Ernestina Schipani, MD, PhD

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William Wikoff Smith Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery

Contact information
3450 Hamilton Walk
310A Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6180
Office: (215) 898-0045
Fax: 215-573-2133
Medical School of Pisa and Sant' Anna School of Advances Studies, Pisa, Italy, 1985.
Speciality (Endocrinology)
Medical School of Pisa, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 1988.
Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, 1989.
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Description of Research Expertise

I have a long-standing interest in the study of cartilage and bone development. Over the years, I have used cartilage and bone tissues as models to establish essential principles in the broader fields of receptor and hypoxia biology.

I cloned the human receptor for PTH and PTHrP and its gene. Moreover, I discovered that gain-of-function mutations of the PTH/PTHrP receptor result in Jansen Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia, a severe form of short-limbed dwarfism associated with hypercalcemia. Jansen Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia has been one of the first examples in the literature of a human disease being caused by a constitutively active G-protein coupled receptor.

Studying the fetal growth plate, I was intrigued by its avascularity; this simple observation prompted me to discover that the hypoxia-signaling pathway is essential in skeletal development. Oxygen is not only an indispensable metabolic substrate but also a regulatory signal. I pioneered the notion that gradients of oxygenation are crucial for tissue morphogenesis during skeletal development. My laboratory currently studies the role of the hypoxia signaling pathway in skeletal development and homeostasis with the overall goal of unveiling both novel aspects of the cellular adaptation to hypoxia and new avenues for the treatment of cartilage and bone diseases.

Selected Publications

Sartawi Z, Waeber C, Schipani E, Ryan KB.: Development of electrospun polymer scaffolds for the localized and controlled delivery of siponimod for the management of critical bone defects. Int J Pharm 590: 119956, Nov 2020.

Yao Q, Parvez-Khan M, Schipani E.: In vivo survival strategies for cellular adaptation to hypoxia: HIF1α-dependent suppression of mitochondrial oxygen consumption and decrease of intracellular hypoxia are critical for survival of hypoxic chondrocytes. Bone 140: 115572, Nov 2020.

Noda H, Guo J, Khatri A, Dean T, Reyes M, Armanini M, Brooks DJ, Martins JS, Schipani E, Bouxsein ML, Demay MB, Potts JT Jr, Jüppner H, Gardella TJ: An Inverse Agonist Ligand of the PTH Receptor Partially Rescues Skeletal Defects in a Mouse Model of Jansen's Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia. J Bone Miner Res 35(3): 540-9, Mar 2020.

Garcia-Galiano D, Cara AL, Tata Z, Allen SJ, Myers MG Jr, Schipani E, Elias CF.: ERα signaling in GHRH/Kiss1 dual phenotype neurons plays sex-specific roles in growth and puberty. J Neurosci Neurosci, 2020.

Yao Q, Khan MP, Merceron C, LaGory EL, Tata Z, Mangiavini L, Hu J, Vemulapalli K, Chandel NS, Giaccia AJ, Schipani E: Suppressing Mitochondrial Respiration Is Critical for Hypoxia Tolerance in the Fetal Growth Plate. Dev Cell 49(5): 748-763.e7, Jun 2019.

Merceron C, Ranganathan K, Wang E, Tata Z, Makkapati S, Khan MP, Mangiavini L, Yao AQ, Castellini L, Levi B, Giaccia AJ, Schipani E: Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α is a negative regulator of osteoblastogenesis and bone mass accrual. Bone research 7: 7, Feb 2019.

Colaianni G, Lippo L, Sanesi L, Brunetti G, Celi M, Cirulli N, Passeri G, Reseland J, Schipani E, Faienza MF, Tarantino U, Colucci S, Grano M: Deletion of the Transcription Factor PGC-1α in Mice Negatively Regulates Bone Mass. Calcif Tissue Int 103(6): 638-52, Dec 2018.

Liu Q, Wang J, Chen Y, Zhang Z, Saunders L, Schipani E, Chen Q, Ma PX: Suppressing mesenchymal stem cell hypertrophy and endochondral ossification in 3D cartilage regeneration with nanofibrous poly(l-lactic acid) scaffold and matrilin-3. Acta biomaterialia 76: 29-38, Aug 2018.

Faienza MF, Brunetti G, Sanesi L, Colaianni G, Celi M, Piacente L, D'Amato G, Schipani E, Colucci S, Grano M: High irisin levels are associated with better glycemic control and bone health in children with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 141: 10-17, Jul 2018.

Brunetti G, Faienza MF, Colaianni G, Gigante I, Oranger A, Pignataro P, Ingravallo G, Di Benedetto A, Bortolotti S, Di Comite M, Storlino G, Lippo L, Ward-Kavanagh L, Mori G, Reseland JE, Passeri G, Schipani E, Tamada K, Ware CF, Colucci S, Grano M: Impairment of Bone Remodeling in LIGHT/TNFSF14-Deficient Mice. J Bone Miner Res 33(4): 704-19, Apr 2018.

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Last updated: 11/26/2020
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