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Inaugural Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF Medal is awarded to Professor Gerard Karsenty

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 10:34pm
International Osteoporosis Foundation

March 9, 2011

The European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) have announced that Professor Gerard Karsenty of the Columbia University Medical Center is to be awarded the first Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF Medal. Herbert Fleisch was a renowned researcher whose groundbreaking work contributed to the development of the field of scientific knowledge about metabolic bone diseases and their treatment.

The newly created award, valued at 20,000 Euro, recognizes a researcher who has made outstanding and groundbreaking achievements in basic bone science. The Medal will be presented on March 23rd at an award ceremony to take place at the opening of the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis (ECCEO11-IOF), in Valencia, Spain.

Gerard Karsenty M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics &

Development, at the Columbia University Medical Center, New York. Professor

Karsenty is renowned for his many fundamental contributions to understanding

skeletal development and skeletal physiology. His laboratory has been instrumental in identifying Runx2 as the master gene of osteoblast differentiation and in deciphering the entire genetic cascade of osteoblast differentiation. He has contributed to the molecular elucidation of bone mineralization and has made significant advances in the study of bone physiology, based on the hypothesis he proposed that there must be a common control of bone mass, energy metabolism and reproduction. Testing this hypothesis revealed the existence of a central control of bone mass, a function regulated by leptin, a hormone appearing during evolution with bone cells and that inhibits both appetite and bone mass accrual. His laboratory then showed that bone is itself an endocrine organ producing an hormone, osteocalcin, that favors glucose homeostasis and male reproduction. Lastly Dr. Karsenty¹s lab has shown that gut-derived serotonin is a powerful inhibitor of bone formation.

“Gerard Karsenty has been one of the most creative minds in the bone field, making exciting new findings that have furthered our understanding of skeletal physiology and the mechanisms of bone formation, said Professor Jean-Yves Reginster, President of ESCEO.

IOF President John Kanis went on to state, “This award, named in honour of a pioneer in osteoporosis research, appropriately recognizes an individual whose work has considerably influenced knowledge about bone and mineral metabolism.”

Professor Karsenty has received a number of honours and awards, including the Lee C. Howley Prize for Arthritis Research in 2008. He is the Chair of the upcoming 1st IOF-ESCEO Pre-Clinical Symposium, to be held in Valencia from March 22-23, 2011.

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