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Meet The Speakers

Professor René Rizzoli | Overview of Diet and Musculoskeletal Health


Dr. René Rizzoli is an internist and endocrinologist, with a subspecialty focus on metabolic bone diseases, osteoporosis and disorders of mineral metabolism. He is presently emeritus professor of medicine at the Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, where he used to be the head of the Division of Bone Diseases and the chair of the Department of Geriatrics. Dr. Rizzoli is the former chairman of the Committee of Scientific Advisors of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, of which he is now the treasurer and Executive Committee member. He is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, and co-chairing the scientific program committee of the annual IOF-ESCEO World Congress on Osteoporosis. He used to be involved in both basic and clinical research projects investigating hormone action, regulation of bone growth, pathophysiology of osteoporosis and of calcium and phosphate homeostasis disorders, and the role of nutrition, calcium, protein, pharmacological agents in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Dr. Rizzoli is author of more than 1000 scientific articles, editor-in-chief of Calcified Tissue International and Musculoskeletal Research, associate editor of Osteoporosis International and of Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.

Professor Robin Daly | Overview of Exercise for Osteosarcopenia 

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Professor Robin Daly holds the position of Chair in Exercise and Ageing and is Head of the Musculoskeletal Health and Mobility group within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University. He has over 25 years of experience in conducting clinical, translational and implementation trials to understand how exercise and nutritional approaches can prevent and manage diseases including sarcopenia, osteoporosis, falls and fractures, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and cognitive related disorders. His recent research has focused on the role of digital technologies as a model of healthcare service delivery to manage chronic conditions in older adults. His work has led to the implementation of evidence‐based, community exercise programs and commercial nutritional products for musculoskeletal health and type 2 diabetes. He is a Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research, a member of the medical and scientific advisory committee of Healthy Bones Australia, a council member of the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS) and a Fellow of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).

Professor Luc van Loon | Nutrition and Muscle

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Professor van Loon was appointed Professor of Nutrition and Exercise at Maastricht University in The Netherlands in 2010. He also serves as a visiting Professor at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium and the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia.  Luc has an international research standing in the area of skeletal muscle metabolism, has published well over 450 peer-reviewed articles (more than 20.000 citations) achieving an H-index of 86. Current research in his laboratory focuses on the skeletal muscle adaptive response to physical (in)activity, and the impact of nutritional and pharmacological interventions to modulate metabolism in both health and disease. The latter are investigated on a whole-body, tissue, and cellular level, with skeletal muscle as the main tissue of interest. He is active in various media to translate research findings to the general public, highlighting the impact of nutrition and physical activity to support performance and health.

Professor Bess Dawson Hughes | Calcium, Vitamin D, and Bone

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Dr. Dawson-Hughes completed her medical training at Tufts University and an endocrine fellowship at Harvard University.  She began her research at Harvard Medical School before being recruited back to Tufts University, where she is the Lead Scientist in the Bone Metabolism Laboratory. Her research addresses the extent to which calcium, vitamin D, and other components of the diet influence bone loss, falls, and osteoporotic fracture risk.  She has published over 450 peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters, and reviews. Dr. Dawson-Hughes has served on the councils of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, and the International Bone and Mineral Society. She was a founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a former member of the Advisory Council of NIAMS, and is a past President of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Currently, she is on the editorial boards of Osteoporosis International and Calcified Tissue International and is Vice President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

A/Professor Charles Ginsberg (USA) | Vitamin D Metabolites Better Predictors of Health

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Dr. Ginsberg is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on abnormalities of mineral metabolism and in persons with kidney disease as well as diabetic kidney disease. He runs the bone biopsy for histomorphometry program at UCSD. He is also the San Diego sit PI for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MROS) Study.

Professor Ailsa Welch | The Importance of Diet Quality and Dietary Patterns For Musculoskeletal Health


Ailsa is a Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology researching the effects of nutrition on aging. Ailsa’s research focuses on understanding the protective factors in diet for musculoskeletal health (sarcopenia, loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with age), osteoporosis, fracture risk and frailty. She also has research in CVD and cancer, in developing dietary assessment methodologies, quantifying measurement error, and in evaluating public health improvement interventions. Her research aims to understand the effects of micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) and diet quality (dietary patterns, fatty acids, protein & acid-base load) on musculoskeletal health and aging. Ailsa also has current research aiming at finding newer ways of identifying malnutrition and sarcopenia using factors such as clinical biochemistry and medical information held in clinical databases. Ailsa has 212 peer-reviewed published journal articles and an h-index of 77(Scopus 2021) and is a State Registered Dietitian.

Professor Pamela von Hurst | The Vegan Diet and Musculoskeletal Health

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Dr Pamela von Hurst (PhD) is Professor of Human Nutrition in the College of Health, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. She is the immediate past-president of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand, and New Zealand representative for the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS). Pamela is the Director of the Vitamin D Research Centre at Massey University, and much of her research career has involved the study of vitamin D in health and disease, with considerable emphasis on the nutritional requirements of bone and joint health. Pamela has an ongoing interest in dietary trends that involve the exclusion of foods and food groups, examining the potential consequences to health and wellbeing. A recent interest in the vegan diet has resulted in a program of research exploring the motivations and nutritional status of people following a vegan diet, and the relationships between their diet and health, including musculoskeletal health.

Professor Cristina Palacios | Prebiotics and Bone Trial in Children

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Dr. Palacios is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work in Florida International University (FIU). She completed her M.S, PhD, and postdoc in Nutritional Sciences from Purdue University. She has conducted several NIH-funded randomized clinical trials in adolescents and adults to determine the effects of dietary supplements and functional foods on bone and body composition. She has also received funding to test interventions using technology for preventing excessive weight gain in infants and pregnant women. She has mentored more than 50 individuals in research and has more than 110 publications. She has extensive consultation for the World Health Organization in establishing vitamin D supplementation guidelines and infant nutrient requirements. She is currently part of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the US. She is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition and of the Latin-American Nutrition Society.

Professor Man-Sau Wong | Lignans From Sambucus Williamsii Hance Protect Bone via Gut Microbiome

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Professor Man-Sau Wong is currently the Director of the Research Center for Chinese Medicine Innovation and Professor at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She received her B.S in Food Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D in Human Nutrition and Nutritional Biology at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include the use of Chinese medicine for management of musculoskeletal health; the study of the molecular actions of bone protective phytochemicals as well as the role of gut microbiota in mediating the musculoskeletal effects of dietary factors.  She is currently appointed as members of the Higher Education Review Board (HERB) of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Committee on Reduction of Salt and Sugar in Food as well as Advisory Council on Food and Environmental Hygiene of the Food and Health Bureau (HKSAR).

Professor Sue Shapses (USA) | Ethnic Differences in Nutritional Influences on Body Composition

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Sue Shapses, PhD, RDN is a Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and has another Professor position in the Department of Medicine, Rutgers-RWJ Medical School. She is the Director of the NExT Center (Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism) at the NJ-Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health. She received her MS and PhD from Columbia University followed by postdoctoral training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at Columbia University (Orthopaedic Biochemistry) with more recent training in the Department of Endocrinology, University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Am Society of Bone Mineral Research and has served on various federal committees including those at the National Institutes of Health, NASA to prevent bone loss on space missions, and the Institute of Medicine (now the Academy of Medicine) to develop the dietary guidelines for vitamin D and calcium. She devotes time to serve as Editor of clinical journals. The majority of her research has been funded by the NIH, but also receives funding from the USDA, Foundations and Pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Shapses teaches medical nutrition and physiology courses to undergraduate and graduate students and mentors' students at all levels in the laboratory. Dr. Shapses’ clinical and translational research emphasizes the endocrine regulation of obesity and osteoporosis with focus area on inflammation, gastrointestinal absorption, diet and caloric restriction.

Professor Kelsey Mangano (USA) | Future of ‘Omics’ to Link Diet to Musculoskeletal Health

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Kelsey M. Mangano, Ph.D., R.D., is Associate Professor and Director of Nutritional Science at The University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She is a member of the Center for Population Health at UML and the Center for Microbiome Research, UMass Medical School. Professor Mangano’s research lab aims to elucidate mechanisms behind the impact of nutritional factors and food additives on musculoskeletal aging and the gut. Current mechanisms include alterations in the gut microbiome and metabolomic response to nutrition. For more information and contact details: Google Scholar Profile, Faculty Website, Twitter: @ManganoKelsey

Professor Wendy Kohrt (USA) | Defence of Exercise-induced Serum Calcium Loss


Wendy M Kohrt, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Nancy Anschutz Chair in Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is the Director of Research for Geriatric Medicine, Associate Director of the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research, Acting Director of the VA Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), Director of the Energy Balance Assessment Core for the Colorado Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC), and Associate Director of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI). Her research is focused on the metabolic actions of estrogens and novel factors that influence the musculoskeletal adaptations to exercise. She has received continuous funding from the NIH as a principal investigator since 1991 and has more than 280 research publications. Dr. Kohrt is currently the PI of a VA Merit Review and two NIH Center grants, including a Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) in Sex Difference co-sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. She serves as Chair of the Steering Committee for the NIH Common Fund Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC).

Other Confirmed Speakers:

  • Professor Mary Jane DeSouza (USA) | Benefit of Prunes in U.S. Postmenopausal Women

  • Professor Laura R. McCabe (USA) | Probiotics and Bone

  • Professor Timothy C.Y. Kwok (Hong Kong) | Overview of Diet, Sarcopenia and Brain

  • A/Professor Shirin Hooshmand (USA) | Prunes and Oral Contraception Interaction on Bones

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