Lynda Bonewald, University of Missouri-Kansas City endowed professor of dental and mineralized tissue and one of the world’s leading bone scientists, is being recognized with a national award.
This month, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research announced it will present Bonewald with the William F. Neuman Award, its oldest and most prestigious recognition, at its annual meeting in October in Seattle. The award is for outstanding and major scientific contributions to associates and trainees in teaching, research and administration.
“I am very happy to be receiving this award, but at the same time I am humbled to be joining the leaders in our field who have received this award before me,” said Bonewald, a past president of the society.
Based in labs at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Bonewald also is Director of the UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues (CEMT). UMKC in 2012 received a five-year, $8.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study the relationship between osteoporosis (loss of bone density) and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) as people age. The research is led by Bonewald and conducted by a multidisciplinary team of investigators from UMKC’s Bone Biology and Muscle Biology research groups, part of the CEMT.
There is a tremendous need for new approaches to treating musculoskeletal diseases. Of the 60 million Americans injured annually, more than half incur injuries to the musculoskeletal system. The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, which leads to fragile bones that break easily. Hip fractures account for 300,000 hospitalizations per year; 20 percent of those patients die within a year and 20 percent are relegated to long-term care facilities such as a nursing home.
This year, Bonewald helped found the Kansas City Regional Consortium for Musculoskeletal Disorders and Diseases, a partnership among UMKC, the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. The goal of the consortium is to build medical research teams that will focus on specific diseases of muscle and bone to accelerate the process of turning discoveries into clinical treatments while also improving research education opportunities for health sciences students. Bonewald is the consortium’s first director, a position that will rotate among the institutions.