October 01, 2021

Headshot of Audrey McAlinden, PhDAudrey McAlinden, PhD, associate professor and prominent researcher in Washington University’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was selected as the recipient of the Orthopedic Research Society (ORS) 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) Award. 

This annual award is given as recognition to a female biologist, clinician, or engineer who has made significant contributions to the understanding of the musculoskeletal system and its diseases and injuries. Recipients, like McAlinden, demonstrate outstanding leadership, including mentorship of colleagues and trainees. 

Throughout her career, Dr. McAlinden has served as grant reviewer for the NIH, Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs and other national and international funding institutes. She was previously associate editor for Connective Tissue Research journal and now currently serves as handling editor for the journal, Bone. Her many contributions to ORS include service as chair of the Membership Committee and co-organizer of an ORS Midwest Musculoskeletal Workshop at Washington University as part of the Ambassador Program. She is now incoming ORS treasurer (2022-2025) and Board of Directors member.
Among her service at Washington University, she has been a member of the DBBS graduate student admissions committee and is currently an executive committee member of the T32 Skeletal Disorders Training Program. She particularly enjoys mentoring and is currently developing a program to provide guidance and mentorship to trainees applying for fellowship grants.  
Dr. McAlinden’s research interests are focused on understanding mechanisms regulating bone and cartilage tissue development.  Current NIH-funded projects in her lab are designed to determine how epigenetic factors affect progenitor cell differentiation toward cartilage or bone cell lineages, and then translating these findings to devise novel approaches to treat orthopaedic conditions such as bone fractures and osteoarthritis.
The ORS Awards and Recognition Committee, in partnership with the ORS Women’s Leadership Forum, have recognized McAlinden’s contributions, leadership and distinguished work in their selection of her as the distinguished award recipient. McAlinden shares, “I’m extremely grateful to receive this award at the ORS Annual Meeting in February. Attending the first WLF event in 2005 in Washington DC was a wonderful experience, and I’m truly honored to join an amazing group of previous award recipients.”
“This is a well-deserved and incredible honor,” adds Regis J. O’Keefe, MD, PhD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Dr. McAlinden’s influence on orthopaedic research is immeasurable, both in her advancement of scientific discovery and in her leadership and guidance of the next generation of researchers. Dr. McAlinden is an important role model and mentor for women pursuing careers in orthopaedic research. We’re proud to have her on our team, and we celebrate this recognition of her work.”

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