Bone biology: a paradigm for biomedical science training

Bone biology: a paradigm for biomedical science training
Several projects in the broad field of bone biology are available through a collaboration
between The Bone and Mineral Research Group (UWA, SCGH) and Murdoch University. This
group has a variety of foci ranging from basic science to health promotion.
Osteoporosis is a common complex disease – with a major dietary, genetic and lifestyle
components and is characterised by a decrease in bone quantity or strength leading to the
development of non-traumatic fractures, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. The burden of
disease is predominantly in postmenopausal women with osteoporotic fractures occurring in
one in three women leading to a 9% 1-year mortality in women with hip fracture and 24%
mortality five years post hip fracture. The estimated cost of osteoporotic fractures in the
Australia is in excess of $7.4 billion per annum. Although there are a number of existing
therapies with proven efficacy in fracture reduction, these are not suitable for all patients and
the effect is far from optimal. Consequently, there continues to be a strong demand for
improved knowledge on the biology of bone, new therapeutic alternatives and preventative
strategies. Several specific projects exist in the areas of genetics (genome variation and
osteoarthritis), regulation of stem cell differentiation and environmental and genetic causes of
cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease. Each project is designed to result in a publication in
the appropriate international journal.
Students interested in working with this group are asked to contact one of the project
supervisors AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for further details about specific projects.
Dr Sarah Etherington, 936 6708,
Dr Joshua Lewis (0428987438)
Professor Richard Prince (0419937100)