The members of the Program Advisory Committee serve under the authority of their respective institutional presidents as the governing body of the Bone Disease Program of Texas. Additionally, the Committee has an external advisor. Most recently, the Committee added Dr. Thomas Hunt III from Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Roland Baron from Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Robert F. Gagel, M.D.
Director, Bone Disease Program of Texas
Professor, Endocrine Neoplasia & Hormonal Disorders
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Recognizing that bone health had not been a priority in Houston or the Texas medical community, Gagel worked with other physicians and members of the Houston community, including C. Berdon Lawrence, to establish the Bone Disease Program of Texas. Over the past three decades, Gagel has made significant contributions to bone research, including studies on calcitonin, a major regulator of bone resorption.
Gagel has focused on the clinical management of osteoporosis and other disorders of bone metabolism. He is a charter member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and for the past 30 years has been broadly involved in the development of strategies to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
Brendan H. Lee, M.D, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Bone Disease Program of Texas
Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor in Baylor’s Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and is chief of the Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital. Lee belongs to an elite group of scientists with the title of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. He was one of 12 physician scientists chosen in 2002 as part of a new HHMI initiative to fund translational research.
He is interested in the consequences of gene mutations on craniofacial and limb development. To understand these consequences, he combines studies on tissue and organ development with clinical research in patients who have skeletal malformations.
Jacqueline T. Hecht, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Bone Disease Program
Leah L. Lewis Distinguished Chair
Professor and Division Head, Pediatric Research Center
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, UTHealth Medical School
Associate Dean for Research, UTHealth School of Dentistry
Hecht and her team bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the program due to their long-term experience in identifying genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to bone growth disorders and craniofacial malformations.
She and her colleagues clinically follow a large number of patients with different short stature disorders, particularly achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. Her lab research focuses on pseudo-achondroplasia, a severe short stature disorder that is different from achondroplasia. For the past 27 years, she and her colleagues also have identified genetic variants that are responsible for nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate, a common birth defect.
Thomas R. Hunt, III, M.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine
Hunt joined the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in 2011, prior to joining BCM he was the Professor of Surgery and Director of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at University of Alabama, Birmingham
An internationally recognized leader in the field of hand and wrist surgery, Hunt holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hand Surgery, and is a prominent member of numerous orthopedic organizations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Society of Sports Medicine, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and the American Association of Hand Surgery.
Sue-Hwa Lin, Ph.D.
Professor, Translational Molecular Pathology
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Sue-Hwa Lin is an accomplished researcher with experience in bone biology, tumor biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. The focus of Lin’s research is on delineating the mechanisms of prostate cancer bone metastasis with emphasis on the predominant bone-forming and bone-homing characteristics of prostate cancer metastasis.
She and her colleagues address how prostate cancer cells modulate the bone microenvironment to enhance their progression in bone, which adhesion molecules mediate the homing of prostate cancer cells to bone, and what mechanisms support prostate cancer cell survival during metastasis process.
Lin’s primary goal is to translate laboratory findings to the clinics for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Barbara Stoll, M.D.
Dean, UT Health Medical School
University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
Barbara Stoll is an internationally known pediatrician who has been a champion for pediatric global heath. Stoll’s research interests include neonatal clinical trials and the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neonatal infectious diseases. She has spent over two decades studying the causes of morbidity and mortality among preterm and low birthweight infants, especially infectious diseases.
Stoll has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, CARE, Save the Children, USAID, the March of Dimes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2004, she chaired an IOM committee to examine ways to improve birth outcomes in the developing world that has played an important role in focusing attention on the 40% of under age 5 mortality that occurs in the newborn period.
Regis James O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri
O'Keefe is the Marjorie Strong Wehle Professor in Orthopaedics and chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine. He also is the associate dean for clinical affairs and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and of biochemistry and biophysicis. O'Keefe's practice focuses on patients with tumors in bones, joints, and soft tissue. He also treats patients with fractures that result from brittle bones due to osteoporosis, osteopenia and other bone diseases.
A national leader in musculoskeletal research, O'Keefe studies skeletal development and the repair of skeletal injury. He employs genetic mouse models as well as other techniques to better understand the role of specific genes in regulating bone and joint development, the onset of osteoarthritis, fracture repair and tendon healing.
His current projects include studies aimed at better understanding cell signaling during skeletal development and the onset of osteoarthritis. He also focuses on cell signaling during fracture repair, tendon development and tendon injury repair. The goal is to elucidate the molecular events involved in skeletal development and disease and to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.