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Thomas Landes Clemens, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Thomas Landes Clemens, Ph.D.

Lewis Cass Spencer Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research Interests: Skeletal repair; Skeletal development; Osteogenesis; Musculoskeletal biology

Contact for Research Inquiries

JHOC 5242
601 North Caroline Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-0882 map

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Dr. Thomas Clemens is the Lewis Cass Spencer Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and serves as the Vice Chair for research in the department. 

Dr. Clemens received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of London, UK and completed postdoctoral training as a Research Fellow in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He has held faculty positions in Clinical Pathology at Colombia University, in Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and then a Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. He was the director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he established a Howard Hughes sponsored Med-to-Grad doctoral program.  Dr. Clemens assumed his current position at Johns Hopkins University in 2009.   

Dr. Clemens research focuses on study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms, which control development and repair of skeletal muscle and bone.  Dr. Clemens has authored more than 150 original publications, in addition to a number of editorials and book chapters. He has served as a council member of the ASBMR and as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research from 2008 to 2012. Dr. Clemens’ work was recognized by the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research with the Louis V. Avioli Esteemed Award in 2013. more


  • Lewis Cass Spencer Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Director of Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Senior Research Career Scientist, Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Focusing his research on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling bone osteoblast activity, Dr. Clemens’ lab studies the mechanisms of action of insulin, insulin-like growth factor, and growth hormone in bone and skeletal muscle. Mice and their cells with specific alterations in the components of these pathways have been created and are being used to identify the interplay between these growth factors.

In a separate project, Dr. Clemens is investigating the hypothesis that the osteoblast and osteocytes are positioned in bone to sense and respond to fluctuations in oxygen and nutrient supply and, thereby, play key roles in the regulation of angiogenesis and blood flow under normal physiological conditions and in response to pathological signals. Osteoblast cell models and genetically altered mice are used to study the role of hypoxia-inducible factors during bone development and following skeletal injury. This information will then be used to generate new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.

Dr. Clemens’ current projects are: (1) defining insulin actions in bone; (2) oxygen sensing and osteogenesis; and (3) the GH/IGF-1 pathway in skeletal muscle.

Activities & Honors


  • Louis V. Avioli Esteemed Award, The American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, 2013


  • American Society for Bone & Mineral Research
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
  • The Endocrine Society

Professional Activities

  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Bone & Mineral Research, 2008 - 2012
  • Program Co-chair, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research National Meeting, 2002
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