What controls the development of strong cortical bone?

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Natalie Sims nsims@svi.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Studying cortical bone development has always been difficult because cortical bone develops at the same time as the rapid increase in bone size. We have developed a mouse model that has defective cortical bone formation, including defective skull formation, which provides an opportunity to understand those signalling pathways that contribute to the formation of the layers of the skull. Using in vivo micro-computed tomography and histology on archived samples, this project will map the process of cortical bone formation in the skull, and how it is modified in two different mutant mouse models.

Project Details

Even though we know many signalling pathways that control closure of skull sutures after birth, the processes involved in forming the characteristic thickened cortical bone of the skull are poorly described.

We have developed a range of mouse models that will allow us to study the processes by which the thickened bone of the skull forms, and consolidates into two separate layers. These mice include strains with normal, porous, or thickened calvarial structures. In this project, you will carry out 3 dimensional micro-computed tomographic analysis to identify how skull formation changes in these mice over time, and will use histology to identify the cells and signalling pathways responsible.

This project will use small animal techniques, histology and histomorphometry, micro-computed tomography, immunohistochemistry, and possibly molecular biology, quantitative PCR, Western blot, and bone cell culture techniques.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Bone Cell Biology and Disease Unit.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD students
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.

Department / Centre


Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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