Structural biology of proteins involved in bone diseases

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Brett Bennetts
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Michael Parker Personal web page

Project Details

Remodelling of bone is critical for normal physiological function and becomes dysfunctional in diseases such as Osteoporosis (bone thinning and fragility) and Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), where a paucity of bone material causes debilitating illness that is currently irreversible. Alternatively, mutation of a specific membrane protein, ClC-7, causes a rare inherited disease (Osteopetrosis) in which too much bone material is deposited leading to abnormally increased bone mass. Our preliminary studies have suggested a molecular basis for aberrant function of ClC-7 mutants in Osteopetrosis. The aim of this project is to fully characterise the mechanism of ClC-7 mutations that cause Osteopetrosis in order to develop drugs that mimic the phenotype of these mutations. Uniquely, these drugs would be able to reverse the damage done by a number of debilitating bone diseases. The project will involve a diverse range of experimental approaches, from X-ray crystallography and in silico computational studies to binding studies and functional measurements using advanced electrophysiological techniques and optical assays.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Structural Biology Unit.




Research Publications

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

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


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Structural biology unit

Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.