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Thomas Landes Clemens, Ph.D.

Thomas Landes Clemens, Ph.D.

Headshot of Thomas Landes Clemens
  • Lewis Cass Spencer Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research Interests

Skeletal repair; Skeletal development; Osteogenesis; Musculoskeletal biology more


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.


Dr. Clemens serves as director of the Clemens Lab and a member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Musculoskeletal Research.

Lab Website: Clemens Lab

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Tomlinson RE, Li Z, Li Z, Minichiello L, Riddle RC, Venkatesan A, Clemens TL. NGF-TrkA signaling in sensory nerves is required for skeletal adaptation to mechanical loads in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 May 2;114(18):E3632-E3641. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1701054114. Epub 2017 Apr 17.

Riddle RC, Clemens TL. Bone Cell Bioenergetics and Skeletal Energy Homeostasis. Physiol Rev. 2017 Apr;97(2):667-698. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00022.2016. Review.

Li Z, Frey JL, Wong GW, Faugere MC, Wolfgang MJ, Kim JK, Riddle RC, Clemens TL. Glucose Transporter-4 Facilitates Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Uptake in Osteoblasts. Endocrinology. 2016 Nov;157(11):4094-4103. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Zhang Q, Doucet M, Tomlinson RE, Han X, Quarles LD, Collins MT, Clemens TL. The hypoxia-inducible factor-1α activates ectopic production of fibroblast growth factor 23 in tumor-induced osteomalacia. Bone Res. 2016 Jul 5;4:16011. doi: 10.1038/boneres.2016.11. eCollection 2016.

Zoch ML, Abou DS, Clemens TL, Thorek DL, Riddle RC. In vivo radiometric analysis of glucose uptake and distribution in mouse bone. Bone Res. 2016 Apr 5;4:16004. doi: 10.1038/boneres.2016.4. eCollection 2016

Contact for Research Inquiries

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

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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

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Training in Orthopaedic Team Science | Framework (Winter 2016)

Boning Up on Bone Loss | Framework (Winter 2013)

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