Physician Profile

Ernesto Canalis, M.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Medicine, UConn Health
Director of Center for Skeletal Research, UConn Health
UConn Musculoskeletal Institute

Dr. Canalis is a professor of medicine and orthopaedics in the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute at UConn Health. He is an internationally renowned expert in bone metabolism. Dr. Canalis’ clinical interests include osteoporosis and metabolic bone disorders. He sees patients at the Center for Osteoporosis in the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute.

Office Locations:

Center for Osteoporosis
UConn Musculoskeletal Institute
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030

Board Certifications:
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Education and Training:
Medical SchoolUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaMedicine
InternshipUConn School of MedicineInternal Medicine
ResidencyHenry Ford HospitalInternal Medicine
ResidencyUConn School of MedicineInternal Medicine
FellowshipTufts-New England Medical CenterEndocrinology
Honors and Awards:
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Lawrence G. Raisz Award for Outstanding Achievements in Preclinical Translational ResearchAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Distinguished Physician Award, Medical StaffSaint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
Louis V. Avioli Founders Award for Fundamental Contributions to Bone and Mineral Basic ResearchAmerican Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration ResearchOrthopaedic Research Society
Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Research in EndocrinologyEndocrine Society
MERIT AwardNational Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Ann Doner Vaughan Kappa Delta Award for Excellence in Orthopaedic ResearchAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Hospital Affiliation:
  • UConn John Dempsey Hospital
Research Interests:

The Canalis laboratory is known for the discovery of skeletal growth factors and has pursued important investigations on the role of growth factors and their antagonists in skeletal function.  Dr. Canalis’ group has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of glucocorticoid action in bone in an effort to explain the pathogenesis of glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis and correct the disease.  The laboratory’s recent work has centered on factors determining osteoblast cell fate and function.  These investigations include studies on the role of Notch signaling and Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) in osteoblastic cell differentiation.  Cellular and genetically engineered mouse models are used for the research conducted by the group.  The laboratory is particularly interested in translational research and has created genetically engineered mouse models of Hajdu Cheney Syndrome, a devastating disease characterized by bone loss and fractures.  The studies have allowed the team to determine mechanisms of the bone loss and are exploring ways to prevent the skeletal disease.The laboratory has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since the 1980’s, and in 1990 received a MERIT Award from the National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS).  Currently, the laboratory is funded by NIAMS, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Office of Research on Women’s Health.

Languages Other than English:
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Selected Publications:

Peer Reviewed Publications

Hajdu Cheney Syndrome; report of a novel NOTCH2 mutation and treatment with denosumab. Adami, Giovanni; Rossini, Maurizio; Gatti, Davide; Orsolini, Giovanni; Idolazzi, Luca; Viapiana, Ombretta; Scarpa, Aldo; Canalis, Ernesto. (2016). Bone, (92), 150-156.

Hajdu-Cheney Syndrome, a Disease Associated with NOTCH2 Mutations. Canalis, Ernesto; Zanotti, Stefano. (2016). Current osteoporosis reports,

Effects of sex and notch signaling on the osteocyte cell pool. Canalis, Ernesto; Schilling, Lauren; Zanotti, Stefano. (2016). Journal of cellular physiology,

NOTCH SIGNALING AND THE SKELETON. Zanotti, Stefano; Canalis, Ernesto. (2016). Endocrine reviews, er20161002.

Hajdu Cheney Mouse Mutants Exhibit Osteopenia, Increased Osteoclastogenesis and Bone Resorption. Canalis, Ernesto; Schilling, Lauren; Yee, Siu-Pok; Lee, Sun-Kyeong; Zanotti, Stefano. (2015). The Journal of Biological Chemistry,