Events Calendar

Shannon Emerzian (Beth Israel): Biomechanical Determinants of Radiation-Induced Skeletal Fragility
Tuesday 20 December 2022, 12:00pm - 01:00pm

Abstract: The structural integrity of bones within the skeleton can be altered by aging, disease, and treatments such as radiation therapy. Regardless of the mechanism of action, modifications to the structural integrity of bones can influence the risk of fracture, presumably due to a change in bone strength. However, the underlying biomechanical determinants of skeletal fragility following irradiation are unclear, particularly in terms of how much treatment-induced changes in bone strength are due to changes in bone mass, structure, or tissue material. This seminar will provide insight into these underlying mechanisms and elucidate the relative effects of treatment-induced changes with a unique combination of experimentation and microcomputed tomography-based nonlinear finite element analysis using a murine model of localized irradiation. The resulting insight can aid in understanding the underlying mechanisms influencing changes in bone strength and their connection to fracture risk, and provide a new area of focus for fracture risk mitigation strategies in adults undergoing radiation treatment.

About the speaker: Dr. Emerzian received her BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Emerzian worked as a manufacturing engineer at Medtronic where she supported the production diagnostic tools for early detection of gastroenterological diseases. Under the supervision of Tony Keaveny, PhD, her dissertation work investigated the biomechanical determinants of radiation-induced skeletal fragility. Currently, Dr. Emerzian is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Center for Advanced Orthopedic Studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Mary L. Bouxsein, PhD. Her research focuses on understanding skeletal fragility from a biomechanics viewpoint through animal models, human cadaveric tissue, and clinical investigations.

Location : Virtual