The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

Julie Glowacki, PhD, greets BWH Hospital President Betsy Nabel, MD, at a Stepping Strong event at Dr. Nabel's home

Research Scholar: Julie Glowacki, PhD

Senior Scientist and Director, Skeletal Biology Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor, Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Glowacki works in collaboration with Mitchel B. Harris, MD, to explore the use of stem cells to advance bone regeneration, with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the effects of age, hormone deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency on bone-forming cells. One recent study, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, examined ways to optimize bone growth using discarded human marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which proves to be a powerful tool for optimizing bone repair and regeneration following injury. Another recent study identifies new targets for optimizing skeletal health, holding promise for those with traumatic injuries.

Glowacki is director of skeletal biology at BWH and professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. She received her BA in biology, chemistry, and philosophy from Boston University and her PhD in biological chemistry from Harvard University. Glowacki’s research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, NOAA, and various foundations, concerns mechanisms of congenital and acquired musculoskeletal disorders and their treatment. She has edited or co-authored more than 200 articles, books, and chapters concerning original basic, translational, and clinical research on skeletal development, growth, and aging, and on innovative approaches to skeletal reconstruction.

Glowacki holds eight patents on aspects of skeletal tissue engineering. She has served as a voting member of a U.S. FDA panel, a consultant to NASA and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a board member of numerous scientific journals, and advisor to national and international organizations. Currently, she serves as co-director of the BWH Musculoskeletal Research Center and on the HMS Conflicts-of-Interest Committee. She has received many honors and awards for research contributions, community service, and for training and mentoring aspiring scientists.

What Can Fishes Teach Us About Bone Formation?
Vitamin D Metabolism and Regulation in Pediatric MSCs