UMKC Professor to serve as director of new research consortium

Esmie Tseng

UMKC’s own Lynda Bonewald, Ph.D., will serve as director for a new research consortium that will combine the unique strengths and resources of UMKC, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“The goal of this consortium is to build powerful research teams of basic to clinical investigators from our three institutions to discover new treatments and cures,” Bonewald said.

The consortium will focus specifically on advancing the translational research of certain muscle and bone diseases and will be the first formal collaboration between the three health science schools in Kansas City, as UMKC Today reports. This could translate into new drugs and devices for patients.

Bonewald, who is the vice chancellor for translational and clinical research at UMKC, will serve on the consortium’s supervising executive committee with Dr. Jeffrey Joyce, the vice president for research at KCUMB and Dr. Richard Barohn, the vice chancellor for research at the KU Medical Center.

Bonewald currently performs research focusing on osteocytes, the most prevalent bone cells in the adult body. She is also the Director of the Bone Biology Research Program and the Director of the UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues.  She has led research at UMKC funded by an $8.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging studying the link between osteoporosis and sarcopenia, the loss of bone density and muscle mass during aging.

“Diseases of mineralized tissues such as bone and teeth or of the muscles that control bone movement result in significant health costs in terms of suffering, loss of work and productivity, and even death,” Bonewald said.  “There is a tremendous need for new approaches to treating musculoskeletal diseases.”

Bone and dental injuries affect the elderly as well as children and adults and, with inactivity and obesity, fragile bone structures are growing more prevalent in children especially.  Injuries can lead to death or the need for long-term care.