Course Director

Robert J. Pignolo, MD, PhD

Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Chair of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Rochester, MN

Dr. Robert J. Pignolo, MD, PhD is the Robert and Arlene Kogod Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Chair of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He has worked on basic science, translational, and clinical aspects of bone diseases, including FOP and non-hereditary forms of heterotopic ossification (HO), for over 20 years – first at the University of Pennsylvania in Center for Research on FOP & Related Disorders in Philadelphia, and now at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Major research areas related to FOP include rare bone disorders, natural history of FOP, drug discovery, non-hereditary HO, and repurposing of drugs for the treatment of FOP and similar conditions. He is currently the principal investigator on all interventional trials for FOP at the Mayo Clinic. He is actively involved in the FOP community word wide and is currently president of the International Clinic Council on FOP, established in 2017 to help consolidate a global voice for the best practices for clinical care and clinical research for people who suffer from FOP.

Dr. Pignolo received his B.A. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, M.D. and clinical residency in Internal Medicine from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and fellowship in Geriatric Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to serving as the Chair of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, he is the Director of the Translation and Pharmacology Program at the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, and Director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program, all at the Mayo Clinic. Outside of FOP-related activities, his research focuses on basic, translational, and clinical aspects of conditions of aging and musculoskeletal disorders, with a focus on cellular senescence and accelerated tissue aging and disease. He serves on the editorial boards for Aging Cell, Bone, and Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Course Faculty

Matthew Drake, MD, PHD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Dr. Matthew T. Drake is a Consultant in the Division of Endocrinology and Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Drake received his AB degree from Harvard College and completed his MD and Ph.D degrees at Washington University in St. Louis. His clinical training in Internal Medicine was performed at Duke University Medical Center, and he completed his Endocrinology fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic. He serves as an editor or on the editorial board for multiple endocrine and bone-related journals, as chair of the Mayo Clinic Endocrinology Bone Core Group, and is the current chair of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Professional Practice Committee.

In his clinical practice, Dr. Drake is involved in providing care to patients with a variety of metabolic bone diseases including osteoporosis and an array of skeletal dysplasias and rare bone diseases. In addition, he performs translational research with areas of interest including understanding the mechanisms underlying age-associated bone loss,

Edna Mancilla, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Edna Mancilla is a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine. She received her medical degree at the University of Chile and completed her residency in pediatrics at NYU Bellevue Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital. She was a fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the National Institutes of Health where she became interested in growth plate pathophysiology. Dr. Mancilla had an academic career and clinical practice in Chile from 1998 until 2009 – when she moved to the United States and was appointed to the faculty at CHOP. Dr. Mancilla has clinical and research expertise in metabolic bone health in children. Her interests have included basic growth plate research and clinical studies in pediatric hyperparathyroidism. She is leading the palovarotene clinical trial in FOP at CHOP.

Mona Al Mukaddam, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Penn Bone Center
Ian Cali Clinical Scholar
Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Al Mukaddam is an adult endocrinologist in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Pennsylvania and Director, Penn Bone Center. Dr. Al Mukaddam received her Bachelor of Science and Medical Degrees from American University in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa, a fellowship in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Penn, and received a Master of Science Degree in translational medicine and therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Al Mukaddam is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. She is the principal investigator on ongoing clinical trials in FOP at the Center for Research in FOP & Related Disorders at Penn and is a founding member of the International Clinical Council on FOP (ICC).