• Scientific Advisory Board

    Soft Bones announces the establishment of its Scientific Advisory Board. The board is chaired by Michael P. Whyte, M.D., Medical-Scientific Director at the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research, Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, MO. Other board members include; Jose Luis Millan, PH.D., Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D. and Thomas Carpenter, M.D.

    Michael P. Whyte, MD
    Internal Medicine / Bone and Mineral Diseases

    Michael P. Whyte, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine and is the Medical-Scientific Director of the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    Dr. Whyte earned his M.D. degree at Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn, New York and then trained in Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York City before Clinical Associate ship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. After fellowship in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases, he joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

    Dr. Whyte’s research interests include the cause, pathogenesis, and treatment of metabolic bone diseases in children and adults; especially genetic forms of rickets such as hypophosphatasia and X-linked hypophosphatemia, brittle bone diseases like osteogenesis imperfecta, and conditions that cause dense bones such as osteopetrosis. Laboratory investigations include chromosomal mapping and then searches for mutated genes to relate to clinical observations for phenotype/genotype correlations. Bone-targeted enzyme-replacement therapy is being evaluated for hypophosphatasia.

    The Research Center at Shriners Hospital serves as a national and international resource for the diagnosis, treatment, and investigation of disorders of bone and mineral metabolism and skeletal dysplasias in children.

    Dr. Whyte has authored or coauthored more than 300 scientific papers or book chapters concerning pediatric and adult metabolic bone diseases.

    Sanford Children's Health Research Center

    Dr. Millán joined the Institute as a Rotary International fellow on August 4, 1977; just 10 months after the Institute had started operations (on October 1, 1976) as the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation housed in an old Scripps Clinic Building on 417 S. Coast Blvd, downtown La Jolla. What was initially a 9-month training stint turned into a lifetime of fascination with, and commitment to, basic and translational research. Dr. Millán, after obtaining his Ph. D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Umeĺ, Sweden, returned to and developed his entire career at the (now) Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

    Dr. Millán’s current research in elucidating the basic mechanisms that control the initiation of skeletal mineralization has led to significant translational applications, such as the development and implementation of the first successful treatment for Infantile Hypophosphatasia (a genetic form of rickets) and current efforts to prevent and treat vascular calcification, a condition common in end-stage renal disease, obesity, diabetes and aging. His research also focuses on understanding what factors determine the composition of the gut microbiota and control fatty acid absorption, a subject of relevance to understanding obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, all major afflictions of our modern, often sedentary, way of life.

    José Luis Millán received his early training in clinical chemistry/biochemistry at the University Of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and joined the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, the predecessor of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, in 1977 as a trainee in Clinical enzymology. Dr. Millán completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Umeĺ, Sweden in 1983 and after a period of postdoctoral training at the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation he was appointed Assistant Professor in 1986, promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and to Full Professor in 1994 at the same institution. He also held the Chair of Medical Genetics at the Department of Medical Biosciences, School of Medicine, Umeĺ University, Umeĺ, Sweden from 1995 to 2000. Dr. Millán is currently Professor at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and maintains an adjunct affiliation with the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery, Murcia, Spain.

    Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D.
    Mayo Clinic

    Dr. Matthew T. Drake is a Consultant in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Drake received his AB degree from Harvard College and completed his MD and PhD degrees at Washington University in St. Louis. His clinical training in Internal Medicine was performed at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Drake completed his Endocrinology fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic, where he subsequently joined the staff in 2007. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. Dr. Drake has received numerous awards, including the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator Award and the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine New Investigator Award. He currently serves on the ASBMR Professional Practice Committee. In his clinical practice, Dr. Drake is involved in providing care to patients with a variety of metabolic bone diseases including hypophosphatasia. In addition, he performs translational research with areas of interest including understanding the mechanisms underlying age-associated bone loss, as well as the basis by which monoclonal gammopathies induce bone loss and fractures.

    Thomas Carpenter, MD
    Yale Pediatric Endocrinology

    Thomas O. Carpenter, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Yale School of Medicine. After undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia (B.A., 1973), he received his medical degree (1977) and general pediatrics training at the University of Alabama. His fellowship training in endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital began his career-long involvement in clinical research focused on metabolic bone diseases in children. He has been at Yale for over 25 years and has been very active in the Yale Bone Program throughout this time, including direction of Yale’s Pediatric Metabolic Bone Disease clinic, director of the Physiology Core of the NIH-sponsored Yale Core Center for Musculoskeletal Diseases, and Director of the Yale Center for X-Linked Hypophosphatemia, an NIH-sponsored center focused on translational science focused on XLH. The program at Yale serves as a nucleus for the clinical care of families with XLH in the Northeast region. Dr. Carpenter also serves as Medical Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation’s Hospital Research Unit and Clinical Director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Division. He has served on various editorial boards of Pediatric, Endocrinology, and Bone journals, and has authored over 140 articles, reviews, and book chapters related to metabolic bone disease in children.