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West Caldwell Doctor Honored for Bone Research

Adele Boskey, Ph.D., was recognized in May for her decades-long work on bone mineralization.

Hospital for Special Surgery has honored Dr. Adele Boskey of West Caldwell, for her research in osteoporosis and her role as a mentor to young scientists.

Boskey was recognized at a symposium on the latest research in bone mineralization and its role in bone disease at the hospital in New York City on May 2. Boskey, the Starr chairwoman in Mineralized Tissue Research, has investigated bone chemistry at Hospital for Special Surgery since 1970.

“Biology will become more important in the study and treatment of orthopedic diseases in the future,” said Boskey. “In the area of osteoarthritis, for example, I foresee less of an emphasis on metal and implant devices and more on understanding the biology that leads to the need for a total joint replacement in the first place.”

As the first female president of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Boskey's mentoring of other women researchers was recognized in 2008 with an award from the Orthopaedic Research Society Women’s Leadership Forum.

Osteoporosis and other bone diseases affect millions of Americans and the consequences can be devastating. An understanding of the underlying mechanism of these conditions is critical to developing new and better diagnostic tools and treatments. Bone mineralization is one of the most important areas in bone disease research today, and Boskey is a pioneer in the field.

At the event, titled The Adele Boskey, Ph.D., Symposium on Mineralized Tissues,a number of distinguished scientists discussed their work, and a reception to honor Boskey followed the presentations. The symposium was part of the hospital’s 150 anniversary celebration programming.

“This is an opportune time to pay tribute to Dr. Boskey for her 40-year career, for her original thinking and seminal research, and for her influence as a mentor to young investigators,” said Dr. Steven R. Goldring chief scientific officer at HSS.

The program also featured a group of leading investigators whom Boskey has mentored from the National Institutes of Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cornell University, the University of Michigan and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Boskey is director of the Mineralized Tissue Laboratory and program director of the Musculoskeletal Integrity Program at HSS. In 2010, she received the Orthopaedic Research Society/American Orthopaedic Association Alfred R. Shands, Jr. Award.

Boskey’s current research focuses on bone quality, a measurement of both the bone matrix and the mineral of bone. The current measure used to identify osteoporosis and the risk for a fracture is bone density, but she believes that measuring bone quality promises greater accuracy and could significantly decrease the number of patients at risk for fracture.

To better define bone quality, Boskey has repurposed the use of infrared spectroscopy to approach the quality of bone when biopsies are available. Her laboratory, the Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Core Center at HSS, is using this technology to understand how mineral size and content are related to osteoporosis and fracture risk.

Boskey hopes her research will lead to a decrease in that number by gaining a better understanding of the biology and makeup of the bone itself and by analyzing the effects of commonly used osteoporosis medications on bone quality.

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