Osteoporosis, a condition that causes age-related bone loss, is nearly four times more common in women than men, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. One of the outstanding scientific questions is why this occurs more frequently in women as they age.

“It’s a hot topic in the field of musculoskeletal research,” explained Elizabeth Bradley, PhD, a biochemist in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery. “Our research is examining whether the accelerated period of bone loss during menopause is related to hormones, general aging or a phenomenon that happens concurrently.”

Dr. Bradley developed a keen interest in musculoskeletal health during graduate training at the Mayo Clinic. As the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s first full-time researcher hired within a decade, her research demonstrates a commitment to improving and better understanding women’s musculoskeletal health. She joined the University in June 2019 to expand research opportunities and interdisciplinary collaboration. Her laboratory is located in the Stem Cell Institute, providing her with access to state-of-the-art equipment and high-level researchers. 

She partnered with Kim Mansky, PhD, professor in the School of Dentistry, and Kristin Hogquist, PhD, professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, to submit an osteoporosis-related research proposal to the Medical School’s Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research on Aging in Women. They were recently awarded the grant, which supports research to improve the health and wellbeing of menopausal and postmenopausal women.

“This research will begin to address the mechanisms that regulate age-related bone changes in women,” Dr. Mansky said.

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