Developing new therapies for musculoskeletal disease: Investigating the fundamental mechanisms of osteocyte mechanosensing

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Future
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
St Vincent's Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Jonathan Gooi jgooi@unimelb.edu.au 9288 2598 Personal web page

Project Details

The human skeleton performs a variety of essential roles for our daily health and wellbeing, including protection of vital organs, movement, blood cell production and a reservoir for mineral storage. Throughout our lives our skeleton undergoes continual remodelling to successfully fulfil these roles. However, an imbalance of remodelling can result in severe musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoporosis, which affects millions of people worldwide. Currently, treatments of osteoporosis prevent further bone loss, however are not capable of forming new bone. Thus, there is an urgent need for treatments that can rebuild fragile bones. This project aims to address the fundamental causes of musculoskeletal disease, specifically osteoporosis.

This project will capitalise on my recent development of a novel three dimensional (3D) osteocyte cell culture model which will enable, for the first time, an in depth investigation of osteocyte differentiation and mechanosensing in an in vivo like setting.

Therefore, the broad aim of this work is to characterize the fundamental mechanisms by which osteocytes differentiate, contribute to the sensing of mechanical load and to understand their role in the control of osteoclast and osteoblast function and the maintenance of bone strength throughout life.

The specific aims are to:

  1. Investigate the mechanisms of osteocyte differentiation
  2. Determine how osteocytes perceive mechanical signals
  3. Understand the osteocyte response to mechanical stimulation

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the supervisor to discuss your options.


School Research Themes

Musculoskeletal



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Basic Musculoskeletal Biology

Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital