As we age, every stumble or fall comes with a risk—a risk that is even greater for those ten million people in the U.S. who have osteoporosis, a skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass, poor bone quality and fractures. Each year, 1.5 million bone fractures are attributed to osteoporosis, including 350,000 hip fractures. But hip or other fractures in older and osteoporotic patients do not heal easily and this often leads to significant impairments in daily life, and even death.
William Addison, Xuchen (Aimee) Duan, and Yi Fan, have been named the 2015-2016 HSDM Dean’s Scholars. The Dean’s Scholars Program provides postdocs with funding during the early stages of their academic career. This year’s Scholars will focus on the following areas of research:
Dr. Malcolm Whitman, PHD87, HSDM professor of developmental biology, and Tracy Keller, SM87, PHD96, an instructor in the Department of Developmental Biology, have identified a chemical compound based on an active ingredient in the root of the blue evergreen hydrangea (Dichroa febrifuga), that could lead to treatment of chronic fibrotic and autoimmune diseases. The root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Whitman and Keller identified the mechanism of action, halofuginone (HF), found within the root.