What controls the development of strong cortical bone?

Research Opportunity
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Natalie Sims Personal web page

Project Details

Even though we know that strong cortical bone in early adulthood will protect people from developing osteoporosis late in life, we do not understand how cortical bone develops. If we did understand it, we might be able to develop therapies that could specifically strengthen the bones of patients with osteoporosis, or may be able to help people live a healthier lifestyle that could increase their cortical bone strength. Studying cortical bone development has always been difficult because cortical bone develops at the same time as the rapid increase in bone length

We have developed a mouse model that will allow us to study the process of corticalisation. These mice do not develop cortical bone until they have completed their longitudinal growth. Using in vivo micro-computed tomography this project will map the process of corticalisation, and determine how different interventions (such as mechanical loading) influence the development of cortical bone. In addition, since the development of this model arose by deletion of a specific cytokine pathway, the project will also study how that pathway acts within osteocytes, the matrix embedded cells of the bone matrix.

This project will use small animal techniques, histology and histomorphometry, micro-computed tomography, immunohistochemistry, 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

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 Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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