Research Overview

My clinical and translational research group focuses on the intersection of bone disease and metabolic disorders. Ongoing research projects include (1) studying skeletal health after bariatric (weight loss) surgery, and (2) examining the impact of diabetes on skeletal strength.  Utilizing a wide range of clinical study designs and advanced imaging techniques, we are investigating the pathophysiology, clinical consequences, and management of skeletal health in these settings.  

Within the bariatric surgery field, my work has focused on documenting the scope and mechanisms of surgical bone loss and fracture risk.  We have discovered large declines in bone density and skeletal strength indices after bariatric surgery, and are actively investigating mechanisms that mediate this skeletal response.  Leveraging epidemiologic databases, we have also documented increased fracture risk after bartiatric surgery on a population basis.  We are now performing clinical trials of osteoporosis agents for the prevention of bone loss after bariatric surgery.

Within the diabetes field, my group is evaluating factors that contribute to the greatly increased fracture risk observed among adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  In collaboration with colleagues, we are utilizing in vivo quantitative computed tomography (QCT)-based techniques as well as ex vivo bone specimen analyses to study the determinants of skeletal fragility in patients with diabetes.  Ultimately, we hope to develop new preventative measures and treatments to improve bone health in patients with diabetes.