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Research at NCIRE

NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Bernard Halloran, PhD

Research Career Scientist, Medical Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Causes and Possible Prevention of Osteoporosis

Dr. Halloran is one of a handful of scientists whose work is focused on cell aging and age-related osteoporosis, a disease in which bone is gradually lost with advancing age, leading to painful and debilitating hip and spine fractures. Normally, bone is in balance, continually formed and then torn down. This process is regulated by two proteins, RANKL, which tears bone down, and OPG, which helps preserve bone. Dr. Halloran has shown that as the cells in bone age, they make too much RANKL and not enough OPG. This causes bone to be lost and patients to develop osteoporosis. Work is now focused on why the aging cells of bone produce too much RANKL. Drugs to reduce RANKL production or increase OPG production could reduce age-related bone loss and prevent osteoporosis.

For more about Dr. Halloran please visit:

For the Endocrine Unit website visit:

To see Dr. Halloran on Pub Med, click here.