Rochester, Minnesota




More people visit doctors each year for musculoskeletal problems than for any other reason. Bone and joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, are common diseases and huge economic and social burdens to society. The development and progression of these diseases are influenced by genetic, environmental and biomechanical factors.

Jennifer J. Westendorf, Ph.D., studies the cellular, molecular and epigenetic basis for skeletal formation, the regeneration of bone and cartilage, and the growth of primary and metastatic bone tumors. To learn more about Dr. Westendorf's research, visit her Skeletal Development and Regeneration Research Laboratory website.

Dr. Westendorf is an experienced leader and mentor of young scientists. In addition to having students and fellows in her laboratory, she directs Mayo Clinic's training program in musculoskeletal research. Dr. Westendorf is proud that many students and fellows in these programs have received individual fellowships and gone on to successful careers in biomedical sciences.

Dr. Westendorf is committed to promoting inclusive, safe and supportive research environments for trainees from diverse, underrepresented and multicultural backgrounds. She established and led the Office of Research Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at Mayo Clinic from 2017-2022. External to Mayo Clinic, Dr. Westendorf led a task force in 2019 for the Orthopaedic Research Society on ways to improve equity, inclusion and diversity in orthopedic research. She also studied bias in publications.

Dr. Westendorf is presently the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Administrative Appointment

  1. Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. Professor of Orthopedics


  1. Postdoctoral Fellowship - Molecular Biology; Mentor: Scott W. Hiebert, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
  2. Postdoctoral Fellowship - Tumor biology; Mentor: Scott W. Hiebert, Ph.D. St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
  3. PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences-Immunology; Mentor: Diane F. Jelinek, Ph.D. Mayo Graduate School, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  4. Predoctoral Student Immunology, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. BA - Biology and Chemistry University of Minnesota, Morris

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