Musculoskeletal Health

News and Events

Diseases, disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system relating to bones, joints and muscles are the leading cause of disability and health care costs in the U.S. (5.7 percent GDP). With a projected 20 percent of the world population being 60 and older by 2050 and over 35 percent by 2150, disability and resulting health care costs are expected to increase. It is increasingly evident that muscle and bone interact through biochemical and molecular crosstalk beyond just the loading of bone by muscle.

Running Man

International Meeting

Investigators within the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health believe that it is time for a meeting to bring together national and international leaders in the new field of bone and muscle interactions and the fields of bone and muscle to address the evidence of increased bone and muscle interactions and discuss how these can lead to treatments for musculoskeletal diseases.

Conference sessions center on bone-muscle interactions in aging, cancer, energetics and metabolism, orthopedics, nutrition, pediatric and adult genetic musculoskeletal disease, and soluble factors/exercise released mediators of muscle-bone interactions. The goal of this meeting is to trigger new strategies for preventing and treating musculoskeletal disease through the promotion of new collaborations and partnerships between researchers.

Bone and Muscle Interactions: the Mechanical and Beyond

An International Meeting of Muscle and Bone Researchers to advance the field of Bone and Muscle Interactions

Indianapolis, IN | August 16 – 18, 2019 | Hine Hall, IUPUI Campus

Conference Sessions

  • Muscle-Bone Interactions During Aging
  • Muscle-Bone Interactions in Cancer
  • Exercise-Mediated Muscle-Bone Transducers
  • Role of Muscle and Bone Factors in Energetics and Metabolism
  • Muscle-Bone Interactions in Orthopedics
  • Biomechanical Relationships Between Muscle and Bone
  • Muscle-Bone Interactions in Genetic Diseases
  • Role of Soluble Factors in Muscle-Bone Interactions
  • Muscle-Bone Interactions in Pediatrics
  • Nutritional Mediators of Muscle-Bone Interactions

A full copy of the preliminary program schedule is available.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts are still being accepted for Muscle and Bone Interactions: the Mechanical and Beyond. Submitted abstracts should be relevant to at least one conference session and contain novel or ground-breaking new data to further the meeting’s goal of developing the field of bone and muscle research.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing committee and the relevant session keynote speaker. Accepted abstracts will be published in the meeting book and online.


  • Submissions must contain cover page (see template below).
  • Abstract body may not exceed 350 words.
  • Abstracts must be relevant to at least one session of the meeting.
  • Applications must be submitted as a PDF file. Download abstract application template.

To submit an abstract or request additional information, email

Registration Information

Registration for the conference is now open! Interested participants can register at any time through August 15. Early bird pricing is available until April 1. Standard pricing is available through June 1.

Ends April 1
Ends June 1
Ends August 15

Hotel accommodations in Indianapolis are available at a discounted rate for conference attendees at the following hotels:

Keynote Speaker

Thomas Rando, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Deputy Director, Stanford Center on Longevity
Stanford University

Presentation: Muscle Stem Cell Aging: Functional Consequences and Rejuvenating Strategies

About Dr. Thomas Rando

Thomas Rando is Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford where he is the Director of the Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging. He is also Chief of Neurology and Director of the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. He is a founding director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic at the Stanford Medical Center. Research in the Rando laboratory focuses on tissue-specific stem cells in aging and disease, and on pathogenetic mechanisms and gene therapy for muscular dystrophies. His research on aging has demonstrated that it is possible to identify biochemical stimuli that can induce stem cells in old tissues to repair injuries as effectively as in young tissues, and this work has broad implications for the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation.

He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Neurological Association. He is a former Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar in Aging awarded by the American Federation for Aging Research and a former Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging. In 2005, he received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his groundbreaking research in stem cell biology. He received a BA from Harvard College, MD from Harvard Medical School and PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.

Session Speakers

Silvia Salinas Blemker, PhD, Commonwealth Associate Professor
Departments of Biomedical Engineering and, by courtesy, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Ophthalmology
University of Virginia
Program Chair, 2018 American Society of Biomechanics Meeting

Session: Biomechanical Relationships Between Muscle and Bone

About Dr. Silvia Salinas Blemker

Dr. Blemker did her undergraduate and Master’s work in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is broadly interested in muscle mechanics & physiology, multi-scale modeling, mentoring students, and teaching. Her research has the ultimate goal of improving treatments and quality of life for individuals suffering from muscle-related clinical problems and integrates a variety of computational and experimental approaches to achieve this goal.

Celine Colnot, PhD
Research Professor
Imagine Institute, France

Session: Muscle-Bone Interactions in Orthopaedics

About Dr. Celine Colnot

Dr. Colnot is currently a researcher at the Imagine Institute. Her research concentrates on the biology of skeletal stem cells that are the basis for the high regenerative capacities of skeletal tissues and that are potentially deficient in various musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms of stem cell activation in their complex tissue environment in development, disease and repair.

Sarah Dallas, PhD, Endowed Professor
School of Dentistry
University of Missouri – Kansas City

Session: Role of Soluble Factors in Muscle-Bone Interactions
Presentation Title: Role of extracellular vesicles in cell-cell communication in bone and muscle

About Dr. Sarah Dallas

Dr. Dallas is the Lee M. and William Lefkowitz Endowed Professor in the UMKC School of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences.She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Birmingham, U.K. and her Ph.D. training at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, U.K. This was followed by Postdoctoral Training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she became an Assistant Professor. Dr. Dallas then spent two years at the Wellcome Trust Center for Cell-Matrix Research at the University of Manchester as an ARC-funded Independent Research Fellow before joining the faculty of the UMKC School of Dentistry.

Dr. Dallas has been continually funded by NIH since 2001. Her research has focused on the role of the extracellular matrix in regulating growth factor actions and the dynamic mechanisms by which bone extracellular matrix is assembled. More recently she has been studying the dynamic interactions of bone cells and the role of osteocytes in regulating osteoblast function as well as the effects of aging and bone-muscle crosstalk on the skeleton. Her work employs live cell and intravital imaging approaches, together with protein and molecular biology and mouse genetic approaches.

Gustavo Duque, MD, PhD, FRACP, FGSA
Professor and Chair of Medicine – Western Health
Director – Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
President – Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR)
The University of Melbourne

Session: Role of Muscle and Bone Factors in Energetics and Metabolism

About Dr. Gustavo Duque

Prof. Duque is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with special interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older persons. His initial training included Internal Medicine at Javeriana University (Colombia) and Geriatric Medicine, which he completed at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Subsequently, he obtained his PhD at McGill University in 2003 with a thesis entitled ‘Molecular Changes of the Aging Osteoblast’ under the supervision of Dr. Richard Kremer.

Prof. Duque’s major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms of age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D, exercise and proteins on bone and muscle mass. Professor Duque implemented a new Falls and Fractures clinic at Sunshine Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in a comprehensive manner.

Roger Fielding, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director
Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory
Tufts University

Session: Nutritional Mediators of Muscle-Bone Interactions
Presentation Title: The muscle-bone axis during aging: interventions to slow muscle and bone “aging”?

About Dr. Roger Fielding

Dr. Fielding is a professor of Nutrition and professor of Medicine at Tufts University where he oversees the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory. His research focuses on the role of nutrition and exercise on age-related changes in skeletal muscle growth capacity as well as the impact of nutrition and exercise on physical functioning and disability in older adults.

Jürg Andreas Gasser, PhD
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Dept. of Musculoskeletal Diseases
Global Scientific Expert in Musculoskeletal Diseases

Session: Exercise-Mediated Muscle-Bone Transducers

About Dr. Jürg Gasser

Jürg Andreas Gasser currently works at the Musculoskeletal Diseases (MSD), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Dr. Gasser does research in Muskuloskeletal Diseases with a special focus on ‘Digital Integrated Mobility Solutions and Pharmacological Treatments for Tendon, Muscle and Cartilage Regeneration.

Andrew Judge, PhD, Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Florida

Session: Muscle-Bone Interactions in Cancer
Presentation Title: Tumor-derived chemokines in cancer cachexia

About Dr. Andrew Judge

Andrew Judge is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Judge received his bachelor’s degree from Loughborough University in England before moving to the U.S. to pursue a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology at McNeese State University in Louisiana and subsequently a PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Florida. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Judge completed his post-doctoral training at Boston University studying disuse muscle atrophy.

Dr. Judge’s research is focused on understanding the molecular signaling pathways leading to skeletal muscle atrophy caused by disuse (cast immobilization), disease (cancer and peripheral arterial disease), sepsis and aging. In addition, ongoing work in his lab seeks to understand the role that specific proteins play in regulating muscle regrowth following atrophying conditions.

Mary Leonard, M.D., M.S.C.E., Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Stanford University

Session: Muscle-Bone Interactions in Pediatrics

About Dr. Mary Leonard

Energetic and collaborative, Dr. Leonard is a compassionate clinician and researcher who cares deeply about improving the health and well-being of children everywhere. A graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Mary returned to Stanford Medicine in 2014 after spending 25 years at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. At Stanford, her multi-disciplinary research program is focused on the impact of chronic diseases on bone metabolism and nutrition across the life span. Mary directs the innovative and trans-disciplinary child and maternal health research and training initiatives of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute.

José Luis Millán, PhD
Professor, Human Genetics Program
Sanford Children’s Health Research Center

Session: Muscle-Bone Interactions in Genetic Diseases
Presentation Title: New insights into the pathophysiology of hypophosphatasia

About Dr. José Luis Millán

The Millán laboratory works on understanding the mechanisms that control normal skeletal and dental mineralization and elucidating the pathophysiological abnormalities that lead to heritable soft bones conditions such as Hypophosphatasia (HPP) and to soft-tissue calcification, including vascular calcification, that is a hallmark feature in patients affected by a variety of rare genetic diseases as well as in chronic kidney disease. Dr. Millan’s research has already contributed to the implementation of a novel therapy for HPP, a genetic disease caused by deficiency in tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) function, that leads to accumulation in the extracellular space of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), a potent inhibitor of mineralization.

Paul D. Robbins, PhD, Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Associate Director, Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism
University of Minnesota

Session: Muscle-Bone Interactions During Aging
Presentation Title: Therapeutic approaches to slow musculoskeletal aging

About Dr. Paul Robbins

Paul D. Robbins, Ph.D. is a Professor in Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, and the director of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism at University of Minnesota Medical School. The Robbins laboratory is developing novel approaches to treat autoimmune (type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis), inflammatory (inflammatory bowel disease, delayed type hypersensitivity) and age-related degenerative diseases using biologics and small molecules.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Sponsorship packages for the Muscle and Bone Interactions: the Mechanical and Beyond are still available.