The overall goal of the Center for Skeletal Research is to foster Interdisciplinary and collaborative work that leads to a deeper understanding of skeletal biology, in a way that can lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating skeletal diseases. The Center will build upon and expand a community of bone scientists in the Endocrine Unit and other Units at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and other Harvard-associated departments and institutions. This group has already defined itself through a network of collaborations and a monthly seminar series sponsored jointly by the MGH Endocrine Unit and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and includes bone scientists from multiple Harvard institutions. These scientists are diverse, including clinical investigators and laboratory investigators using a broad array of approaches from multiple disciplines. The mechanisms that the Center will use to accomplish its goal include Core Facilities, a Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program, and a seminar series. The Cores will include a Skeletal Phenotyping Core and a Bone Cells and Signaling Core. These Cores will emphasize the development of new techniques that can drive the science of Center investigators, as well as the provision of expert and efficient service. The goal of the Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program will be to allow young investigators to develop sufficient data to obtain their own grants;in that context, a vigorous mentoring program will complement the funding. The seminar series will foster collaboration and communication among Center scientists. Young investigators will present current data in some sessions, while others will bring in distinguished bone scientists from outside of Boston to enrich the environment. This series will also include presentations by Core Directors that explain the techniques used in the Cores and will provide a forum for feedback by Center investigators that will include suggestions for novel Core services. An Administrative Core will assure effective functioning of these activities through regular meetings of Core Directors that, four times a year, will also involve meeting with an Advisory Committee made up of senior investigators within the Center, as well as investigators from elsewhere with relevant experience leading similar programs. The Center will be committed to sharing its innovations with the broader community of bone scientists across the country.
This Center for Skeletal Research will further the discovery of the causes and therapies for skeletal diseases through the provision of core facilities and other programs designed to make the wok of a broad array of investigators more efficient, interdisciplinary, innovative and interactive. By making this research more effective, advances in understanding and therapy of osteoporosis and other bone disease will occur more quickly.