr. Laura Calvi and President-Elect Dr. Jennifer Westendorf, and their contributions to the Society and the field. To date, 13 women have been elected to serve as President.

    The ASBMR Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee is honored to present the last installment of the celebration of women ASBMR Presidents. In addition, we include here Dr. Nicola Partridge, who was instrumental in the foundation of our committee. 

    Last year, we indicated that “An important fact about ASBMR is that a woman, Shirley Hohl, highly contributed to the creation of the society.  First as Executive Secretary, then as Consultant, Shirley Hohl performed most of the administrative duties for the organization, including the processing of membership dues, and program and logistics planning for the Annual Meeting from the society official incorporation as a nonprofit organization in 1977. The contribution of Shirley Hohl is highlighted by the establishment of the Shirley Hohl Service Award. As stated on the Society’s website “Her presence markedly influenced the development of the Society and her contributions were fundamental to establishing the infrastructure of the Society and its success.”

    It was not until 1984 that Dr. Paula Stern was elected as the first woman ASBMR President. Since then, 12 additional women were elected presidents of ASBMR (28% of the presidents to date), five of them in the last five years. Of note, four (Drs. Jane Cauley, Jane Lian, Mary Bouxsein, and Lynda Bonewald) out of the 13 are listed as 2023 Top 1000 Women Scientist Worldwide by Currently, 48% of the ASBMR members self-identify as women, and 51% as men.

    For the highlights of the additional six women Past-Presidents, please visit the ASBMR website.

    Jane Aubin, Ph.D.  1998-1999
    Prepared by Edith Bonnelye, Ph.D.

    Jane AubinProfessor Emerita Dr. Jane Aubin received a B.Sc. (Hons; Chemistry and Mathematics) and the Gold Medal in Chemistry at Queen's University, Kingston and a Ph.D. (Medical Biophysics) at the University of Toronto (UToronto), followed by postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany. At UToronto, she held several senior administrative positions, including Chair of the Graduate Department of Dentistry, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Director of the Bone Program in the Centre for Modeling Human Disease. Nationally, she was Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis and CIHR’s Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President Research. Throughout her career, she showed outstanding leadership qualities and an unwavering commitment to working with others to improve the health and quality of life of people with musculoskeletal diseases and conditions.

    Dr. Aubin trained and mentored numerous students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting researchers in her own lab and more widely, was a member of numerous editorial boards, advisory committees, and grant review panels. She served as president of ASBMR in 1998-99, increasing international participation and advocacy for women in STEM, new investigators, and trainees. She received the William F. Neumann Award in 2004 that recognized her major contributions to identifying skeletal stem cells, osteoprogenitors and characterizing their developmental and regulatory pathways, and her many professional contributions to the field. Dr. Aubin also received the 2021 Shirley Hohl Service Award, recognizing her ongoing contributions to ASBMR and the field.

    As President, I had the opportunity to act upon issues that I was and remain passionate about. I promoted the recognition and participation of international members in Society committees and meetings and promoted equity for women in all Society activities and leadership positions. I championed participation of young investigators on committees and initiated annual meeting activities specifically targeted to trainees and young investigators. I was pleased and honored to develop the latter further as Past-President by leading a mentorship task force that developed criteria of what constituted good mentorship, including principles that have been expanded into several current ASBMR awards and activities for trainees and young investigators. My advice for young women with a passion for research is to actively seek out and take risks throughout their careers to obtain the opportunities, role models and mentors who share this passion.”

    Recognition of such contributions was echoed by Dr. Pamela Gehron Robey: "Dr. Aubin has served the society in many different ways-on various different committees, as President of the society, and on special task forces set up by the society...  In all of these activities, there are recurring areas that Dr. Aubin has focused on, such as the inclusion and promotion of equality for women, integration of international colleagues into all aspects of society life, cross-fertilization between societies with shared interests, and the enrollment of young investigators into the society and fostering their career development through proper mentorship.  Dr. Aubin is truly dedicated to each and every one of these, and her leadership has resulted in major improvements in the society activities." 

    And by Dr. Lynda Bonewald: Dr Aubin is one of the most generous, selfless people I know and she has dedicated her time and energy to the ASBMR for several decades.  She epitomizes the type of individual that has « markedly influenced the development of the Society ». I cannot think of many individuals who have given so freely of their time and expertise towards shaping the infrastructure and culture of the ASBMR.”

    Barbara E. Kream, Ph.D.  2007-2008
    Prepared by Kyung-Hyun Park-Min, Ph.D.

    barbara kreamDr. Kream, a professor at the Departments of Medicine and Genetics and Genome Sciences at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health), embarked on her remarkable scientific journey with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1974. Her dedication to her field was evident in her impactful postdoctoral fellowships, first under the guidance of Hector DeLuca, Ph.D. in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin and later with Lawrence Raisz, M.D., at UConn Health. In 1979, she established her own lab at UConn Health, dedicating her career to studying how hormones and growth factors regulate bone remodeling in postnatal life. Her expertise and knowledge in the bone and mineral field were deepened at UConn Health under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Raisz. She recalled, “Both Larry and the other founders of the ASBMR were incredibly supportive to me and other young investigators in the field.” Throughout her career, she held multiple leadership positions and currently serves as an associate dean in UConn Health's graduate school, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to musculoskeletal research and academia.

    Dr. Kream’s impact as an educator and mentor is profound. In 2005, she received the Gideon Rodan Excellence in Mentorship Award, which recognized her exceptional mentorship skills. Her trainees consistently express their gratitude for her guidance and mentorship during and after their time in her lab. Dr. Fei Liu recalled the occasion when Dr. Kream visited his lab, “Dr. Kream is a constant source of inspiration and guidance even after I established my own lab”. Dr. Kream’s mentorship is extended to impact all areas of trainees' professional journeys. Dr. Maobin Yang stated, “Dr. Kream's influence goes beyond academic achievements”. Dr. Paul Krebsbach remembered that Dr. Kream's laboratory is where his curiosity truly flourished, “In her lab, failure wasn’t penalized, but rather it sparked creativity.” Dr. Sotirios Tetradis highlighted Dr. Kream's deep passion for scientific discovery and research, “You can never have too many controls” and “listen to your data” is still loud and clear in my mind.”

    Dr. Barbara Kream served as ASBMR President from 2007-2008 and has been involved in the ASBMR scientific program committee since 1997. Dr. Kream said that “My year as President of ASBMR was an honor and a privilege. The guidance of Anne Elderkin, then Executive Director, was invaluable as I learned and carried out the duties of the presidency. During my president-elect year, I enjoyed planning the topical meeting on the bone-brain-fat connection, as this was an exciting new area in the field. The goals for my presidential year were to make sure that the annual meeting had a balance of basic and clinical science and that the society continued to support young trainees. I got tremendous enjoyment from working with my program co-chairs on the scientific program of the annual meeting. Through my work with the ASBMR, I am fortunate to have cherished colleagues and trainees, including those at UConn Health, who continue to amaze me with their energy and continued contributions to the field of bone and mineral research.” Her contributions to the ASBMR society and to science continue to inspire all women scientists.

    Jane B. Lian, Ph.D.  2009-2010
    Prepared by Kelsey Mangano, Ph.D.

    Jane LianDr. Jane Lian, an eminent figure in the realm of bone and mineral research, distinguished herself as the President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) from 2009-2010, leaving an indelible mark on the organization and the broader scientific community. Dr. Lian earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine and completed her post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, and then Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital laying the foundation for her career with the discovery of Osteocalcin as a key clinical marker for evaluating bone formation.  Her move to the University of Massachusetts, Gary Stein Biochemistry Department lead her research down a path of exploring regulation of bone homeostasis and cancer metastasis to bone by molecular mechanisms, e.g. RNAs, enhancers and non-coding RNAs. Using a translational framework, Dr. Lian’s lab is discovering novel mechanisms of biological control that are leading to clinical applications. Currently Dr. Lian is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Vermont and a member of the Vermont Cancer Center.

    Throughout her tenure as ASBMR President, Dr. Lian steered the organization with astute leadership, championing initiatives that propelled the field forward. Dr. Lian’s major goals during her Presidency were to give attention to the entire membership across the globe. Dr. Lian stated “It was so enlightening for me to email exchanges with ASBMR research investigators and clinicians and share our thoughts that would lead to future discoveries. This I consider as my greatest contribution to ASBMR”. Under her guidance, ASBMR flourished, witnessing remarkable growth, and fostering international collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and industry stakeholders. Lian's visionary approach led to the establishment of groundbreaking research programs and initiatives aimed at advancing our understanding of bone health and disease pathology. Dr. Lian's groundbreaking research and leadership have earned her prestigious accolades, including the coveted Shirley Hohl Service Award, the William F. Neuman Award, and being recognized as a Fellow of ASBMR. These accolades underscore Dr. Lian's significant impact and enduring legacy in the field of bone and mineral research.

    Reflecting on her tenure, Lian emphasized the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary efforts, stating, "Together, we can achieve remarkable strides in unraveling the mysteries of bone biology and improving patient outcomes." With her unparalleled dedication to scientific excellence and tireless advocacy for bone health, Dr. Jane Lian has left an indelible mark on the field, shaping the trajectory of future advancements and innovations. “I am so grateful today that at 80 years young I am still teaching and have undergraduates, post-doctoral fellows and senior investigator colleagues in the Stein and Lian laboratory who are delving into the state-of-the-art molecular technologies that are revealing novel insights into bone biology”.

    Suzanne Jan de Beur, M.D.  2020-2021
    Prepared by Erica Clinkenbeard, Ph.D.

    suzanneSuzanne Jan de Beur, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Jan de Beur holds the Gerald D Aurbach Endowed Chair in Medicine and is Professor of Medicine at University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Jan de Beur graduated from Cornell University and Cornell Weill Medical College. She completed the Osler Medical Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and her fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a Physician-Scientist and a practicing Endocrinologist, her clinical and research work focus on understanding rare and metabolic bone diseases at the basic level and translating these observations to the bedside. Her work help identify or characterized the molecular basis of several disorders of mineral metabolism including pseudohypoparathyroidism, progressive osseous heteroplasia, and tumor induced osteomalacia. Her work has led to novel treatments for X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), tumor induced osteomalacia (TIO) and osteogenesis imperfecta. As a recognized rare bone expert, she has been intricately involved in developing guidelines for management of TIO and XLH.

    Dr. Jan de Beur is a member of professional and honorific societies including the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) (1996) and the Association of Osteobiology.  She is a Past President (2021) and a Fellow of the ASBMR (2018).  Dr. Jan de Beur is the recipient of the Shirley Hohl Award of the ASBMR (2015), and the Boy Frame Award (2022) for excellence in clinical research.

    Altogether, this culminated in Dr. Suzanne Jan de Beur election as ASBMR president in 2021. In her own words, her main contribution to the society as president was, “Meeting the challenge the COVID-19 global pandemic by being there for our members and cultivating community. This included orchestrating a synchronous, hybrid annual meeting to allow members to come together and exchange their science, expanding ASBMR’s DEI initiative, extending ASBMR’s year-round educational offerings and establishing the ASBMR Speaks podcast.”

    Mary Bouxsein, Ph.D.  2022-2023
    Prepared by Manju Chandran, M.D.

    maryDr. Mary Bouxsein grew up in a small town in rural Illinois. She received her BS degree in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, studying the effects of exercise on the skeleton with mentors Robert Marcus, M.D. and Dennis Carter, Ph.D. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Wilson C. Hayes, Ph.D. She is currently Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.  Her research group employs a multidisciplinary strategy with state-of-the-art technologies to study the causes, detection and treatment of skeletal fragility. Dr Bouxsein’s research includes studies using animal models and human cadaveric tissue, as well as clinical investigations. She also has a strong interest in the use of novel non-invasive imaging techniques to predict fracture risk and monitor response to osteoporosis therapies. Dr. Bouxsein’s research is also “out of this world” as she studies the impact of spaceflight on the musculoskeletal system, aiming to make long-duration space travel safe for astronauts.

    Dr. Bouxsein currently serves on the committee of scientific advisors for the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), and has previously served as a board member of the IOF, an Associate Editor for JBMR, and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at NIH. She has been recognized for her exemplary mentorship of students and fellows through several awards, including the Adele Boskey Award from the ASBMR, the A. Clifford Barger Excellent in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School, and the Seidman Prize for Outstanding Research Mentorship from MIT.  Dr. Bouxsein has published over 375 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters and invited reviews.

    Prior to being elected as ASBMR President in 2022, Dr. Bouxsein served on the Advocacy & Science Policy and Membership Engagement Committees, a Council member and co-chair of the ASBMR Task Force on Vertebral Augmentation.

    In her words, her main contributions to the society as president were to energize and foster an inclusive and welcoming scientific community for all members around the world and to create opportunities for early-career investigators to be involved in the ASBMR.  In addition, she developed and fundraised for a new esteemed award that honors early-career clinical investigators. Finally, she is particularly proud of being the first engineer to serve as ASBMR President!

    Laura Calvi, M.D.  2023-2024
    Prepared by Sisi Cao, Ph.D.

    Picture13Dr. Laura Calvi is a Professor of Medicine at University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York. She serves as the Assistant Director (research pathway) of the Internal Medicine Residency program and professor of neurologic surgery, pharmacology and physiology at University of Rochester School of Medicine. She also serves as the Chair for the committee for Medical Student Distinction in Research at University of Rochester Medical Center. After completing her undergraduate training at Union College, she was awarded her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1995. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and her fellowship in endocrinology in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 2000. She also completed her postdoctoral Fellowship in Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital in 2002. Among all her awards, Dr. Calvi is the recipient of John Haddad Young Investigator Award from ASBMR in 2001, IDDK 60th Anniversary Early Career Investigator/Scholar Award in 2010, Fuller Albright Award from ASBMR in 2012, and American Society for Clinical Investigation Active Member in 2013.

    Dr. Calvi’s research interests include study of the cell and tissue interactions that take place between the bone marrow microenvironment and blood stem cells, where cancer arises. Her team is also investigating treatments that may expand the population of healthy blood stem cells so that older adults, whose marrow is failing, can regain an adequate blood supply.

    In a 2024 interview found at the ASBMR website, Dr. Calvi stated her major objectives for the society for the year of her presidency are to expand and support our global community, invest in the future of the field, improve the awareness, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, and lead the research agenda in musculoskeletal science.

    One of her mentors, Dr. Ernestina Schipani, indicates, “In 1999, when I was a young Assistant Professor in the process of establishing my laboratory at the Endocrine Unit-MGH, a clinical fellow in Endocrinology joined my group. Her name was Dr. Laura Calvi. I was immediately impressed by her enthusiasm and her imaginative mind: we were off to a great start! A quarter of century later, I am happy and honored to celebrate Laura’s scientific accomplishments and leadership”.

    Jennifer Westendorf, Ph.D.  2024-2025
    Prepared by Amna Khan, M.D.

    jenniferDr. Westendorf is the Margaret Amini Professor of Regenerative Medicine Research and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, USA. Dr. Westendorf received her bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from University of Minnesota Morris in 1991. She completed her Ph.D. in Immunology from Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1996. Subsequently, she completed post-doctoral fellowships in Molecular Biology and Tumor Biology at Vanderbilt University and St Jude’s Research Hospital respectively. While a postdoctoral fellow, she studied Runx transcription factors and became very interested in bone biology.

    Her current research focuses on new insights into common musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis and validating new molecules as treatment targets.

    Some of her many professional highlights include:

    - Established and led the Office of Research Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at Mayo Clinic from 2017-2022.
    - Women's Leadership Forum Award, Orthopedic Research Society, 2018. 
    - Dean's Recognition Award, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Science, 2016.

    She has been an active member of ASBMR for more than 23 years. She was honored with the Fuller Albright Award in 2009 and became the Fellow of ASBMR in 2018.

    She has mentored many students and fellows from diverse backgrounds. She has also directed a NIAMS-sponsored T32 grant on musculoskeletal research since 2009 at Mayo Clinic which resulted in many students receiving various rewards such as F, K and R awards from NIH, ASBMR Young Investigator Awards, John Haddad Awards and Harold Frost Awards. Several individuals who have worked with her went on to successful careers in biomedical sciences.

    We are truly honored to have her serve as President of ASBMR 2024-2025.

    "The ASBMR has been my professional home since I became an independent investigator in the year 2000. My first service to the organization was as a young investigator on a task force that led to the founding of the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee. I’m grateful to my mentors in the ASBMR and to those who contributed to its growth and success over the last 5 decades. I’m humbled and excited to be the President-Elect. During my term as president, I aim to prioritize needs of the current and future members. This will include focusing on the latest scientific advances that will impact our field in the next decade, advocacy for musculoskeletal research, and promoting innovation and inclusivity within the ASBMR."

    Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence, a former trainee indicates, "Dr. Westendorf’s scientific contributions have both established and substantially advanced the field’s understanding of key transcriptional and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in bone and cartilage.  Moreover,  Jen  is a phenomenal mentor and a champion for her colleagues across the career spectrum, providing opportunities for training, advancement, recognition, and leadership for scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds.  I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to train with her.

    Nicola Partridge, Ph.D.
    ASBMR Councilor 1993-1996 | Chair, Women's Focus Group 2004 | First Chair, Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee 2005-2008
    Prepared by Perla Reyes Ferandez, Ph.D.

    nicolaProfessor Nicola Partridge is a distinguished scientist with a robust academic background spanning several prestigious institutions. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Western Australia in 1981 and subsequently held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Melbourne and Washington University Dental School in St. Louis. Her illustrious career includes faculty positions at Saint Louis University, where she served as Professor of Pharmacological and Physiological Science and Orthopedic Surgery, and later as Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Training Program. In 2000, Dr. Partridge was recruited as Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, before assuming the role of Chair of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology at NYU College of Dentistry in 2009.

    With joint appointments in the departments of Medicine, and Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Partridge is renowned nationally and internationally as an authority in molecular endocrinology, particularly in bone and mineral research, including osteoporosis research. Her research focuses on parathyroid hormone regulation of gene expression in osteoblasts and bone. She is currently investigating novel molecular mechanisms defining PTH vs. PTHrP and abaloparatide anabolic effects, as well as the regulation of gene expression in bone and the role of protein kinase A in this process.

    To date, Dr. Partridge's prolific research career has garnered over 180 publications and consistent independent funding since 1984 from organizations such as NIH, NASA, NHMRC, and industry. Her exceptional contributions to science have been recognized through numerous awards, including the UMDNJ-GSBS Excellence in Research Award, the Shirley Hohl Service Award in 2002, and the prestigious Louis V. Avioli Founders Award in 2018 for her significant contributions to bone and mineral basic research. In 2019, she was honored as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    In addition to her research accomplishments, Dr. Partridge has played a pivotal role in promoting diversity and inclusion in academia. She was instrumental in the creation of the ASBMR Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, contributing her expertise to uphold the publication's high standards.

    A statement by Dr. Melissa Kacena, highlighting both the personal and scientific attributes of Dr. Patridge, “Not only is Nicky Partridge a remarkable leader, she also has passionate authenticity, open-mindedness, and commitment to her trainees. Indeed, Nicky deeply invests in training the next generation of scientists and clinician-scientists. Whether she is working with her school’s Research Committee to facilitate the development of medical student research programs, driving an ASBMR task force to establish the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee, or patiently teaching and assuring her trainees what is possible, she is a consummate role model as well as coach. This last statement applies to the whole field, but applies to me personally as Nicky has been one of the most instrumental people that has helped to shape my career trajectory.”

    Dr. Jane B. Lian offered the following endorsement in a letter of recommendation supporting Dr. Partridge's nomination for an ASBMR Esteemed Award, “I have followed her work closely and with admiration for many years now. Dr. Partridge’ past and present scientific contributions have promoted and expanded the bone field in 3 major areas. Throughout her entire career to the present: 1- bone remodeling and MMPs; 2- nuclear mechanisms of PTH and 3- the cellular and molecular biology of osteoblasts that spans genetic and epigenetic mechanisms…” “…Her research activities were instrumental in bridging the communication between the clinical endocrinologist and the basic researcher. She has fostered the development of programs for women and clinicians to have successful research and academic careers. She is well recognized as a champion for better teaching, mentoring of young investigators, and facilitating MD fellows in participating in research programs.”

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