Faculty of Dentistry Professor Dr. Marc McKee has received the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2019 Adele L. Boskey Award. The award recognizes outstanding and major scientific contributions, leadership, and mentorship in the area of bone and mineral research. "Dr. Boskey was a pioneer and strong advocate for understanding the process by which mineralized tissues such as bone and teeth incorporate calcium and phosphate into their matrices, how the matrices are involved in that process, and the role of the biomineral in bone disease. To quote the New York Times and the Hospital for Special Surgery, she was a “trail-blazer” in understanding the mechanisms responsible for bone mineralization."
Marc D. McKee, Ph.D. holds the Canada Research Chair in Biomineralization. His research focuses on biomineralization in bones, teeth, entheses, otoconia and eggshells and in pathologic calcification. In recent years, Professor McKee has become increasingly active in investigating enzymes that degrade mineralization inhibitors in the extracellular matrix, notably the enzymes tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP, TNSALP, ALPL) and phosphate-regulating gene with homologies to endopeptidases, X-linked (PHEX). After more than 15 years of searching by the mineralized tissue community for a physiologically relevant substrate for PHEX, in 2013 the McKee group identified this to be osteopontin. This research has opened the door to potential clinical interventions for the disease in which the PHEX gene is mutated, X-linked hypophosphatemia and is currently Dr. McKee’s area of focus. With over 220 scientific articles and more than 24,000 citations of his research, he has received two Distinguished Scientist Awards (the 1996 Young Investigator Award, and the 2003 Biological Mineralization Award) from the International Association for Dental Research. He is also the recipient of the 2018 C.P. Leblond Award honoring a Quebec scientist for exceptional involvement in bone research.
"Adele Boskey taught me many things in many ways. She taught me from her research about how proteins might function in biomineralization processes. She taught me from face-to-face discussions about what was really important, and why and what to question. From simply observing her, I learned principles of leadership. From reciprocal visits and regular communication, her friendship taught me how to keep smiling as a scientist, and look broadly and positively beyond the immediate. If we are wise, there remains visible her trail of footsteps that we must not lose track of if we are to stay the course of discovery in the mineralized tissue research areas that she worked in, and there are many. I am ever so pleased to be honored in the context of her achievements and I thank all my colleagues who, like Adele, have participated in one way or another in this recognition. I also sincerely thank my nominators Martha Somerman, Lynda Bonewald and Michael Whyte."
- Marc D. McKee, Ph.D.
This award will be presented on Friday, September 20 at 8:00 am during the ASBMR 2019 Annual Meeting at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.