Bone Regulation - Cell Interactions to Disease
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    Bone Regulation - Cell Interactions to Disease
    Investigators: Peter Pivonka1, T.J. Martin2, and C.R. Dunstan3
      1Dept of Environmental Engineering, University of Western Australia, WA, Australia
      2St Vincents Institute, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia
      3Biomedical Engineering, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Sponsor: Australian Research Council (ARC)
    Project ID: DP0879466
    Email contact:

    Project Description:

    Bone is a dynamic living tissue which has the ability to change its mass and structure in response to changes of the physiochemical and mechanical environment. Bone remodeling is the process of bone resorption by osteoclasts followed by bone formation by osteoblasts. This process is regulated by a finely tuned communication network between bone cells, cells of the bone environment and various regulatory factors. The project aim is to better understand this dynamic communication network which when disrupted leads to bone diseases. A synergistic approach linking mathematical modeling tightly together with experimental findings will give new insights into bone regulation.

    Summary of National/Community Benefit

    Many bone disorders such as osteoporosis, Paget's disease and cancer related bone diseases are directly related to disruption of communication pathways between bone cells leading to imbalances in bone remodeling. Although these disorders are common and cause considerable suffering, in most cases little is known about the mechanisms responsible for dysfunctional remodeling. Understanding the communication network between bone cells and their interaction with drugs is essential in order to develop new therapies and to effectively design novel biological compatible bone implants. This research proposal closely aligns with national research priority two, i.e., promoting and maintaining good health (ageing well, ageing productively).


    Prof Gregory R Mundy -- Director of the Bone Biology Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City -- is an expert in osteocyte research. She was among the first to propose the mechanosensing role of osteocytes in bone remodelling (as a measure of her standing, Lynda is Editor of the leading journal in the field, BONE). Her current research focus is on the role of sclerostin expression and movement.

    Prof David W Smith -- Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at the Ohio State University -- is mainly interests is in geotechnical engineering with emphasis on geoenvironmental engineering, flow through porous media, consolidation, geosynthetics, soft soils, retaining structures, and slope stability.

    Research Outcomes:

      2008 (Year 1)
      2009 (Year 2)
      2010 (Year 3)
    List of current students
      Jan Zimak
      Yan Wang
    List of publications
      Journal papers
      Presentations at conferences (provide pdf or ppt files)

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Last updated: December 02 2009 08:35:29.