Joseph M Zmuda, PhD

Associate Professor, Epidemiology

Associate Professor, Human Genetics

Director, Heinz Nutrition Laboratory


R-znvy: mzhqnw@rqp.cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-7425

Personal Statement

My research primarily focuses on the epidemiology and genetics of osteoporosis. A long-term goal is to identify and characterize the genetic factors underlying osteoporosis susceptibility in different ethnic/racial groups. To achieve these goals, we have used several strategies including: population-based candidate gene methods; genome-wide admixture, linkage and association mapping; and most recently, an in vitro cellular model.  This later approach is enabling us to translate discoveries made at the cellular level to the “population” and vice versa to gain insight into the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying osteoporosis susceptibility. 


1984-1989 | University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI;  B.S. 1989, Nutrition

1989-1991 | University of  Rhode Island, Kingston, RI; M.S. 1991, Exercise Physiology

1993-1996 | University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA; MPH, 1996, Epidemiology (Chronic Disease)

1995-2000 | University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA; PhD, 2000, Epidemiology (Genetics) 


My teaching experience in the Department of Epidemiology has focused on molecular epidemiology. Over the course of my career I have been the instructor for Epidemiology 2600 (Introduction to Molecular Epidemiology) and Epidemiology 2601 (Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory). 

Selected Publications

  1. Eriksson J, Evans DS, Nielson CM, Shen J, Srikanth P, Hochberg M, McWeeney S, Mannen Cawthon P, Wilmot B, Zmuda J, Tranah G, Mirel DB, Challa S, Mooney M, Crenshaw A, Karlsson M, Mellström D, Vandenput L, Orwoll E, Ohlsson C.  Limited Clinical Utility of a Genetic Risk Score for the Prediction of Fracture Risk in Elderly Subjects.  Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015 Jan;30(1):184-94. PMC4281709
  2. Yu S, Yerges-Armstrong LM, Chu Y, Zmuda JM, Zhang Y. AP2 suppresses osteoblast differentiation and mineralization through down-regulation of Frizzled-1.  Biochemical Journal 2015 Feb;465(3):395-404.  doi: 10.1042/BJ20140668. PMID: 25369469
  3. *Kuipers AL, Yu S, Kammerer CM, Nestlerode CS, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Zhang Y, Zmuda JM.  Heritability and Genetics of Serum Dickkopf 1 Levels in African Ancestry Families.  Calcified Tissue International 2015 Feb;96(2):155-9.  PMC4320655
  4. *Sheu Y, Bunker CH, Jonnalagadda P, Cvejkus RK, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Gordon CL, Zmuda JM.  Rates of and Risk Factors for Trabecular and Cortical BMD Loss in Middle-aged and Elderly African Ancestry Men.  Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015 Mar;30(3):464-74. doi:10.1002/jbmr.2359.  PMC4878409
  5. Martin E, Haney E, Shannon J, Cauley J, Ensrud K, Keaveny T, Zmuda JM, Orwoll E, Harrison SL, Marshall L.  Femoral Volumetric Bone Density, Geometry, and Strength in Relation to 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D in Older Men. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015 Mar;30(3):475-82.  PMC4333026
  6. *Kuipers AL, Miljkovic I, Carr JJ, Terry JG, Nestlerode CS, Ge Y, Hightower RC, Bunker CH, Patrick AL,Zmuda JM.  Association of Circulating Sclerostin with Vascular Calcification in Afro-Caribbean Men. Atherosclerosis 2015 Mar;239(1):218-23.  PMC4331206
  7. Miljkovic I, Kuipers AL, Cauley JA, Prasad T, Lee CG, Ensrud KE, Cawthon PM, Hoffman AR, Dam T-T,  L. Gordon CL, and Zmuda JM,  for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Group. Greater Skeletal Muscle Fat Infiltration is Associated with Higher All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in Older Men.Journal of Gerontology Medical Sciences 2015 Sep;70(9):1133-40. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv027. PMC4553718 
  8. Chalhoub D, Cawthon PM, Ensrud KE, Stefanick ML, Kado DM, Boudreau R, Greenspan S, Newman A,Zmuda J, Orwoll ES, Cauley JA (for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Research Group).  Risk of Non-Spine Fractures among Older Men and Women with Sarcopenia, Low Bone Mass, or Both. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2015 Sep;63(9):1733-40. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13605.  PMC4625906 
  9. Kuipers AL, Egwuogu H, Evans RW, Patrick AL, Youk A, Bunker CH, Zmuda JM.  Renal Function and Bone Loss in a Cohort of Afro-Caribbean Men.  Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2015 Dec; 30(12):2215-20. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2562.  PMID: 26011289; PMC4775470
  10. Patrick A, Bunker C, Nelson J, Dhir R, Wheeler V, Zmuda J, Richard J-R, Belle A, Kuller L.  Argument for Prostate Cancer Screening in Populations of African-Caribbean Origin.  BJU International. 2015 Oct;116(4):507-8. doi: 10.1111/bju.12869.  PMID: 25046681; PMC4406859 
  11. Tilves CM, Zmuda JM, Kuipers AL, Nestlerode CS, Evans RW, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Miljkovic I.  Association of Lipopolysaccharide Binding Protein with Aging-Related Adiposity Change and Prediabetes among African Ancestry Men. Diabetes Care. 2016 Mar; 39(3):385-91. doi: 10.2337/dc15-1777. PMID: 26721818; PMC4764043
  12. Miljkovic I, Kuipers AL, Cvejkus R, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Gordon CL, Zmuda JM.  Myosteatosis Increases with Aging and is Associated with Incident Diabetes in African Ancestry Men.  Obesity. 2016 Feb; 24(2):476-82.  doi: 10.1002/oby.21328. PMID: 26694571; PMC4731257
  13. Lu Y, Day FR, Gustafsson S…..Zmuda JM…….Kilpeläinen TO, Loos RJF.  New Loci for Body Fat Percentage Reveal Link Between Adiposity and Cardiometabolic Disease Risk.  Nature Communications2016 Feb 1; 7:10495. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10495.  PMID: 26833246; PMC4740398
  14. Nielson CM, Jones KS, Chun RF, Jacobs J, Wang Y, Hewison M, Adams JS, Swanson CM, Lee CG, Vanderschueren D, Pauwels S, Prentice A, Smith RD, Shi T, Gao Y, Schepmoes AA, Zmuda JM, Lapidus J, Cauley JA, Bouillon R, Schoenmakers I, Orwoll ES (for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group).  Free 25-Hydroxyvitamin D: Impact of Vitamin D Binding Protein Assays on Racial-Genotypic Associations.  JCEM 2016 May;101(5):2226-34 doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-1104.  PMC4870848
  15. Zhao Q, Zmuda JM, Kuipers AL, Jonnalagadda P, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Youk AO, Miljkovic I. Greater Skeletal Muscle Fat Infiltration is associated with Higher All-Cause Mortality among Men of African Ancestry. Age and Ageing 2016 Jul; 45(4):529-34 doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw062. PMID: 27076522; PMC4916343
  16. Kuipers AL, Kammerer CM, Pratt JH, Bunker CH, Wheeler VW, Patrick AL, Zmuda JM.  Association of Circulating Renin and Aldosterone with Osteocalcin and Bone Mineral Density in African Ancestry Families.  Hypertension 2016 May;67(5):977-82. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.06837.  PMID: 26975710; PMC4833607
  17. Kuipers AL, Miljkovic I, Evans R, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Zmuda JM.  Optimal Serum Cholesterol Concentrations are Associated with Accelerated Bone Loss in African Ancestry Men.  Osteoporosis International 2016 Apr;27(4):1577-84. doi: 10.1007/s00198-015-3416-3. PMID: 26602914; PMC4792711 
  18. Liu C-T, Raghavan S, Maruthur N, Kabagambe EK, Hong J, Ng MCY……..………………Zmuda JM……………Florez JC, Rotter JI, Morris AP, Meigs JB.  Trans-ethnic Meta-Analysis and Functional Annotation Illuminates the Genetic Architecture of Fasting Glucose and Insulin.  American Journal of Human Genetics 2016 Jul 7;99(1):56-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.05.006. PMID: 27321945; PMC5005440
  19. Matteini AM, Tanaka T, Karasik D, Atzmon G....……..Zmuda JM……Walston JD, Kiel DP, Murabito JM. GWAS Analysis of Hand Grip and Lower Body Strength in Older Adults in the CHARGE Consortium. Aging Cell 2016 Oct; 15(5):792-800. doi: 10.1111/acel.12468. PMID: 27325353; PMC5013019
  20. Walford GA, Gustafsson S, Rybin D, Yaluri A, Jensen RA,…………………….Zmuda J, …………Laakso M, Meigs JB, Dupuis J, Ingelsson E, Florez JC.  Genome-wide Association Study of the Modified Stumvoll Insulin Sensitivity Index Identifies BCL2 and FAM19A2 as Novel Insulin Sensitivity Loci.  Diabetes 2016 Oct; 65(10):3200-11.doi 10.2337/db16-0199. PMID: 27416945; PMC5033262 [avail 2017-10-01]
  21. Yu S, Yerges-Armstrong L, Chu Y, Zmuda JM, Zhang Y. Transcriptional regulation of Frizzled-1 in human osteoblasts by Sp1.  PLoS One. 2016 Oct 3;11(10):e0163277. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163277. PMID: 27695039; PMC5047477
  22. Nielson CM, Liu C-T, Smith AV, Ackert-Bicknell CL……….Zmuda JM………………….Harris TB, Ohlsson C, Kiel DP Hsu YH.  Novel genetic variants are associated with increased vertebral volumetric BMD, reduced vertebral fracture risk, and increased expression of SCL1A3 and EPHB2 expression.  Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2016 Dec; 31(12):2085-97 doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2913. PMID: 27476799 [PubMed in process]
  23. Patrick AL, Nelson JB, Weissfeld JL, Dhir R, Phillips RJ, Zmuda JM, Bunker CH.  Should Men of African Descent be Screened for Prostate Cancer? Evidence from 15-year Followup of the Tobago Prostate Cancer Survey.  West Indian Medical Journal 2016 Aug 22. doi: 10.7727.wimj/2016.312 [Epub ahead of print]
  24. Chalhoub D, Orwoll ES, Cawthon PM, Ensrud KE, Boudreau R, Greenspan S, Newman A, Zmuda J, Bauer D, Cummings S, Cauley JA for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Research Group.  Areal and Volumetric Bone Mineral Density and Risk of Multiple Types of Fracture in Older Men.  Bone 2016 Nov; 92:100-06 doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2016.08.014. PMID:27554426; PMC5056840 [available 2017-11-01]
  25. Robinson-Cohen C, Lutsey PL, Kleber ME, Nielson CM, Mitchell BD, Fabiane SM, Bis JC, Eny KM, Portas L, Eriksson J, Lorentzon M, Koller DL, Milaneschi Y, Teumer A, Pilz S, Nethander M, Selvin E, Tang W, Weng L, Wong HS, Lai D, Peacock M, Hannemann A, Murgia F, Orwoll E, Zmuda JM, Riancho JA, Wolf M, Williams F, Penninx B, Econs MJ, Ryan KA, Ohlsson C, Paterson AD, Psaty BM , Siscovick DS, Rotter JI, Pirastu M, Streeten E, März W, Fox C, Coresh J, Wallaschofski H, Pankow J, de Boer IH, Kestenbaum B. Genetic Variants Associated With Circulating Parathyroid Hormone. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2017 May; 28(5):1553-65. doi:10.1681/ASN.2016010069. PMID: 27927781; PMC5407713 [avail 2018-05-01]
  26. Zhao Q, Zmuda JM, Kuipers AL, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Youk AO, Miljkovic I.  Muscle Attenuation is Associated with Newly Developed Hypertension in Men of African Ancestry.  Hypertension 2017 Mar; 69(5): 957-63. doi 10.1161/HypertensionAHA.116.08415. PMC5391288 [avail 2018-05-01]
  27. Jensen MK, Jensen RA, Mukamal KJ, Guo X, Yao J, Sun Q, Cornelis M, Liu Y-M, Chen M-H, Kizer JR, Djoussé L, Siscovick DS, Psaty BM,  Zmuda JM, Rotter JI, Garcia M, Harris T, Chen Y-D, Goodarzi MO, Nalls MA, Keller M, , Arnold AM, Newman A, Hoogeeven RC, Rexrode KM, Rimm EB, Hu FB, Vasan R, Katz R, Pankow J and Ix JH.  Detection of genetic loci associated with plasma fetuin-A: A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies from the CHARGE Consortium.  Human Molecular Genetics 2017 Jun 1; 26(11):2156-63. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddx091. PMID: 28379451
  28. Kuipers AL, Zmuda JM, Carr JJ, Terry JG, Nair S, Cvejkus R, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wassel CL, Miljkovic I.  Association of Ectopic Adiposity with Abdominal Aorto-Illiac and Coronary Artery Calcification in African Ancestry Men.  Atherosclerosis 2017 Jun; 263:198-204. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.06.030. PMID:28651187
  29. Willems SM, Wright DJ, Day FR, Trajanoska K, Joshi PK……………….………………………..Zmuda JM, Zillikens MC, Ntzani EE, Evangelou E, Ionnidis JPA, Evans DM, Ohlsson C.  Large-scale GWAS Identified Multiple Loci for Hand Grip Strength Providing Biological Insights into Muscular Fitness. Nature Communications 2017 Jul; 8: doi:10.1038/ncomms16015

Joseph M Zmuda