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NYU College of Dentistry’s Dr. Racquel Z. Legeros Awarded $3.23 Million From the NIH to Continue Osteoporosis Research

November 6, 2008
N-147, 2008-09

The objective of the five-year study is to develop novel innovative compounds that will be safe, affordable and effective for the prevention and reversal of bone loss caused by osteoporosis.

New York University College of Dentistry’s Dr. Racquel Z. LeGeros, a professor of biomaterials and biomimetics and the Linkow Professor of Implant dentistry, has received a five-year, $3.23 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue her study of innovative compounds that will be safe, affordable, and effective for the prevention and reversal of bone loss caused by osteoporosis.

“Results from the proposed studies could lead to the development of safe and affordable therapy that will target both prevention and reversal of bone loss due to osteoporosis and other bone-deficient diseases,” said Dr LeGeros. “These results will greatly impact public health and alleviate the tremendous socioeconomic burden associated with osteoporosis.”

In her previous work, “Effect of Mg/Zn/F-CaP Supplements on Bone Properties: Phase 1,” (October, 2007), Dr. LeGeros describes the initial results of her research which showed that calcium phosphate-based formulations administered as a dietary supplement or by injection — even at low concentrations — significantly improved bone strength and thickness, and prevented bone loss induced by mineral deficiency without the side effects of many current drug treatments.

Current FDA-approved pharmaceutical-based osteoporosis treatments, such as bisphosphonate drugs and hormone therapies, do not effectively repair bone that has already been lost. In fact, bisphosphonates have been shown to actually inhibit bone redevelopment. Many of these treatments also have serious side effects, including increasing the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw, delayed fracture healing, heart disease, strokes, and breast cancer.

Osteoporosis, a silent debilitating bone disease, results when the rate of bone resorption (by osteoclasts) is much greater than the rate of bone formation (by osteoblasts) causing bone loss and deterioration of bone quality, leading to decreased bone strength, bone fragility, and susceptibility to bone fracture. In the United States, the disease affects an estimated 10 million older adults, resulting in more than 1.5 million fractures annually; the overwhelming majority of those afflicted with osteoporosis (80%) are women.

Dr. LeGeros’s coinvestigators are Dr. Mani Alikhani, Assistant Professor of Orthodontics; Dr. Yu Zhang, Assistant Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics; Dr. Timothy Bromage, Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics and of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology; Dr. John LeGeros, Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials & Biomimetics; and Dr. Dindo Mijares, Assistant Research Scientist in Biomaterials & Biomimetics.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. LeGeros, please contact Christopher James, 212.998.6876 or

About New York University College of Dentistry Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYUCD has a significant global reach and provides a level of national and international diversity among its students that is unmatched by any other dental school.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Research, College of Dentistry

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

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