Frederick S. Kaplan, M.D.

faculty photo
Isaac and Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery
Attending Physician, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Chief; Division of Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Director; Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Academic Coordinator; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Penn
Career Counciling Committee , Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Bioengineering Graduate Group, Penn
Chairman, Career Counciling Committee, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director; Molecular Orthopaedics, Penn
Member , Institute on Aging, Penn
Curriculum Committee, School of Medicine
Advisory Committee-Short Term Experience in Research, School of Medicine
Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Chairman, Curriculum 2000 Committee, Musculoskeletal Module
Curriculum Committee. Short-term Experience in Research, School of Medicine
Committee on Appointments & Promotions, Department of Orthopaedics
McCabe Fund Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Medicine
Residency Education Committee, Department of Orthopaedics
Director, Center for Research In FOP and Related Disorders. Penn
JG Haddad Memorial Lecture Endowment Committee, School of Medicine
Institute for Human Gene Therapy, Penn
Center for Developmental Biology, Penn
Scientific Director, FOP Developmental Grants Program
Clinical Evaluation and Grading School Committee, School of Medicine
Executive Committee, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Penn
Mucopolysaccharide Rare Disease Pilot Grant Review Committee, School of Medicine
Pilot Grant Review Committee, Institute of Aging/Alzheimers Disease Core Center
Member, Center for Orphan Disease Research & Therapy
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

McCullough M.: A crippling disease called FOP is so rare it usually goes undiagnosed. A documentary may change that. Philadelphia Inquirer. February 25 2020.

Kaplan FS, Shore EM.: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. National Organization for Rare Disorders., 2020.

Pignolo RJ, Wang H, Kaplan FS. : Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: a segmental progeroid syndrome. 10 1-3, 2020. Frontiers in Endocrinology 10 (Article 908): 1-3, 2020.

Kou S, DeCunto C, Baujat G, Wentworth KL, Grogan DR, Brown MA, DiRocco M, Keen R, Al Mukaddam M, le Qua Sang K-H, Masharani U, Kaplan FS, Pignolo RJ, Hsiao EC.: Patients with ACVR1R206H mutations have an increased prevalence of cardiac condition abnormalities on electrocardiogram in a natural history study of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Orphanet J Rare Diseases 2020 Notes:

Kaplan FS. Kaplan FS, Al Mukaddam M, Stanley A, Towler OW, Shore EM.: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP): A disorder of osteochondrogenesis. Bone 2020 Notes: [Epub ahead of print]

Pignolo RJ, Cheung K. Kile S, Fitzpatrick MA, DeCunto C, Al Mukaddam M, Hsiao EC, Baujat G, Delai P, Eekhoff, EMW, DiRocco M, Grunwald Z, Haga N, Keen R, Levi B, Morhart R, Scott C, Sherman A, Zhang K, Kaplan FS. : Self-reported baseline phenotypes from the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) Association global registry. Bone 2020 Notes: (Epub ahead of print).

Pignolo RJ, Kaplan FS. : Druggable targets, clinical trial design and proposed pharmacological management in fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs. p. 1-9. 2020.1751122. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs Page: 1-9, 2020 Notes:

Kaplan FS, Al Mukaddam M, Pignolo RJ.: Compartment syndrome of the thigh in a patient with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. J Ortho Case Reports 10(3): 103-107, 2020.

Kaplan FS, Shore EM.: Progressive osseous heteroplasia. National Organization for Rare Disorders. 2020.

Cali A & Schwegler O (Executive Producers). : Tin Soldiers. Blink Films. Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, World Premier – Johannesburg (Jozi) Film Festival; October 5, 2019. Blink Films. Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, World Premier – Johannesburg (Jozi) Film Festival; Winner of Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Award. October 5 2019 Notes: Winner of Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Award.

back to top
Last updated: 10/19/2020
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania