The major aim of our lab is to understand factors during adolescence that impact bone density and skeletal strength during the adult years. We are examining how modifiable factors such as nutrition and physical activity influence the development of peak bone mass, as well as variables such as skin pigmentation and an individual’s genotype that are determined at birth. In both healthy youth and those with chronic disease, we are exploring the interrelationship between body composition, circulating hormones, and bone marrow adiposity and its effect on bone turnover and skeletal accrual.

A focus of our research is how physical and emotional health are compromised in adolescents and young women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). POI presents along a broad clinical spectrum. We are interested in both the presentation and causes of POI, including those seen in childhood cancer survivors, and ovarian dysfunction resulting from to autoimmune, metabolic, genetic/syndromic, and idiopathic (unknown) causes. We are conducting a natural history study to characterize numerous health outcomes and are launching a clinical trial to identify the optimal estrogen replacement regimen for adolescents and young women with this diagnosis. We are employing novel tools to provide state-of-the-art assessments of bone density, body composition, and skeletal strength.

We are also interested in the skeletal phenotype associated with rare genetic diagnoses, some of which resemble or meet criteria for a skeletal dysplasia. Examples include progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome), Ollier disease, and Maffucci syndrome.

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