Kalaitzoglou specializes in pediatric endocrinology and conducts research mainly on animal models, although she is also starting studies in adults, focusing on diabetic bone disease and type 1 diabetes. She has been involved with UK CTSA for more than a year. One of her mentors recommended she participate in the exchange because she could get feedback from other bone experts in the Midwest.
“I got some very helpful feedback from faculty,” said Kalaitzoglou. “I also got some new ideas in terms of where to focus my research in the next couple of years. I spoke with David Burr, [PhD,] and Teresita Bellido, [PhD,] and they had a lot of helpful feedback. Teresa Zimmers, [PhD,] was also very helpful in terms of pointing me to different resources for my grant and in general for my future research.”
Kalaitzoglou’s research focuses on muscle and bone interaction, looking at different receptors and molecules that are secreted from muscles that can affect bones and vice versa. Her main focus is on myostatin (a molecule secreted by skeletal muscle that can affect the bone), but Zimmers advised Kalaitzoglou to expand her focus on a category rather than just one molecule, when it comes to figuring out the interaction between muscle and bone.
“It’s interesting because when you visit with five or six different people, you get five or six different opinions about your work,” said Kalaitzoglou. “I think it is very valuable for junior faculty to get a different perspective of your work outside your institution, especially the faculty in Indiana, since they have a lot of experience in bone research.”
Kalaitzoglou also gave a talk during endocrinology rounds about diabetic bone disease and shared some of her preliminary data during her visit. She also met with Munro Peacock, MD, DSC, and Andrea Bonetto, PhD. After her spring trip, she is now planning to return this upcoming weekend for a conference, “Bone and Muscle Interactions: the Mechanical and Beyond” at Hine Hall on IUPUI campus. She will present a poster there based on some of her research.