top of page

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 

Copy of Rob Headshot MJA.png

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

Van Loon 2023 photo.jpg

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 in older adults:  What
is the evidence in 2024?

Dawson-Hughes 2023 photo.jpg

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

Charles Ginsberg.jpg

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

Pamela von Hurst 2023.jpg

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

Palacios 2023 photo.jpg

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

Man Sau Wong 2023 photo.jpg

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) | Nutritional Influences on Bone and Body Composition:  Ethnic Considerations

Sue Shapses.jpg

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

Mangano_Headshot_Outside 2019_Cropped.jpg

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

Senate Distinguished Professor Shirin Hooshmand | Prunes and Bone Health:  Are There Sex Differences?

Shirin Hooshmand.jpg

Shirin received her doctoral degree from the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University followed by her post-doctoral training at the same institution. Her primary research interests include investigating nutritional factors that impact the aging process and developing interventions to improve physiological changes associated with aging. Currently holding the position of Professor of Nutrition at San Diego State University, she also serves as a Registered Dietitian. She has published 65 original articles in peer reviewed journals and presented more than 100 abstracts at national and international symposia. She served for 10 years as a Medical and Scientific Advisory Board member of the American Bone Health (ABH) before the recent merger of ABH with the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF). She has significantly contributed to the academic community, by having served as a reviewer for different organizations (e.g. USDA, VA musculoskeletal/ orthopedic rehabilitation program, and AHA). Shirin is recognized for her academic achievements and she has been honored with the Graduate Women in Science fellowship, Florida State University Alumni award, San Diego State University Outstanding Faculty Award, Graduate Professor of the Year Award and Senate Distinguished Teaching Award.

A/Professor Andrea Josse | Dairy and Exercise for Bone Health:  Evidence and Recommendations

andrea josse photo.jpg

Dr. Andrea Josse is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health, at York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). She is a nutritional scientist and exercise physiologist whose research area combines human nutrition and exercise science in the context of both human health promotion and chronic disease prevention. She received her doctoral degree in exercise physiology and nutrition from the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The University of Toronto. Her human research program spans 2 main areas, one focusing on longer-term lifestyle modification intervention strategies that include the provision of protein and micronutrient-rich dairy foods to improve body composition, body weight, bone health and cardiometabolic outcomes. The other focusing on the immediate/short-term physiological responses following the post-exercise consumption of different wholefoods, nutritional supplements and individual nutrients on bone metabolism and inflammation to improve exercise recovery and musculoskeletal outcomes. She also investigates links between the physiological responses of bone, muscle and inflammation following single nutrition and/or exercise stressors including high-intensity/impact exercise and the provision of a high-fat/sugar meal. Dr. Josse has published 68 peer-reviewed papers, and herself or her trainees have presented 77 abstracts at national/international conferences. Her research program is supported by a variety of government and organization funding sources. Dr. Josse is highly committed to supporting trainee development in the areas of basic and applied human nutrition and exercise physiology in both an exercise performance and health context as well as in a disease risk reduction/clinical context. As such, she works closely with registered dietitians and personal trainers in her research studies.

Professor Mary Jane DeSouza | Effects of Prunes on Bone Health in a Cohort of US Women.  Findings from the PRUNE Study

Mary Jane De Souza 2017.jpg

Dr. De Souza is a Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology and Physiology, Director of the Women’s Health and Exercise Laboratory at Penn State University, and Executive Director of the Female and Male Athlete Triad Coalition. Dr. De Souza received her Bachelor's and Master of Science from Springfield College, a PhD from the University of Connecticut, and completed postdoctoral work in reproductive physiology and endocrinology at the University of Connecticut Medical School, where she later became the Associate Director of the Menopause Treatment and Research Program. Dr. De Souza spent almost a decade at the University of Toronto in Canada, where she was the Director of the Centre for Girls and Women’s Health and Physical Activity. In 2007, Dr. De Souza moved to Penn State University where she continued a fertile research career. Dr. De Souza’s research for 30+ years has focused on the complex interplay between metabolic, reproductive, and skeletal physiology, and is considered a preeminent expert in Athlete Triad physiology. Dr De Souza has also focused on menopausal research conducting both hormonal and non-hormonal interventions. As such, she has studied both pre and post-menopausal women, has done sex steroid drug intervention trials of hormone therapy, exercise and diet interventions, and trials of whole food interventions for postmenopausal women with low bone mass. Dr De Souza has published over 200 papers and has had funding from the Department of Defense, NIH, and the Canadian Institute for Health Research. Dr. De Souza has won teaching awards from Penn State University, a Citation Award for Career Research from the American College of Sports Medicine, Honor Awards from the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, Springfield College, and the Pennsylvania State University Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award.

Professor Laura R. McCabe | Prunes in Glucocorticoid- Induced Osteoporosis and Gut Microbiota Composition in Animal Models

Laura mccabe.jpg

Laura R. McCabe is a Professor in the Department of Physiology, Michigan State University Foundation Professor, and Associate Vice President in the Office of Research and Innovation. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and post-doctoral training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Her training spans from integrative gastrointestinal physiology to molecular mechanisms of osteoblast differentiation.  Her research focuses on the gut-bone signaling axis as a therapeutic target, studying its mechanisms and its ability to mediate bone loss. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of investigators, her lab is identifying specific treatments targeting the gut to benefit skeletal health and prevent osteoporosis. She has over 115 publications (include original publications, reviews, and chapters), multiple patents, and her research has been funded by federal, foundation and industry agencies (NIH, NSF, NASA, ADA, CCFA, CPI). In recognition of her research, she received the MSU Foundation Professorship as well as Distinguished Service, Research Excellence, and Academic Advancement Network Leadership Awards. In her roles as Principal Investigator, Director of the Beckman Scholar Program, Advisor to the Presidents of the Council of Graduate Students and Faculty Senate Chair, she has mentored more than 100 undergrad, grad, post-doc, and young investigators. She served(s) on numerous University and external (Federal, Foundation, Research Society) advisory, regulatory, and grant review panels. In addition, she is active in national science policy having led or served on committees for Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), the American Physiological Society (APS) and the Federal Demonstration Project.

Professor Winnie Chee | Lifestyle and Nutritional Factors for Asian Bone Health


Prof Winnie Chee is Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the International Medical University (IMU). Prof Chee’s research is on dietary/lifestyle intervention in diabetes, obesity and bone health nutrition. She has secured research grants and published in high impact journals about calcium, vitamin D, functional food and bone health in children and adults. Prof Chee serves on national committees including clinical practice guidelines for Type 2 diabetes (2020) and Osteoporosis (2021). She was also a member of the writing group for the Recommended Nutrient Intakes Malaysia for calcium and magnesium (2017), Malaysian Dietary Guidelines (2020) and chaired the development of the Healthy Plate Model for Malaysia (2019). Prof Chee was awarded the Wimpfheimer-Guggenheim International Lecture Award from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, USA (2015). She was the President of the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA) from 2014-2023 and a prominent speaker in local and international conferences. Prof Winnie is also a practicing dietitian in IMU Healthcare.

Professor Timothy C.Y. Kwok | Interaction Between Diet, Sarcopenia and Brain Health

Prof Timothy CY Kwok.jpg

My research interest has been focused on the prevention strategies and psycho-social interventions for dementia. The prevention strategies under investigation include vitamin B, nutritional supplement, TaiChi and cognitive training. Since 2004, I have been director of the Jockey Club Centre for Positive, a service, training and research centre for people with dementia.   My other research focus is on osteoporosis and healthy ageing. I am the project leader in a large cohort study of 4,000 older men and women, which was started in 2001. The large data set has shown insights in the risk factors of osteoporosis, fractures, frailty, sarcopenia, functional decline, cognitive decline, atherosclerosis and mortality. As this study ran in parallel with two bigger cohort (MrOs) studies in the US and Sweden, there is much room for international comparisons and collaborative research. Further follow-up is on-going.

Professor Stuart Phillips | At the intersection of protein nutrition and exercise: advice for athletes and mere mortals for sport performance and health

Stuart Phillips 2023.jpg

Dr. Stuart Phillips is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a member of the School of Medicine at McMaster University. He is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Skeletal Muscle Health. Dr. Phillips' work centres on the interaction of exercise/physical activity, aging, and nutrition in skeletal muscle and body composition. Dr. Phillips is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). He has been in the top 1% of cross-field (nutrition and physiology) highly-cited scholars globally for six straight years 2018-2023.

Other Confirmed Speakers:

  • Professor Steven Heymsfield | Three-Dimensional Optical Imaging for Skeletal Muscle Evaluation:  From Concept to Practical Technology

  • Professor Roger Fielding | Role of the gut microbiome and serum metabolome on muscle mass and function in older adults

  • Professor Taylor Wallace | Update of NOF Position Paper on Lifestyle Factors that Influence Development of Peak Bone Mass

  • Professor Darren Candow | Effects of Creatine on Bone, Muscle and Brain Health – Hope or Hype?

bottom of page