Faculty Profile: Douglas Kiel, MD, MPH

Douglas Kiel, MD, MPH
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Work: +1 617-971-5373
Df. Kiel, an internal medicine and geriatrics specialist, studies the impact of musculoskeletal diseases on older persons, specifically focusing on osteoporosis and the loss of muscle with aging, called "sarcopenia." He is interested in the genetics of these conditions and has conducted clinical trials to prevent these diseases. He is the principal investigator of the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, which has contibuted a great deal to the understanding of the risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures


Dr. Kiel is a full Professor of Medicine at Harvard medical School and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Brown University School of Public Health. He is trained in internal medicine and geriatric medicine. His research focuses on the epidemiology of musculoskeletal diseases. He conducts research as principal investigator of the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. He studies lifestyle and genetic factors influencing the skeleton and skeletal muscle. He has also conducted multiple clinical trials of older individuals to reduce the risk of fracture, falls and disability



Research Description

1. Low Magnitude Mechanical Stimulation to Improve BMD

This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of low magnitude mechanical simulation with whole body vibration to improve bone mineral density as measured by QCT of the hip and spine and to determine the effect of the intervention on biochemical markers of bone turnover in seniors treated with 10 minutes per day of whole body vibration (0.3g, 30 Hz).

2. Targeted Sequencing of 3 Loci Associated with BMD in the Framingham Osteoporosis

This project will perform next generation sequencing of three novel loci identified in a previous genome-wide association study meta-analysis. To identify potential causal variants, re-sequencing will be performed in targeted genomic regions in 325 individuals with the lowest extremes of BMD) from the Framingham Study. This resequencing effort will be combined with a resequencing project (442 cases and 712 controls) that is currently underway in a very limited sample of Framingham subjects through a grant supporting this work in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genetic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium. By resequencing additional subjects in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, our total sample size of 1,379 will provide sufficient power to be able to detect low frequency and rare variants that are likely to be the ones that affect bone density phenotypes.

3. Mechanisms and Clinical Importance of Hyperkyphosis: The Framingham Study

Hyperkyphosis (forward thoracic curvature) in older adults is an important, common problem, associated with significant disability, morbidity, and mortality, and will increase with the aging of
the population. The purpose of this project is to determine the natural history, risk factors and clinical outcomes of hyperkyphosis. A greater understanding of the factors that contribute to progression of kyphosis will help lead to interventions to prevent and treat this complex condition.

4. Bone Microarchitecture: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study

After performing high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans on over 2,500 Framingham Study participants, the microarchitectural indices obtained from the images will be used to perform genome wide association studies, to study risk factors for bone microarchitecture, and to determine if bone microarchitecture predicts fracture

5. Predicting hip Fracture using a Biomedical Approach

The specific goal is to investigate the contribution of trochanteric soft tissue thickness to hip fracture risk, and to include this in the biomechanical Factor-of-Risk model. We hypothesize these factors predict hip fracture, and further that the factor-of-risk prediction of hip fracture risk will prove better than BMD assessment alone and better than the World Health Organization FRAX tool.

Grants and Awards

2003-04 Invited contributor to 2001 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health
2003, 08 Invited participant NIAMS Roundtables on Bone Diseases and Skeletal Genetics
2004-07 Nomination for the 2003-2004, 2006-2007 Excellence in Mentoring Award, Harvard Medical School
2005 Outstanding Excellence in Geriatric Research All Categories, American Geriatrics Society 2005
2005- Observational Study Monitoring Board - Extension of the Women's Health initiative Program
2008-11 Council American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
2011 A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, Harvard Medical School
2013 Fellow of the American Geriatrics Society
2000- Scientific Advisory Board/Education Committee National Osteoporosis Foundation
2000-03 American Geriatrics Society, Chair Research Committee
2004- Editorial Board Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Associate Editor 2010 – current.
1998- Editorial Board Clinical Densitometry
2006- Joint Commission Osteoporosis Technical Advisory Panel
2008-11 Member NIA Clinical Trials Advisory Panel
2010 Chair of the PhenX Skin, Bone, Muscle and Joint Working Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute "Consensus Measures for Phenotypes and Exposures" (PhenX).


Member of:
1. American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
2. American College of Physicians
3. American Geriatrics Society
4. Gerontological Society of America
5. European Calcified Tissue Society

Funded Research

Please see CV for detailed information