View Full Version : The Fall 2002 NYC Seminar Series on Mineralized Tissue

Steve Cowin
09-10-2002, 09:37 AM
To Bone Researchers in the NYC area:
The NYC Mineralized Tissue Seminar will have its first fall
seminar on Thursday night this September 26th.


The Bone Seminar Series has as its focus the mechanosensory system in
bone. The seminar series has eight meetings a year beginning in
September and continuing until April or May. In addition to a seminar
speaker there is the possibility of poster presentation. See the
paragraph on poster presentation at the seminar bottom of this
announcement. The seminar program will be posted on www.bonenet.net,
a website dedicated to research on the mechanosensory system in bone.



The seminar series will be held in Room 9205 or 9207 at the CUNY
Graduate Center on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 PM. The CUNY Graduate
Center is in the newly renovated Altman Building at the corner of
34th Street and 5th Avenue, catty-corner from the Empire State
Building. There will be some socializing before the seminar in the
Graduate Center snack bar on the first floor; besides the usual
snacks and drinks the 365 Express also carries beer and wine.
There are several subway lines nearby and it is less than a
ten-minute walk to either Grand Central Station or Penn Station.
There is money to support parking for graduate students, apply to
Steve Cowin (contact information at the bottom).


SEPTEMBER 26th, 2002 in room 9205 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

Speaker: AARON S. POSNER, Ph.D. Scientist Emeritus, Hospital For
Special Surgery; Professor Emeritus, Cornell University Medical


Abstract: This lecture recounts the adventures of a retired professor
in a patent case: Merck & Co., Inc. (plaintiff) v. Teva
Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(defendants). The defendants claimed to the FDA that Merck's patent
for the widely prescribed bisphosphonate, Fosamax, was invalid and
they intended to make and sell a generic of this drug; Merck sued to
prevent this action. Dr. Posner was hired as an expert witness for
Zenith because of his research and teaching in the hard tissue field.

Background will be given in the biochemistry and clinical application
of bisphosphonates, particularly in both bone loss and pathological
calcification. It is their Ca-binding property that makes these
compounds useful as both chemical detergents and clinical bone
seekers. As an example of the latter, Technecium-labelled Etidronate
(1, hydroxyethylidene bisphosphonate) has long had an important
application in the radiation imaging of bone dyscrasias (skeletal

In the trial, the defendants' case rested upon two major points: (1)
there is an earlier patent for alendronic acid which supersedes
Merck's patent for this material; (2) Merck is making and selling a
sodium salt of alendronic acid although they only hold the (disputed)
patent for the acid form. The court arguments and the decision will
be related in detail.

INTERESTS OF AARON POSNER: The speaker has been active in the field
of hard tissue research since 1950. His major efforts were on the
nature of hard tissue at the molecular level and the mechanisms of
normal and pathological tissue mineralization. After retiring from
Cornell Medical Center at the end of 1986 he taught a graduate course
in bone biochemistry at Columbia University School of Dental and Oral
Surgery for a number of years. At the same time, since retirement, he
has taught cultural (sic) courses at one of the SUNY colleges in
Westchester County, New York. However, Dr. Posner's major retirement
interest has been and continues to be sculpting in different forms
including stone cutting, bronze casting and marionette making. Go


OCTOBER 10th, 2002 in room 9205 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

Speaker: KARL J. JEPSEN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of
Orthopaedics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


Abstract: Osteoporotic fracture incidence and underlying risk factors
like low peak bone mass are heritable, but the genetic basis of
osteoporosis remains poorly understood. Based on beam theory, stating
that mechanical properties depend on both the amount and quality of a
structure's constituent materials, we investigated the relationship
between whole bone mechanical properties and a set of morphological
and compositional traits in femurs of eight inbred mouse strains.
K-means cluster analysis revealed that individual femora could be
classified reliably according to genotype based on the combination of
bone area (tissue amount), moment of inertia (tissue distribution)
and ash content (tissue quality). This trait combination explained
66-88% of the inter-strain variability in four whole bone mechanical
properties that describe all aspects of the failure process,
including measures of brittleness. Stiffness and maximum load were
functionally linked to cortical area, while measures of brittleness
were linked to ash content. In contrast, work-to-failure was not
directly linked to a single trait but depended on a combination of
trait magnitudes. Based on these findings, which were entirely
consistent with established mechanical theory, we developed a
hierarchical paradigm relating the mechanical properties that define
bone fragility with readily measurable phenotypic traits that exhibit
clear heritability. This paradigm may help guide the search for genes
that underlie fracture susceptibility and osteoporosis; moreover,
because the traits we examined appear to be measurable by
non-invasive means, this approach may also prove directly applicable
to osteoporosis risk assessment.

RESEARCH INTERESTS OF KARL JEPSEN: Major research efforts in
mechanical testing of bone and the effects of heritability on the
mechanical properties of bone.


NOVEMBER 14th, 2002 in room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

Speaker: CLINTON RUBIN, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of
Biomedical Engineering, Director, Center for Biotechnology, State
University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-2580.


Abstract: There is increasing evidence that extremely low magnitude