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Meet the Bone Health Experts:


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Dr. Cathy Craven

Dr. Cathy Craven is the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute/University of Toronto Chair in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation, Professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program and Senior Scientist at the KITE Research Institute within University Health Network. She has clinical and research expertise in health services and medical rehabilitation after SCI. Her research redefines patients’ experiences with health conditions after SCI, helping them avoid or better manage fracture. She has published over 200 articles on related topics as a primary investigator.

(ORCID 0000-0001-8234-6803) @drcathycraven



Dr. Laura Carbone

Dr. Carbone was appointed Division Chief of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in 2013.  She graduated summa cum laude from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Dr. Carbone did her internship and residency at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She completed her Rheumatology Fellowship and Masters degree in Epidemiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Hospice and Palliative Care.  Dr. Carbone practices Rheumatology, with a focus on osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases. Her research interests are in osteoporosis and related bone diseases, in particular to sublesional osteoporosis in patients with a Spinal Cord Injury.  She has coauthored over 150 publications, many of which are related to sublesional osteoporosis, and is currently supported by the grants from the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the NIH. She has served on NIH and VA study sections.  Dr. Carbone is Program Director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program at MCG.


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Dr. Leslie Morse

​Dr. Morse is the Chair and Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and a clinical researcher with expertise in developing novel interventions to treat secondary complications following spinal cord injury, including osteoporosis. Dr. Morse also has expertise in identification and validation of novel biomarkers of neurological recovery in SCI. She has clinical trials management expertise and is the PI of 3 ongoing clinical trials testing novel interventions in SCI. Dr. Morse has over 10 years of SCI Model Systems experience and is the Co-Project Director of the Minnesota Regional SCIMS.



Dr. Karen Troy

Dr. Karen Troy is a Professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA.  She directs the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory, which aims to understand how physical forces (such as those generated by the body during exercise and sports) interact with and change bone structure. Dr. Troy is an expert in orthopaedic and whole-body biomechanics, quantitative image analysis including computed tomography (QCT), and patient-specific finite element (FE) modeling.  She collaborates with clinicians to prevent fractures and other types of bone injury in populations such as growing children, athletes, older adults, and individuals with spinal cord injury. 


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Dr. Sarah Morgan

​Dr. Morgan is the Emeritus Medical Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic and Bone Densitometry (DXA) Service.  She received degrees in Food and Nutrition and Dietetics and and Related Sciences at Iowa State University and completed medical school and an internal medicine residency at the University of Iowa.  She completed a Clinical Nutrition fellowship and a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is a Professor of Medicine and Nutrition Sciences in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at UAB.  


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Dr. Therese Johnston

Therese Johnston, PT, PhD, MBA is a Professor of Physical Therapy at Arcadia University, Glenside, PA, USA and a per-diem Physical Therapist at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Her research includes interventions to improve the health, fitness, and function of children and adults with spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy, with a special focus on the use of functional electrical stimulation and cardiovascular and bone health. More recent research has focused on sports related musculoskeletal issues and biomechanics. Dr. Johston has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals and has presented nationally and internationally. 


Dr. Kris Cowley

Dr. Kristine Cowley is Director and Principal Investigator in the Spinal Cord Research Centre (SCRC), Associate Professor in the Physiology and Pathophysiology Department in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Dr Cowley’s research aims to improve functional capacity and health after spinal cord injury. Her animal-based research investigates how the spinal cord produces movement and whether we can use activity-based training interventions to reduce the musculoskeletal deterioration that accompanies paralysis due to spinal cord injury.  She also seeks to identify exercise-based strategies to reduce or treat common co-morbidities after SCI, such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


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Dr. Anthony Burns

​Anthony S. Burns graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine in 1994. He is a past participant in the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Currently he is a Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and Affiliate Scientist, Neural Engineering and Therapeutics (NET) Team of the KITE (Knowledge Innovation Talent Everywhere) Research Institute. His clinical and research interests focus on the determination and measurement of outcomes following SCI, as well as the clinical management of spinal cord injuries and related secondary complications.

Dr. Christopher Cirnigliaro

​For more than 21 years, Christopher M. Cirnigliaro, Ph.D. has been the research laboratory manager and investigator at the James J. Peters VA Medical Spinal Cord Damage Research Center.  As a clinical exercise physiologist and certified bone densitometry technician, Dr. Cirnigliaro has been academically involved in over 15 clinical trials investigating the prevention of the precipitous bone loss that occurs after spinal cord injury.  These clinical trials used bone anti-resorptive agents’ bisphosphonates (pamidronate and zoledronic acid), and more recently 2 clinical trials using the RANKL inhibitor denosumab, to prevent the bone loss that occurs immediately after the time of spinal cord injury.



Dr. Jenny Kiratli

​Dr. Kiratli is Director of SCI Clinical Research, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center VA Palo Alto Health Care System with oversight of a comprehensive program focusing on the musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic effects of paralysis and aging with a spinal cord injury. She has a unique position as an “embedded” researcher within the Center functioning as an integral member of the clinical team; this provides her a perspective of gaps in current clinical practice and an appreciation for tangible, realistic solutions. Dr. Kiratli has a strong interest in mentoring junior investigators and developing partnerships with clinicians. She has built relationships with peer groups within and outside the VA and engages regularly with individuals with SCI as partners in research endeavors. Her goal is to design and conduct translatable research that can readily become best practice.


Dr. Frances Weaver

​Dr. Frances Weaver is health services researcher at the Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare (CINCCH) and is a professor in Public Health Sciences, Loyola University, Chicago. One of her major research interests includes patient outcomes and prevention/management of secondary complications in neurologic diseases. Her research in bone health in SCI helped to support the development of clinical practice guidelines for management of bone health (PVA) and for management of lower extremity fractures in SCI (Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons). Dr. Weaver serves on the editorial board and is an associate editor for the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 

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