My name is Michael F. Holick Ph.D., M.D.. I received both my Ph.D. in Biochemistry and my M.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin.

I currently hold the following positions at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine:

  • Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics
  • Emeritus chief of the section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition
  • Director of Ehlers Danlos Clinical Research Program
  • Director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory

I was also formerly Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic at Boston Medical Center.

During my almost 40 years working as a clinician, I treated over 25,000 patients with metabolic bone disease in my practice focusing on calcium, vitamin D, bone metabolism and genetic disorders of collagen-elastin including Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Marfan’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I have clinically seen or have followed as part of my clinical research more than 3,000 infants, children and adults with various forms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

I have served in various capacities, including as the chair for NASA’s Research Committee on Human Health and Performance for the bone health of astronauts for over 30 years.

I served on and/or continue to serve on several editorial boards including:

I served as an associate editor for the journal Dermato-Endocrinology and I am editor-in-chief for the Journal of Clinical Laboratory.

Dr. Holick conducting chromatography for the isolation and identification of the active form of vitamin D (1970)

I have been conducting basic, clinical and translational research in the fields of vitamin D and bone and collagen metabolism for more than 40 years. I was the first to identify the major circulating form of vitamin D that is used to determine a person’s vitamin D status. I was also the first to isolate, identify, and chemically synthesize the active form of vitamin D that is used worldwide to treat metabolic bone disease in patients with kidney failure, and children & adults with various calcium and bone disorders.

When I started my career as an endocrinologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard teaching hospital, in my practice I routinely saw infants, children and adults with a wide variety of metabolic bone diseases. I am nationally and internationally recognized for my expertise in pediatric and adult metabolic bone disease including the genetics of metabolic bone disease in infants, children and adults. I have been invited as the Grand Round speaker and keynote speaker for Universities, hospitals and Society meetings. These include, among others, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics Kansas City Missouri, Children’s Hospital Cincinnati, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

I was a featured speaker or keynote speaker for Academy of Breast-Feeding Medicine in Williamsburg, Virginia, Beverly Hospital’s Annual Pediatric Dinner, Northern New Jersey Pediatric Society, 27th Annual Pediatric Update Conference Danbury Hospital, Department of Pediatrics at Brown University, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and American Academy of Pediatrics, Ehlers-Danlos Doctors Speaker Series and most recently featured Speaker for the Chilean Obstetrics/Gynecology Society and keynote speaker for the Italian Society For Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism just to name a few.

I was invited as the outside expert for a Clinical Pathology Conference for the Harvard Medical School and New England Journal of Medicine about a child presenting with seizures who had severe vitamin D deficiency rickets.  I also edited a book on bone health in children entitled Perinatal Calcium and Phosphorus Metabolism and served on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatrics.  I have done and continue to do both basic and clinical genetics research and was the author for the chapter Genetics of Vitamin D Disorders for the textbook Genetic Diagnosis of Endocrine Disorders. I wrote the review on Vitamin D Deficiency for the New England Journal of Medicine[1] and alerted health care professionals worldwide about the unrecognized vitamin D deficiency and rickets epidemic in the review Resurrection of Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets in the Journal of Clinical Investigation 2006.[2]

I have published over 600 manuscripts in well-respected peer-reviewed journals and more than 200 reviews and book chapters. There have been more than 150,000 citations for my work in the field of calcium, vitamin D and bone metabolism on Google scholar. I served as the Chair for the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee for Vitamin D that published recommendations for how to treat and prevent vitamin D deficiency in children and adults.[3] I have been considered by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors for the past 19 years.  Thompson Reuters in 2014 considered me to be one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, Clinical Medicine.  In 2019 I was elected as a Fellow in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and was elected into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame. In 2019, the journal Current Opinion in Pediatrics invited be to write an up-to-date review on bone fragility for pediatricians. The review, Diagnosis and management of pediatric metabolic bone diseases associated with skeletal fragility was published in Current Opinion in Pediatrics 32;560-573: August 2020.[4]

Cancer Survivor & Marathon Runner

Two years ago I learned that I had aggressive stage III prostate cancer. I am an endocrinologist and have seen and treated many breast and prostate cancer patients for their bone health. I was therefore well aware of what I would be in store for when my treatment program began in January 2022. Hormone deprivation therapy is the main treatment for aggressive breast and prostate cancer. For men with prostate cancer they receive androgen deprivation therapy resulting in having no testosterone, developing anemia and having poor adrenal function. I was also aware of the consequences of having no testosterone since I treated many men with hypotestosteronism in my clinic. It causes muscles to atrophy, muscle weakness, abdominal obesity, listlessness, severe uncompromising hot flashes and increases risk for suicide among other physiological and psychological consequences.

I decided to become proactive for my own health and prevent many of these consequences, especially related to muscle health, by making my New Year’s resolution for 2022 to walk 5 miles every day and weight train with a personal trainer twice a week. I decided for my New Year’s resolution for 2023 to run the Boston Marathon in 2024. I had never run in my life. I started slowly increasing distance and by April was able to run half a marathon and by Memorial weekend completed 25 miles in just over 6 hours.

On April 15, 2024 I completed the Boston Marathon in just over 7 hours!

As a result of these and other interventions I have not lost any muscle strength; in fact I have slightly improved my muscle strength as reported to me by my personal trainer. I am absolutely committed to run the marathon under 6 hours as an inspiration for all men and women with cancer or with any disability. I will be running the marathon with the disadvantage of having no testosterone and being anemic i.e. low blood count.

I decided to share my journey with prostate cancer on my Facebook page to help other men with prostate cancer mitigate the many consequences of having this terrible disease. The recent passing of my younger brother to colon cancer has given me an additional incentive to complete the marathon and dedicate this achievement to him and all men and women who suffer from cancer.

[1] Holick, M.F. Vitamin D Deficiency. New Engl. J. Med. 2007. 357:266-81
[2] Holick, M.F.  Resurrection of Vitamin D deficiency and rickets.  J Clin Invest. 2006. 116(8):2062-2072
[3] Holick, MF, Binkley, NC, Bischoff-Ferrari, HA, et al. (2011). Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of Vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96:1911-30.
[4] Charoenngam, N, Cevik, MB, Holick, MF Diagnosis and management of pediatric metabolic bone diseases associated with skeletal fragility, Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2020;32(4).