M. Neale Weitzmann, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
101 Woodruff Circle
Atlanta, GA, 30322
My research focus for the past 16 years has centered on the mechanisms that regulate basal and pathological bone turnover and how alterations in immune function transduce through the “immuno-skeletal interface” (a centralization of cells and cytokine mediators common to both immune and skeletal functions) initiating bone degeneration in multiple diverse pathological conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, aging, postmenopausal osteoporosis, cancer metastases to bone, HIV-infection, antiretroviral therapy and sickle cell disease. My ongoing research is defining the effects on the skeleton of immunosuppressive agents used clinically to treat autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and transplant rejection. Another focus is the role of TNF and the NF-B signal transduction pathway in the regulation of osteoblastic bone formation and the development of nanoparticle-and small molecule based dual anabolic and anti-catabolic drugs targeting this pathway. Using animal models coupled with translational human studies our group is further examining how altered B cell production of OPG and RANKL disrupt bone homeostasis in HIV-infection, and how immune regeneration associated with antiretroviral drugs exacerbate HIV-induced bone loss by reigniting the immune response leading to secretion of osteoclastogenic cytokines.