Michael Convente is a 2nd year graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In June 2010, Michael joined the lab of Dr. Eileen Shore, a professor affiliated with the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory at Penn. Dr. Shore, along with colleague Dr. Frederick Kaplan, study a disease called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), colloquially known as "stone-man disease". FOP is characterized by rapid and progressive endochondral ossification of soft tissue and skeletal muscle, eventually leading to patients with severely limited mobility and respiratory function. After over a decade of research, Drs. Shore and Kaplan identified the gene responsibile for FOP – the ACVR1 gene, a Bone Morphogenic Protein-4 (BMP4) Type I receptor; these findings were published in Nature Genetics in 2006. Michael is currently working with Drs. Shore and Kaplan in developing his eventual thesis project.
Prior to coming to Penn for his graduate studies, Michael was an undergraduate at Rutgers University, graduating magna cum laude in 2009 with a B.A. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. His work at Rutgers was conducted in the lab of Dr. Patricia Buckendahl at the Center of Alcohol Studies and focused on the effect of osteocalcin deficiency and prolonged ethanol consumption on bone morphology and composition in middle-aged mice. An abstract of Michael's research was accepted in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, and a full paper is awaiting publication.
Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael's graduate student page at the McKay Orthopaedic Laboratory can be viewed here.