Photo of Ernesto  Canalis, M.D.

Ernesto Canalis, M.D.

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Medicine, UConn Health
Director of Center for Skeletal Research, UConn Health
UConn Musculoskeletal Institute
NPI Number:
Academic Office Location:
UConn Musculoskeletal Institute
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-4037
Phone: 860-679-2160
Fax: 860-679-6649

Orthopedic Surgery, UConn Musculoskeletal Institute

Skeletal Biology and Regeneration Graduate Program

Dr. Canalis is a Professor of Orthopedics and Medicine in the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute at UConn Health and Director of the Center for Skeletal Research. He is an internationally renowned expert in bone metabolism.  Dr. Canalis’ clinical interests include osteoporosis and metabolic bone disorders. He sees patients at the Center for Osteoporosis in the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute.

M.D.Universidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaMedicine

Post-Graduate Training
InternshipUConn School of MedicineInternal Medicine
ResidencyHenry Ford HospitalInternal Medicine
ResidencyUConn School of MedicineInternal Medicine
FellowshipTufts-New England Medical CenterEndocrinology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Lawrence G. Raisz Award for Outstanding Achievements in Preclinical Translational ResearchAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Distinguished Physician Award, Medical StaffSaint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
Louis V. Avioli Founders Award for Fundamental Contributions to Bone and Mineral Basic ResearchAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration ResearchOrthopaedic Research Society
Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Research in EndocrinologyEndocrine Society
MERIT AwardNational Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Ann Doner Vaughan Kappa Delta Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic ResearchAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
UConn Health Research CouncilResearch CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2019
J. Clinical DensitometryEditorial BoardMemberExternalNational2019
Recruitment of Basic Scientist and of Director of MicroCT CoreOtherChairUConn HealthUniversity2018
National Institutes of HealthStudy SectionChairExternalInternational20162018
Shriners Hospitals for Children Research ProgramOtherGrant ReviewerExternalNational2015
NIH Center for Scientific Review, Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study SectionStudy SectionAppointed MemberExternalInternational20142018
European Journal of EndocrinologyEditorial BoardAssociate Editor for North AmericaExternalInternational20122020
Calcified InternationalEditorial BoardExternalInternational1989

The Canalis laboratory is known for the discovery of skeletal growth factors and has pursued important investigations on the role of growth factors and their antagonists in skeletal function.  Dr. Canalis’ group has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in bone in an effort to explain the pathogenesis of glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis and correct the disease.  The laboratory’s recent work has centered on factors determining osteoblast and osteoclast cell fate and function.  These investigations include studies on the role of Notch signaling and Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) in osteoblast and osteoclast cell differentiation.  Cellular and genetically engineered mouse models are used for the research conducted by the group.  The laboratory is particularly interested in translational research and has created genetically engineered mouse models of Hajdu Cheney Syndrome and Lateral Meningocele Syndrome, devastating diseases characterized by bone loss and fractures.  The studies have allowed the team to determine mechanisms of the bone loss and are exploring ways to prevent the skeletal disease.The laboratory has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since the 1981, and in 1990 received a MERIT Award from the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS).  Currently, the laboratory is funded by NIAMS and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023

Projects available include

--Role of Hes1 in osteoclast differentiation and function
--Role of Nfat in osteoblast differentiation  and function; in vivo and in vitro studies
--Characterization of genetically engineered mice carrying Notch2 or Notch3 mutations
--Role of Notch in osteocyte function                                                                                          --Role of vascular Notch in skeletal homeostasis                                                                          --Targeting Notch mutations to reverse skeletal phenotypes 

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Role of Notch Signaling in Bone Remodeling and Skeletal Diseases
    Canalis, E. Encylopedia of Bone Biology 2020 Jun;
  • Notch and its Ligands
    Zanotti, S. and Canalis, E. Principles of Bone Biology 4e 2019 Aug;21083-1112
  • Glucocorticoid-induced Osteoporosis
    Mazziotti, G., Canalis, E. and Bilezidian, J.P. Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes 3e 2018 (In Press)
  • Glucocorticoid-induced Osteoporosis
    Mazziotti, G., Canalis, E. and Bilezikian, J. Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes 2018 - (In Press)
  • Notch Signaling in Skeletal Diseases
    Canalis, E. Encylopedia of Bone Biology 130-140
  • Skeletal Growth Factors
    Canalis, E. Marcus and Feldman’s Osteoporosis, 5th Edition 235-256

Conference Papers



Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Experimental Models of Hajdu Cheney Syndrome and Related DisordersLectureGordon Conference - Bone and Teeth2018Galveston, TX
Notch Signaling and Genetic Skeletal DisordersLectureUniversity of Pennsylvania2018Philadelphia, PA
Notch Signaling and Genetic Skeletal DisordersLectureBrown University2018Providence, RI
Notch Signaling - Basic Science for ClinicansPoster2017 ASBMR Annual Meeting2017Denver, CO
Hajdu Cheney Syndrome - 3rd Translational European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) Bone CourseLecture8th Skeletal Endocrinology Meeting2017Mantova, Italy
Notch and Hajdu Cheney Syndrome - 2nd Translational European (ESE) Bone CourseLecture7th Skeletal Endocrinology2015Brescia, Italy
Señalización NotchLectureXX Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Investigación Ósea y Metabolismo Min2015Bilbao, Spain
Osteoporosis por GlucocorticoidesXX Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Investigación Ósea y Metabolismo Min2015Bilbao, Spain
Hajdu Cheney SyndromeLectureSkeletal Endocrinology2014Brescia, Italy
Notch and the SkeletonLectureLouis Avioli Lecture2014St. Louis, MO
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in BoneAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology2014San Diego, CA
Visiting Professor Universita di BresciaUniversita di Brescia2014Brescia, Italy
Notch Signaling and Skeletal Disorders (6th Skeletal Endorcrinology Meeting and First Translational European Society of Endocrinology Bone Course)2014Brescia, Italy
From Growth Factors to GlucocorticoidsTalkNIDDK 60th Anniversary Symposium and Reception at ASBMR2010Toronto, Canada
Effects of Glucocorticoids on Bone CellsLecture2010 Update on Bone Involvement in Arthritis2010Genova, Italy
Safety of Bisphosphonates with Particular Reference to Bone Quality, Fracture Healing and Implant IntegrationLectureNew York Academy of Medicine2010New York, NY
Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis: From Bench to BedsideLectureNew York Academy of Medicine2010New York, NY
New Treatment Modalities in OsteoporosisLectureAmerican Association of Clinical Endocrinologists2010Boston, MA
Notch and the SkeletonLectureMaine Medical Center Research Institute2010Portland, ME
Mechanisms of Anabolic Agents in BoneLectureThe Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) Seminar2010Farmington, CT
Notch, a Novel Signal Controlling Osteoblastic Cell FateLecture6th International Congress GIO2009Siena, Italy
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureDelaware Rheumatology Society2009Denver, CO
Clinical Management Decisions in OsteoporosisLectureClinical 4112009Denver, CO
Notch Signaling in Bone Development and HomeostasisLectureThe Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting – ENDO 092009Washington, DC
Regulation of Osteoblastic Cell Differentiation and Function by CTGFLecture3rd International Meeting on Skeletal Endocrinology2009Brescia, Italy
Actions of Glucocorticoids on the Osteoblast and Their Reversal by Anabolic TherapiesLecture5th International Congress on Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis2007Napoli, Italy
A Novel BMP/Wnt AntagonistLectureGordon Research Conferences – Small Integrin-Binding Proteins2007Biddeford, Maine
Inhibitors of Osteoblast DifferentiationLecture2nd Conference on Skeletal Biology and Medicine2007New York, NY
Post Menopausal OsteoporosisLectureWyndham Hospital2006Wyndham, CT
Mechanisms of Glucorticoid Action in Bone: Relevance to OsteoporosisLectureHallet Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology – Rhode Island Hospital2005Providence, RI
Mechanism of Glucocorticoid Action in BoneLectureUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences Center2005Aurora, CO
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action on OsteoblastsLecture4th International Congress on Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis2005Trieste, Italy
Mechanisms of Action of Glucocorticoids in BoneLectureThird International Conference on Osteoporosis in Men2005Genoa, Italy
Signals Determining Osteoblastic Cell Fate and FunctionLectureThird International Conference on Children’s Bone Health2005Sorrento, Italy
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureEndocrine Grand Rounds- Stanford University2005Palo Alto, CA
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureMedical Grand Rounds- Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center2005Hartford, CT
Management of Post-Menopausal OsteoporosisLectureMedical Grand Rounds- University of West Virginia2005Morgantown, WV
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action In BoneLectureEndocrinology Grand Rounds- Vanderbilt University2005Nashville, TN
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureRheumatology Grand Rounds- Yale University2005New Haven, CT
Regulation of OsteoblastogenesisLectureSkeletal Endocrinology 20042005Arzaga, Italy
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLecture4th Global Arthritis Research Network (GARN)2004Montreal, Canada
New Concepts in the Screening and Treatment of OsteoporosisLectureFamily Medicine Grand Rounds2004Bethesda, MD
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureRheumatology Rounds2004Manhasset, NY
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in BoneLectureLupus 2004 - 7th International Congress SLE and Related Conditions2004New York, NY
OsteoporosisLectureMedical Grand Rounds- Bryn Mawr Hospital2004Bryn Mawr,PA
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in Bone Relevance to Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureRheumatology Grand Rounds2004Mineola, NY
Current Approaches to the Management of OsteoporosisLectureMedical Grand Rounds- Bridgeport Hospital2004Bridgeport, CT
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in BoneLectureRheumatology Grand Rounds2003Seattle, WA
Management of Osteoporosis in Light of the Women's Health InitiativeLectureMedical Grand Rounds2003Seattle, WA
A Scientific Approach to Glucocorticosteroid-Induced OsteoporosisLectureThe State of the Art in the Management of Osteoporosis2003Washington, DC
Mechanisms of Action of Glucocorticoids in Bone: Relevance to Osteoporosis in MenLectureSecond International Conference on Osteoporosis in Men2003Genoa, Italy
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action and Relevance to Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis Growth Factors as Determinants of Bone MassLectureVI Congreso Sociedad Iberoamericana de Osteologia y Metabolismo Mineral2003Quito, Ecuador
Post-Menopausal OsteoporosisLectureHarrington Memorial Hospital Medical Grand Rounds2003Southbridge, MA
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLectureHamot Medical Center Medical Grand Rounds2002Erie, PA
Glucocorticoid Steroid Induced OsteoporosisLecturePascack Valley Hospital Medical Grand Rounds2002Westwood, NJ
Controversies in Women's HealthLectureCenter for Women's Health & Medicine at Mercy2002Baltimore, MD
OsteoporosisLectureRiverside Regional Medical Center Medical Grand Rounds2002Newport News, VT
Skeletal Growth FactorsLecture24th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research2002San Antonio, TX
Insulin Like Growth Factors and Future Therapies in OsteoporosisLecture12 corso Nazionale sulle Malattie Metaboliche dell'Osso2002Turin, Italy
Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis / Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseLectureLenox Hill Hospital Gastroenterology Grand Rounds2002New York, NY
Effect of Glucocorticoids on the SkeletonLecture33rd Annual Symposium2002Barcelona, Spain
Glucocorticoid Induced OsteoporosisLecture16th Annual Meeting of the Metabolic Bone Disease Society of Colorado2002Denver, CO
Selected Topics in OsteoporosisLectureBaystate Medical Center Medical Grand Rounds2002Springfield, MA
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in BoneLectureRheumatology Grand Rounds - Massachusetts General Hospital2001Boston, MA
GH and Bone: GH/IGF and Osteoblast FunctionLecture5th International HYPOCCS Symposium2001Antwerp, Belgium
Role of Bisphosphonates and Estrogens in the Therapy of OsteoporosisLectureAnnual Meeting of the Sociedad Peruana del Clinaterio1999Lima, Peru
Local Factors in the Regulation of Bone RemodelingLecture7th Congress, Spanish Society for Bone Research and Mineral Metabolism1999Sitges, Spain
Basic Pathophysiology of Glucocorticoid Action on BoneLecture81st Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society1999San Diego, CA
Expression and Regulation of Hepatocyte Growth Factor/Scatter Factor in Osteoblast CulturesLectureInternational Bone and Mineral Society1999Gallipoli, Italy
Effects of Glucocorticoids on Bone Formation and CoordinatorLecture1st International Congress, Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis1999Lake Garda, Italy
Mechanisms of Glucocorticoid Action in Bone Relevance to OsteoporosisLectureKeystone Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology1999Tahoe City, CA
Bone Matters: Current Clinical Research in the Management of OsteoporosisLectureAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research1998San Francisco, CA
Skeletal Growth FactorsLectureWomen’s Health Symposium1998Santiago, Chile
Effects of IL-6 on Matrix Metalloproteinases: Implications to Bone Remodeling and the Insulin-Like Growth Factor AxisLectureIV Workshop on Osteobiology1997Parma, Italy
Growth Factors and BoneLecture1997Singapore
Assessment of the Growth Hormone/IGF-I Axis in AgingLectureSymposium Sponsored by the National Institute for Aging Bethesda, Maryland,1997Bethesda, MD
Effect of Glucocorticoids on Insulin-Like Growth Factors and Their Binding ProteinsLecture2nd International Conference on Steroids and Bone1997Siena, Italy
Osteoporosis: Etiology, Pathophysiology and Current Medical ManagementLectureSymposium Sponsored by New York State Academy of Family Physicians1997Lake Placid, NY
In Vitro and In Vivo Actions of Growth Factors on the SkeletonLectureVII International Conference on Bone Morphometry1996Sardinia, Italy
Growth Factors in Bone MetabolismLectureIV Congreso Chileno de Osteologia y Metabolismo Mineral1996Santiago, Chile
Role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor in Bone MetabolismLecture10th International Congress of Endocrinology1996San Francisco, CA
Skeletal Insulin-Like Growth Factors and Their Binding ProteinsLectureSymposium Pharmaco-Clinique Roussel Uclaf: Role of Growth Factors in Skelet1996Paris, France
Role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor I (IGFI) and IGF Binding Proteins in BoneLecture20th Birthday of the Belgian Bone Club1995Brussels, Belgium
Actions of Deflazacort and Other Glucocorticoids on OsteoblastsLectureSatellite of First International Conference on Steroids and Bone1994Florence, Italy
Steroids, Growth Factors and Bone TurnoverLectureFirst International Conference on Steroids and Bone1994Florence, Italy
Insulin-Like Growth Factor, An Autocrine Regulator of Skeletal CellsLectureThird International Symposium on Insulin-Like Growth Factors1994Sydney, Australia
Biology of Cartilage and BoneLectureEuropean Research Conferences1992Obernai, France
Insulin-Like Growth Factor and the Local Regulation of Bone FormationLectureThe Sixth International Congress on Bone Morphometry1992Lexington, KY
Cytokines and Local Growth Factors in the Regulation of Bone MetabolismLectureEffects of Space Travel on the Musculoskeletal System1990Bethesda, MD
Cultures of Fetal Rat Calvariae to Study Bone FormationLectureAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research1984
Local Skeletal Growth Factors in OsteoporosisLectureConsensus Development Conference in Osteoporosis-NIH1984Bethesda, MD
Bone Derived Growth FactorLectureWorkshop on Local Mechanisms Regulating Bone Formation, NIH1983Bethesda, MD
Local Regulation of Bone GrowthLectureGordon Research Conferences - Bone and Teeth1983Meriden, NH