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  • 2023 ASBMR Women's History Month

    2023 ASBMR Women's History Month

    • Mar 29, 2023


    March 29, 2023

    In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee is highlighting six women who have served ASBMR as President, and their contributions to the Society and the field. To date, 12 women have been elected to serve as president and it is the committee’s intent to spotlight six more leaders next year.

    INTERESTING FACT: Shirley Hohl was instrumental in the creation of the Society. First as Executive Secretary, then as consultant, Shirley Hohl performed all of the administrative duties for the organization from the Society’s inception until 1991. This included the processing of membership dues and Annual Meeting abstracts, as well as managing the Annual Meeting logistics/program planning. Her dedication markedly influenced the development of the Society and her contributions were fundamental to establishing the organization’s infrastructure. Shirley’s contributions to ASBMR have been celebrated annually since 1997 with an esteemed award named in her honor.

    Paula H. Stern, PhD  1984-1985
    Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

    OriginalAmong Dr. Stern’s recollections of her year as ASBMR president: “Major decisions were made related to the establishment of an ASBMR journal.  One particularly difficult issue was whether the journal would be co-sponsored by other societies in the field, which led to extensive discussion and communication over many months. The following year, 1986, saw the first issue of JBMR® as the official journal of the ASBMR. 

    There were also matters associated with the establishment of an Osteoporosis Foundation. Again, after numerous meetings and communications with other potential partner foundations, the decision was made that it would be an independent organization, founded by ASBMR.  The foundation became the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and is now known as the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF). Another activity established during my term that persists into the present is a past-officers gathering during the Annual Meeting to provide a mechanism for accessing their experience and keeping them involved.”

    In a 2018 interview found at the ASBMR website, Dr. Stern gave the following advice for young women wishing to pursue a career in academic research: “Learn to write well. Take advantage of opportunities such as summer programs (I had two great ones at Woods Hole). Volunteer in a laboratory to experience the environment.  Don’t give up.  It is a fulfilling career.”

    The ASBMR named the annual Paula Stern Achievement Award in her honor. This award recognizes women who make significant scientific contributions in bone research and who have promoted professional development in and the advancement of other women in the field. Dr. Stern was the recipient of the 2006 Shirley Hohl Service Award and was named Fellow of the ASBMR in 2019. In addition, she was one of the founding members of the Feinberg School of Medicine Women’s Faculty Organization (WFO) and as recognition for her 50 years of scientific accomplishments and dedicated service to Feinberg, the department of pharmacology named an award in her honor, given annually to an exemplary female faculty member.

    Dr. Stern’s research interest relates to the signaling pathways involved in hormone action on osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and its implications for osteoporosis, cancer metastases to bone and women's health.

    Sylvia Christakos, PhD  2004-2005
    Distinguished Professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)

    OriginalThe two things Dr. Christakos is most proud of achieving while ASBMR President are the establishment of the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee and the Minority Affairs Subcommittee (precursor to today’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee). The establishment of these two committees/subcommittees required substantial education and compelling discussions with membership and other leadership, and positioned the Society as forward thinking. When issues related to women and under-represented minorities were recently highlighted in the U.S. and other nations by the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, the ASBMR had an infrastructure to ensure its responses were measured, mature and thoughtful.

    Her laboratory is one of the leading laboratories in research related to vitamin D, its function and mechanism of action.

    A top priority for Dr. Christakos throughout her career has been the mentoring of the next generation of scientists, including supporting the careers of women in science. She has trained and mentored 25 PhD students as well as many post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists.  

    Dr. Christakos is the recipient of the 2002 Gideon Rodan Excellence in Mentorship Award and the 2022 Shirley Hohl Service Award, and was named Fellow of the ASBMR in 2018. Among other awards, Dr. Christakos received a Lifetime Teaching Achievement Award, New Jersey Medical School Student Council (2019) a Distinguished Professor Award, Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School Alumni Association (2016), a Lifetime Achievement Award in Vitamin D from the 14th Workshop on Vitamin D (2009) and the John Haddad Memorial Lecture: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008).

    Elizabeth Shane, MD  2005-2006
    Emerita Professor of Medicine and Special Lecturer in Medicine at Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City

    OriginalDr. Shane is a clinical investigator whose research interests include postmenopausal osteoporosis, osteoporosis in men and premenopausal women, secondary forms of osteoporosis related to end-stage heart, lung and liver disease, organ transplantation, HIV infection, chronic kidney disease, celiac disease, osteoarthritis and primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism. She has also conducted clinical trials of therapeutics in these areas. She has held continual federal R01 funding (NIH, FDA) since 1981 and held a K24 Mentoring Grant from the NIAMS from 2005-2015.

    She has served on the NIAMS Advisory Council, as an Associate Editor of JBMR® and the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    One of her many mentees, Dr Emily Stein shared:

    “I met Elizabeth when I was a 4th year medical student and her passion for the field and her research inspired me to pursue a similar path. She became my mentor, and has been instrumental in helping me advance in my career. She introduced me to ASBMR and encouraged me to become more involved in the society as a Fellow and junior faculty member. As a mentor Elizabeth is unusually generous with her time and advice. She is committed to mentoring young women, and extremely effective - many of her former mentees have gone on to successful academic careers. The excellence that Elizabeth always strives for in her work inspires all of us to do our best and follow in her footsteps.”

    Her commitments to ASBMR are plentiful. Serving on the Council for many years, as Program Chair for the 2001 Annual Meeting, and as President in 2005-06. Since her presidency she has served as Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee from 2015-2019 and became an ASBMR Fellow in 2018. Dr Shane has co-chaired four Task Forces for ASBMR, on Ethics in Publishing, Osteonecrosis of the Jaw and both the 2010 and the 2013 Task Forces on Atypical Femur Fractures. In 2008 she was awarded the Shirley Hohl Award for contributions to the society, in  2013 the ASBMR Frederic Bartter Award for her outstanding clinical research achievements, and in 2018 the Paula Stern Award for her mentorship of women in the field.

    Lynda Bonewald, PhD  2012-2013
    Founding Director of the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health, ICMH

    OriginalDr. Bonewald is most proud of the results of her efforts for bringing the study of the bone and muscle crosstalk and her colleagues studying skeletal muscle to the ASBMR during her tenure as President. Also, during this time, she was instrumental in the establishment of the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies as co-leader and creation of the Big Data Working Group. Members of this dedicated group are responsible for the generation of the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal.

    A quote from ASBMR Past President Dr. Henry Kronenberg highlights Dr. Bonewald’s contributions to the ASBMR and her scientific field:

    “Dr. Bonewald has consistently and selflessly taken the time to lend her experience and judgment to national and international leadership roles, with a particular emphasis on service to NIH-associated organizations and to the ASBMR.  She has brought her wisdom and scientific instincts and expertise to advance the field … In a truly remarkable career, Dr. Lynda Bonewald has moved from clarifying the roles and mechanisms of latent forms of TGF-β to opening the field of osteocyte biology to large numbers of investigators who have followed her lead.  She has trained an impressive series of scientists and selflessly led organizations such as the ASBMR to bring her creativity, judgment and leadership skills to the entire bone community”.

    Dr. Bonewald has been continually funded by NIH for over thirty-five years and is best known for her work in the study of osteocytes and is responsible for tools used by researchers globally to determine osteocyte biology and function. She is currently studying bone to muscle crosstalk with aging.

    She has served as Chair of the Board of Scientific Councilors for the NIDCR and served on Council for NIAMS NIH. She received the "Basic Research in Biological Mineralization Award" from the IADR, the "RIB Award" from Sun Valley, and the prestigious William F. Neuman award from the ASBMR. Dr. Bonewald was named Fellow (Biological Sciences) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2019 and of the ASBMR in 2021. She received a Bicentennial Medal from Indiana University in 2020.

    Jane A. Cauley, DrPH  2016-2017
    Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Interim Chair, Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Center for Aging and Population Health

    OriginalDr. Cauley’s commitments to ASBMR include various task force and committee roles, leading to her election as ASBMR president in 2015 and becoming an ASBMR Fellow in 2018. In recognition of her commitment to the ASBMR mission, she was awarded the Frederic Bartter Award in 2011 and Shirley Hohl Service Award in 2018. Dr Cauley has mentored 38 PhD students, 12 master’s students and served on the doctoral committee for 26 students, 19 of which were women. Her mentorship achievements were recognized with the 2011 Provosts Excellence in Mentoring Award from the University of Pittsburgh.

    One of her mentees, Dr. Kristine Ensrud shared:

    “I can personally attest to the value of her insight, advice, and wise counsel. She helps one set specific goals and articulate a timeline for their completion, encourages persistence despite obstacles, provides critical feedback, fosters independence and creativity, and serves as an outstanding role model of a successful clinical research investigator”.

    With over 30 years working in age related osteoporosis, Dr. Cauley has had many career achievements. She has been the Clinical Site Principal Investigator for many landmark epidemiology cohort studies, including the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) and the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS). She has been a Co-investigator for the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) since study inception, focusing on women as they transition from menopause midlife to elder status-with a particular emphasis on skeletal health, physical function and body composition changes. Dr. Cauley has also been instrumental in ensuring epidemiology and bone health remains on the radars of organizations such as American Public Health Association, American College of Epidemiology, Endocrine Society, Gerontological Society of America.


    Teresita Bellido, PhD  2019-2020
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Professor of Internal Medicine, and Professor of Orthopedics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Career Research Scientist of the Veterans Administration.

    OriginalDr. Bellido’s term as president coincided with the height of the Covid-19 global pandemic.  As a direct result of her leadership, the Society implemented a successful 100% virtual Annual Meeting, dramatically expanded its virtual educational and professional development content, and implemented opportunities for members to connect virtually.

    ASBMR Past-President and colleague Dr. Sylvia Christakos shared:

    “I have known Teresita to be a dedicated, sincere, innovative and hard-working individual who generously shares her findings and expertise with others. She is an outstanding role model who leads by example and strives for excellence in all that she does.”

    Dr. Bellido’s research focuses on signal transduction in bone cells, with particular emphasis on the direct action of hormones on bone cells and the biology of osteocytes. She has been independently funded by the NIH since 1996, and she is also funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. She served across multiple NIH study sections and fellowship panels.

    Dr. Bellido has made significant commitments to ASBMR since she was awarded an ASBMR Young Investigator Award in 1993. She has served on the ASBMR Council, as chair of the ASBMR Education Committee, chair of the Women in Bone and Mineral Research committee, and a member of the Development Committee. She became an ASBMR Fellow in 2018 and ASBMR President in 2019. For her scientific achievements and commitment to mentorship of young investigators and women, she was awarded the ASBMR 2015 Paula Stern Achievement Award and 2018 Gideon A. Rodan Excellence in Mentorship Award.


    About the ASBMR

    The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) is the leading professional, scientific and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of bone, mineral and musculoskeletal research. ASBMR encourages and promotes the study of this expanding field through annual scientific meetings, two official journals (Journal of Bone and Mineral Research® and JBMR® Plus), the Primer on Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, advocacy and interaction with government agencies and related societies. To learn more about upcoming meetings and publications, please visit

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