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Adele Boskey, PhD

Photo of Dr. Boskey

In Loving Memory

It is with great sadness that we share with you the news that Adele Boskey, PhD, Starr Chair in Mineralized Tissue Research, passed away after a long illness. Her passing is a loss for all at HSS and for the entire field of musculoskeletal research. Dr. Boskey was a leader and trailblazer in bone disease research, not just at HSS, but worldwide. Her impact on the countless scientists and surgeons she mentored is immeasurable. Without Dr. Boskey, HSS Research would not be what it is today.

An important member of the HSS family for more than 40 years, Dr. Boskey worked as a Senior Scientist and Program Director of the Musculoskeletal Integrity Program. For nearly five decades, she studied how bone structure, composition and mineral formation influence bone strength and fracture risk, with major grants from the National Institutes of Health supporting her research. Her work contributed to the understanding of a number of musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Dr. Boskey earned her bachelor’s in chemistry from Barnard College, her PhD from Boston University and began her post-doctoral fellowship at the Imperial College in London, completing her fellowship at HSS in 1972.  As a physical chemist Dr. Boskey devoted her career to understanding biomineralization and bone formation. Her pioneering research in the application of biophysical and imaging technologies to define the composition, structure and functional properties of bone changed the field, greatly deepened our understanding of bone quality and fracture risk, and led to the success of the present research programs at HSS. Her foundational research contributed to the understanding of a number of musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfect and growth plate abnormalities.

The caliber of her research and its ensuing impact is reflected in over 270 publications and continued funding through the National Institutes of Health since the start of her career. She also served on numerous federal and industry groups as an expert advisor.

During her distinguished career, Dr. Boskey won numerous prestigious awards for her work, including the Orthopaedic Research Society/American Orthopaedic Association Alfred R. Shands, Jr. Award, which honors a scientist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of musculoskeletal disease. She also served as the first female president of the Orthopaedic Research Society and was the first female and PhD to receive the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society/Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.

Dr. Boskey will be remembered for enriching her colleagues’ lives with her wisdom, passion for research and sound judgment, as well as her influence as a mentor to young investigators and young women in science.

On behalf of the entire HSS family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Boskey’s partner Jay Gerstein, daughter Beth Boskey, and the many others whose lives she touched.

Todd Albert, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus
Lionel Ivashkiv, MD, Chief Scientific Officer
Lou Shapiro, President & CEO

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