SAINT FRANCIS RESEARCHER AWARDED $1.35 MILLION GRANTFunds Will Support Osteoporosis Research by Ernesto Canalis, M.D.

(HARTFORD, Conn.) – Ernesto Canalis, M.D., of Glastonbury, Director of Research at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, has been awarded a $1.35 million grant by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant will support ongoing research into osteoporosis by Dr. Canalis, one of the country’s leading investigators in the field of bone metabolism. In osteoporosis, bones become fragile and are more likely to break. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 10 million Americans have this disease and another 34 million people in this country are at risk for it because of low bone mass.

Dr. Canalis has conducted extensive research over the last 30 years in bone cell biology and the role of anabolic agents in bone. He has published nearly 300 papers in scientific journals. He was the first investigator to demonstrate that growth factors play a critical role in bone cell function and, in 1980, published a landmark article in the journal Science demonstrating that bone cells secrete autologus regulators of bone growth. His work has been continuously funded since 1980 through grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr Canalis is also the recipient of the Gerald Aurbach Award of the Endocrine Society, and the Louis V. Avioli Founders Award of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research for his contributions to the study of the biology of bone. In addition, he is the recipient of the Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Marshall Urist Award from the Orthopedic Research Society.

Dr. Canalis has been associated with Saint Francis since 1976. He holds an appointment as a Professor of Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Canalis received his medical degree from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. He served as an intern and resident at the University of Connecticut Health Center. In addition, he completed a residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, and a fellowship in endocrinology at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston.

A diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and its Subspecialty Board on Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. Canalis served as President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research from 1994 to 1995. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Endocrine Society, the Orthopedic Research Society, the International Bone and Mineral Society, the Association of Osteobiology, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the Association for the Advancement of Science.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.