Beata Lecka-Czernik, PhD.
Beata Lecka-Czernik, PhD. Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Head of CeDER Steering Committee.
Dr. Lecka-Czernik received her PhD degree from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. She then carried out her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas, and moved up the academic rank there in the Department of Geriatrics and Reynolds Institute on Aging until she moved to the University of Toledo College Of Medicine in 2007.
Dr. Lecka-Czernik’s research focuses on diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. These diseases are major public health concerns due to their prevalence in our increasingly sedentary and aging society. At the cellular level, these pathologies share several features including a genetic predisposition, molecular controls and a common cell progenitor. Diabetics have display higher incidence of bone fractures and the process of fracture healing is affected. In addition, the use of antidiabetic TZD drugs increases fracture risk and causes bone loss in older diabetic postmenopausal women. Dr. Lecka-Czernik pioneered these findings and was the first to demonstrate that the anti-diabetic drugs TZDs cause loss of bone and affect fracture healing in animals. This has enabled her to lead the investigation of the underlying molecular mechanisms. She has also demonstrated that the side effect of TZDs on bone could be prevented by a slight modification, and is currently investigating the means by which diabetic bone homeostasis is improved by bone-specific gene and stem cell therapies, as well as pharmacological therapies with anti-osteoporotic drugs commonly used in clinics.
Dr. Lecka-Czernik has authored 33 peer-reviewed articles. Her laboratory has been funded from grants from the NIH and the American Diabetes Association.