Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Paul A. Marks Professor of Genetics and Development
  • Professor of Medicine

Current Administrative Positions

  • Chair, Genetics and Development Department

Gerard Karsenty M.D., Ph.D., is the Paul A. Marks M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical center, New York City. In the last 20 years, his laboratory has studied every aspect of skeletal biology ranging from development to physiology. His laboratory deciphered the molecular bases of osteoblast-specific gene expression, a work that culminated in his identification of Runx2 as the master gene of osteoblast differentiation. This was followed by the identification of an entire cascade of transcription factors regulating osteoblast differentiation and of Gcm2 as the master gene of parathyroid gland development. In approaching bone physiology Karsenty proposed that there is a coordinated control endocrine in nature, of bone mass, energy metabolism and fertility. The Karsenty lab has verified in the mouse and whenever possible in humans all tenets of this hypothesis. One of them is that bone should be an endocrine organ regulating energy metabolism and reproduction. This led to the identification of osteocalcin as a bone-derived hormone needed for insulin secretion, glucose homeostasis, testosterone secretion by Leydig cells of the testes and male fertility, brain development cognition and adaptation to exercise. Currently his work focuses through the definition of all functions of osteocalcin in understanding why would bone be an endocrine organ.

Genetics to understand Development, Physiology and Pathogenesis of all diseases

Departments and Divisions

  • Department of Genetics & Development
  • Department of Medicine
    Division of Endocrinology

Languages Spoken

  • French

Education and Training

  • MD, PhD, Physiology, Paris Medical School, France
  • Fellowship: MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Fellowship: National Institute of Health

Centers / Institutes / Programs

  • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Institute of Human Nutrition

Lab Locations

  • Hammer Health Sciences Building

    701 West 168th Street
    Room 1620
    New York, NY 10032
    (212) 923-2090
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 305-9586

Contact Info

Past Positions

1987-1988  Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Genetics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1988-1990  Research Associate, Molecular Genetics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1990-1995  Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1996-1997  Associate Professor, Molecular Genetics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

1998-1999  Associate Professor, Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

1999-2006  Professor, Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

2006-Present  Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics and Development, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center

Committees / Societies / Memberships

1991-present  American Society of Biological Chemistry 

1991-present  American Society of Bone and Mineral Research

1995-present  American Endocrine Society

2002-present  International Society of Matrix Biology 

2003-present  Member of the IBMS Board of Directors

2006-present  Member of Association of American Physicians

2008-present  Member of The American Physiological Society

2015-present  Member of National Academy of Medicine

2014-present  Member of The New York Academy of Sciences

2015-present  Member of American Society of Microbiology

2017-present  Member of the NOF Ambassadors Leadership Council

2017-present  Elected Associate Member of EMBO

Honors and Awards

2017:  Elected Associate Member of EMBO

2017: The AACE Frontiers in Science Award

2016: Steven's Triennial Prize for Excellence in Original Medical Research

2016: Roy E. Greep Award for Excellence in Basic Science, the Endocrine Society

2014: Member National Academy of Medicine

2012: Hoffenberg International Medal British Endocrine Society

2011: ASBMR William F. Neuman Award

2011: Herbert Fleisch Achievement Award in Basic Science, IOF

2011: Senior Scholar in Aging Ellison Foundation

2010: Jacobaeus Prize NovoNordisk Foundation, Denmark

2010: Member, College of CSR Reviewers, NIH

2010: Richard Lounsbery Award, National Academy of Science (USA), Academie des Sciences (France)

2008: Lee C. Howley Prize for Arthritis Research, Arthritis Foundation

2007: Schaefer Award, Columbia University Medical Center

2007: Drieu-Cholet Award, The French National Academy of    Medicine

2006: Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas

2002: Member of The Association of American Physicians

2001: Louis V. Avioli Founders Award of the ASBMR

2001: D. Harold Copp Award of the IBMS

2000: Michael E. De Bakey Excellence in Science Award

1997: Research Award of the Austrian Bone and Mineral Research Society

1996: International Bone and Calcium Institute Young Scientist Award

1985: French Endocrine Society Award for Young Scientists

NIH Grants


    Apr 1 2019 - Feb 29 2024


    Aug 15 2018 - Jul 31 2023


    Jun 1 2018 - May 31 2021


    Jun 1 2015 - Apr 30 2021


    Feb 6 2018 - Feb 5 2019

Lab Members

  • Junhee Park, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Subrata Chowdhury, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Biagio Palmisano, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Hong Liu, Lab Manager
  • Julian Meyer Berger, Student, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Vijay Yadav, Research Scientist


1: Lee NK, Sowa H, Hinoi E, Ferron M, Ahn JD, Confavreux C, Dacquin R, Mee PJ, McKee MD, Jung DY, Zhang Z, Kim JK, Mauvais-Jarvis F, Ducy P, Karsenty G. Endocrine regulation of energy metabolism by the skeleton. Cell. 2007 130(3):456-69.

2: Oury F, Sumara G, Sumara O, Ferron M, Chang H, Smith CE, Hermo L, Suarez S, Roth BL, Ducy P, Karsenty G. Endocrine regulation of male fertility by the skeleton. Cell. 2011 144(5): 796-809.

3: Oury F, Khrimian L, Denny CA, Gardin A, Chamouni A, Goeden N, Huang YY, Lee H, Srinivas P, Gao XB, Suyama S, Langer T, Mann JJ, Horvath TL, Bonnin A, Karsenty, G. Maternal and offspring pools of osteocalcin influence brain development and functions. Cell. 2013 155(1): 228-41.

4: Wei J, Shimazu J, Makinistoglu M, Maurizi A, Kajimura D, Zong H, Takarada T, Iezaki T, Pessin JE, Hinoi E, and Karsenty G. Glucose uptake and Runx2 synergize to orchestrate osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Cell. 2015 161(7): 1576-91.

5: Mera P, Laue K, Ferron M, Confavreux C, Wei J, Galan-Diez M, Lacampagne A, Mitchell SJ, Mattison JA, Chen Y, Bacchetta J, Szulc P, Kitsis RN, de Cabo R, Friedman RA, Torsitano C, McGraw TE, Puchowicz M, Kurland I and Karsenty G. Osteocalcin signaling in myofibers is necessary and sufficient for optimum adaptation to exercise. Cell Metab. 2016 23(6):1078-92.

6: Berger JM, Singh P, Khrimian L, Morgan DA, Chowdhury S, Arteaga-Solis E, Horvath TL, Domingos AI, Marsland AL, Yadav VK, Rahmouni K, Gao XB and Karsenty G. Mediation of the acute stress response by the skeleton. Cell Metab. 2019 30(5): 890-902

For a complete list of publications, please visit