The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research awarded Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, of Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), with the 2014 Louis V. Avioli Award. Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at BUSM, is internationally known for revolutionizing the understanding of vitamin D and its role in disease prevention.
The award honors a member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) for fundamental contributions to bone and mineral basic research. It is named for ASBMR’s first president and founding member, Louis Avioli, MD, who was one of the world’s leading medical authorities on osteoporosis and calcium metabolism. Holick will be recognized at the ASBMR Annual Meeting in September by the society’s president, Roberto Civitelli, MD.
“I am honored to receive this award named for my very close friend and trusted colleague,” said Holick. “I collaborated with Louis on multiple occasions, and he provided samples of blood from his patients that I used to identify, for the first time, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in human blood. This discovery led me to receiving a masters’ degree in biochemistry.”
Holick has revolutionized the field of vitamin D research with the identification of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, for which he received his PhD degree, which led to therapies for metabolic bone diseases, hypocalcemic disorders and psoriasis. His work raised awareness of the vitamin D deficiency epidemic and its role in causing metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis and increasing the risk of autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases, heart disease and common deadly cancers. He has helped develop guidelines for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency with vitamin D supplementation and sensible sun exposure.
The author of more than 500 publications, Holick received his doctorate in biochemistry and attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin before completing a residency in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.