May 1, 2009

Mundy receives award from Bone and Mineral Society

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Gregory Mundy, M.D.

Mundy receives award from Bone and Mineral Society

Gregory Mundy, M.D., has been awarded the Pieter Gaillard Founders Award from the International Bone and Mineral Society (IBMS), a lifetime achievement award which recognizes outstanding contributions, research, leadership and dedication to the Society and the field of bone and mineral research.

Mundy, the John A. Oates Chair in Translational Medicine and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology, has had a 35-year career in skeletal research, holding posts at the University of Rochester, University of Connecticut School of Medicine and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He holds 41 patents and has published more than 550 original articles, reviews and book chapters.

His interest in bones first began as a graduate student in Tasmania, Australia, while caring for patients with myeloma. His current research interests include understanding why breast cancer and prostate cancer have such an affinity for growing in bone.

“One thing that’s nice about bone that’s different from other sites where tumors grow is that we can modify bone and really change the way tumor cells behave in bone,” Mundy said. “That’s really important because people with breast cancer and prostate cancer live a lot longer now. By the time they’ve got advanced disease, the great majority of the tumor is in bone, and their quality of life is very dependant on what’s happening to the skeleton, like pain or fracture.”

Mundy also has a long-standing interest in osteoporosis, and his latest focus is on finding drugs to restore bone that has been lost.

As a past president of IBMS, Mundy said it was nice to be recognized by his peers.

“We are in a tremendously competitive field, and it’s very cutthroat sometimes. Sometimes you forget really how kind people are. I’ve had so many good wishes recently, and it was nice to feel the good will,” he said. “Also, this one was particularly exciting for me because it was in Australia, my home.”