Dr. Hankenson received his DVM from the University of Illinois (1992), an MS from Purdue University (1997) and his PhD from the University of Washington (2001). A former equine veterinarian, he began his independent research career at the University of Michigan in 2002 as a faculty member in the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories (ORL). In 2006 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the inaugural holder of the Dean W. Richardson Chair for Equine Disease Research. He returned to Michigan in 2017 as a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Hankenson is an American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator award winner (2002), received a John Haddad Fellowship from the ASBMR (2003), and in 2008 was the first veterinarian awarded the Fuller Albright award by the ASBMR.

Dr. Hankenson has published over 110 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He has been permanent member of several national and international study sections and is the current 2nd VP of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS). He has received over $18 million dollars in extramural funding since 2002. Programmatically, his laboratory studies osteoblast differentiation. He is focused on translating novel basic research findings to clinically applicable therapies to heal and restore lost bone.