Dr. Econs is Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Medical and Molecular Genetics and is the director of the division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He enjoys mentoring fellows and young faculty. He is particularly proud of the outstanding faculty and fellows that he has recruited and/or mentored over the years.
His own area of interest is metabolic bone disease. In this regard, he sees patients with a variety of bone and mineral disorders and his lab does clinical, translational and basic studies of metabolic bone disease. He teaches fellows, residents and students in his metabolic bone clinic as well as on the general endocrine consult service. Work in the Econs lab led to the discovery of FGF23, which eventually led to the first new therapy in over 30 years for X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH) and tumor induced osteomalacia (burosumab, Crysvita®). His past work described novel clinical features of autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR), which eventually led to an understanding of the relationship between iron deficiency and increases in FGF23. The IU group recently published a paper demonstrating successful treatment of ADHR with low dose oral iron (Imel et al, JBMR 2020). His lab is currently performing translational studies in autosomal dominant osteopetrosis (ADO2) using a mouse model of this disease, which was developed in his lab, and he and Dr. Imel have initiated a natural history study in ADO2 patients. His lab continues to do research in the genetics of osteoporosis and is performing translational studies of a novel gene.