Frederick S. Kaplan

faculty photo
Isaac and Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery

Contact information
Penn Medicine University City
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
3737 Market Street, 6th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-294-9145
Fax: 215-222-8854
Lab: 215-898-2330
Johns Hopkins University, 1972.
Johns Hopkins University, 1976.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Other Expertise

Frederick S. Kaplan, M.D. is The Isaac & Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine and Chief of the Division of Molecular Orthopaedic Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is an alumnus of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1976), and was Chief Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1980 to 1981.

Kaplan was a Hartford Foundation Research Fellow in human genetics and molecular biology from 1989 to 1991 in the laboratory of his mentor and friend Dr. Michael Zasloff. This experience led to his exploration of the mechanisms for heterotopic bone formation and skeletal metamorphosis in several disabling childhood diseases.

In 1989, Kaplan, an orthopaedic surgeon, met a child with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a rare and disabling disorder in which the body forms a second skeleton of heterotopic bone. Motivated to know and do more, Kaplan began a pioneering second career on the molecular genetics of heterotopic ossification, work that led to the discovery of the FOP gene, to the description of the molecular pathophysiology of skeletal metamorphosis in humans, to the discovery of progressive osseous heteroplasia (another disorder of heterotopic ossification) and its causative gene and pathophysiology.

Along with his colleague Dr. Eileen Shore, Kaplan co-directs the only center in the world devoted entirely to this work, has organized the medical and scientific communities worldwide on these two rare conditions, and is recognized as the world’s leading expert on genetic disorders of heterotopic ossification and skeletal metamorphosis. In 1997, Kaplan was awarded the first endowed chair in the nation for orthopaedic molecular medicine.

The late Victor McKusick, the father of clinical genetics, described Kaplan as “one of the really outstanding orthopaedic researchers of his generation. His work with FOP and POH has been extraordinary and extends all the way from the patients to the bench and back again. The devotion of the families and the patients to him is testimony to the kind of human being he is.” Cited in 2006, as one of the15 people who make America great, Newsweek noted “the disease was so rare, nobody wanted to deal with it until he came along.”

Selected Publications

Zhang W, Zhang K, Song L, Pang J, Ma H, Shore EM, Kaplan FS, Wang P.: The phenotype and genotype of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva in China: A report of 72 cases Bone 57: 386-391, 2013.

Regard JB, Malhotra D, Gvozdanovic-Jeremic J, Josey M, Chen M, Weinstein LS, Lu J, Shore EM, Kaplan FS, Yang Y.: Activation of hedgehog signaling by loss of GNAS causes heterotopic ossification. Nat Med 19: 1505-1512, 2013.

Cairns DM, Pignolo RJ, Uchimura T, Brennan TA, Lindborg CM, Xu M. *Kaplan FS, Shore EM, *Zeng L.(*co-senior authors).: Somitic disruption of GNAS in chick embryos mimics progressive osseous heteroplasia. , 2013. J Clin Invest 123: 3624-3633, 2013.

Kaplan FS.: The skeleton in the closet. Gene 528:: 7-11, 2013.

Pignolo RJ, Shore EM, Kaplan FS.: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: diagnosis, management, and therapeutic horizons. Emerging Concepts in Pediatric Bone Disease. Pediatric Endocrinology Reviews. 10(S-2):: 437-448, 2013.

La Sala LF, Pozzi LM, McAloose D, Kaplan FS, Shore EM, Kompanje EJ, Sidor IF, Musmeci L, Uhart MM. : Severe soft tissue ossification in a southern right whale Eubalanea australis Dis Aquat Organ 102: 149-156, 2012.

Mohler ER, Kaplan FS, Pignolo RJ.: Boning-up on aortic valve calcification. J Am Coll Cardiol 60: 1954-1955, 2012.

Liu JJ, Russell E, Zhang D, Kaplan FS, Pignolo RJ, Shore EM.: Paternally-inherited Gs-alpha mutation impairs adipogenesis and potentiates a lean phenotype in vivo. Stem Cells 30:: 1477-1485, 2012.

Hammond P, Suttie M, Hennekam RC, Allanson J, Shore EM, Kaplan FS.: The face signature of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Am J Med Genet 158A:: 1368-1380, 2012.

Chakkalakal SA, Zhang D, Culbert AL, Convente MR, Caron RJ, Wright AC, Maidment AD, Kaplan FS, Shore EM. : An Acvr1 Knock-in mouse has fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. J Bone Miner Res 27:: 746-1756, 2012.

back to top
Last updated: 11/06/2017
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
Back to Top