Professor David Little

Paediatrics & Child Health, Children's Hospital, Westmead

C29 - Children's Hospital Westmead
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9845 3352
F: +61 2 9687 3180

W: Related website

Research interests

Dr Little commenced at the University of Sydney based at the Children’s Hospital, Westmead, when it opened in November 1995. In 1998 he began researching the role of bisphosphonates in distraction osteogenesis and in 1999 officially founded Orthopaedic Research and Biotechnology at CHW, which he heads.

In 2005 Dr Little was awarded his PhD on bisphosphonates in distraction osteogenesis. He has initiated further research on osteonecrosis, fracture healing and the interaction of the anabolic and catabolic responses in bone repair. Current focuses include improving bone healing outcomes in neurofibromatosis, and using muscle for in vivo bone tissue engineering.

Dr Little remains active clinically and is now working on translating pre-clinical work on bone repair to clinical practice.

Current national competitive grants*


Pre-clinical validation of a novel implant for bone tissue engineering
Little D, Cooper-White J, Ruys A, Schindeler A
NHMRC Project Grants ($421,175 over 3 years)


Bisphosphonate Treatment of childhood femoral head avascular necrosis due to Perthes disease
Cowell C, Little D, Munns C, Foster B, Zacharin M
NHMRC Project Grant ($1,305,625 over 5 years)

A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of zoledronate therapy in osteonecrosis of the hip
March L, Little D, Buchbinder R, Sambrook P
NHMRC Project Grant ($511,426 over 5 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney

International links

Sweden. (Universtiy of Lund) A/Prof Magnus Tagil Combined research projects Exchange visits and presentations Future student exchange.


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


  • El-Hoss, J., Kolind, M., Jackson, M., Deo, N., Mikulec, K., McDonald, M., Little, C., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2014), Modulation of endochondral ossification by MEK inhibitors PD0325901 and AZD6244 (Selumetinib). Bone. 59C, 151-161. [Abstract]
  • Sullivan, K., El-Hoss, J., Quinlan, K., Deo, N., Garton, F., Seto, J., Gdalevitch, M., Turner, N., Cooney, G., Kolanczyk, M., North, K., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2014), NF1 is a critical regulator of muscle development and metabolism. Human Molecular Genetics. 23(5), 1250-1259. [Abstract]
  • Gray, K., Burns, J., Little, D., Bellemore, M., Gibbons, P. (2014), Is tibialis anterior tendon transfer effective for recurrent clubfoot?. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 472(2), 750-758. [Abstract]
  • Bobyn, J., Rasch, A., Kathy, M., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2014), Maximizing bone formation in posterior spine fusion using rhBMP-2 and zoledronic acid in wild type and NF1 deficient mice. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 32(8), 1090-1094. [Abstract]
  • Skowno, J., Quick, T., Carpenter, E., De Lima, J., Gibbons, P., Little, D. (2014), Near-infrared spectroscopy for detection of vascular compromise in paediatric supracondylar fractures. Physiological Measurement. 35(3), 471-481. [Abstract]
  • Murphy, C., Schindeler, A., Gleeson, J., Yu, N., Cantrill, L., Mikulec, K., Peacock, L., O'Brien, F., Little, D. (2014), A collagen-hydroxyapatite scaffold allows for binding and co-delivery of recombinant bone morphogenetic proteins and bisphosphonates. Acta Biomaterialia. 10, 2250-2258. [Abstract]
  • Yu, N., Gdalevitch, M., Murphy, C., Mikulec, K., Peacock, L., Fitzpatrick, J., Cantrill, L., Ruys, A., Cooper-White, J., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2014), Spatial control of bone formation using a porous polymer scaffold co-delivering anabolic rhBMP-2 and anti-resorptive agents. European Cells & Materials. 27, 98-111. [Abstract]


  • Sousa, D., McDonald, M., Mikulec, K., Peacock, L., Herzog, H., Lamghari, M., Little, D., Baldock, P. (2013), Neuropeptide Y modulates fracture healing through Y1 receptor signaling. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 31(10), 1570-1578. [Abstract]
  • Padhye, B., Dalla-Pozza, L., Little, D., Munns, C. (2013), Use of Zoledronic Acid for Treatment of Chemotherapy Related Osteonecrosis in Children and Adolescents: A Retrospective Analysis. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 60(9), 1539-1545. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Kolind, M., Little, D. (2013), Cellular transitions and tissue engineering. Cellular Reprogramming. 15(2), 101-106. [Abstract]
  • Stevenson, D., Little, D., Armstrong, L., Crawford, A., Eastwood, D., Friedman, J., Greggi, T., Gutierrez, G., Hunter-Schaedle, K., Kendler, D., Kolanczyk, M., Monsell, F., Oetgen, M., Richards, B., Schindeler, A., Schorry, E., Wilkes, D., Viskochil, D., Yang, F., Elefteriou, F. (2013), Approaches to Treating NF1 Tibial Pseudarthrosis: Consensus From the Children's Tumor Foundation NF1 Bone Abnormalities Consortium. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. 33(3), 269-275. [Abstract]
  • McDonald, M., Morse, A., Mikulec, K., Peacock, L., Baldock, P., Kostenuik, P., Little, D. (2013), MMP driven endochondral fracture union proceeds independently of osteoclast activity. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 28(7), 1550-1560. [Abstract]
  • Bosemark, P., Isaksson, H., McDonald, M., Little, D. (2013), Augmentation of autologous bone graft by a combination of bone morphogenic protein and bisphosphonate increased both callus volume and strength. Acta Orthopaedica. 84(1), 106-111. [Abstract]
  • Murphy, C., O'Brien, F., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2013), Cell-scaffold interactions in the bone tissue engineering triad. European Cells & Materials. 26, 120-132. [Abstract]
  • Yu, N., Schindeler, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Fitzpatrick, J., Ruys, A., Cooper-White, J., Little, D. (2013), Modulation of anabolic and catabolic responses via a porous polymer scaffold manufactured using thermally induced phase separation. European Cells & Materials. 25, 190-203. [Abstract]
  • Bobyn, J., Rasch, A., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2013), Posterolateral inter-transverse lumbar fusion in a mouse model. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. 8(1), 2. [Abstract]
  • Cheng, T., Valtchev, P., Murphy, C., Cantrill, L., Dehghani, F., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2013), A sugar-based phase-transitioning delivery system for bone tissue engineering. European Cells & Materials. 26, 208-221. [Abstract]


  • Young, M., Little, D., Kim, H. (2012), Evidence for using bisphosphonate to treat Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 470(9), 2462-2475. [Abstract]
  • McDonald, M., Morse, A., Mikulec, K., Peacock, L., Yu, N., Baldock, P., Birke, O., Liu, M., Ke, H., Little, D. (2012), Inhibition of sclerostin by systemic treatment with sclerostin antibody enhances healing of proximal tibial defects in ovariectomized rats. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 30(10), 1541-1548. [Abstract]
  • Yu, N., Schindeler, A., Tagil, M., Ruys, A., Little, D. (2012), Use of BMPs and bisphosphonates to improve bone fracture healing. Frontiers in Bioscience. 4, 2647-2653. [Abstract]
  • Cairns, D., Liu, R., Sen, M., Canner, J., Schindeler, A., Little, D., Zeng, L. (2012), Interplay of Nkx3.2, Sox9 and Pax3 regulates chondrogenic differentiation of muscle progenitor cells. PLoS one. 7(7), e39642. [Abstract]
  • Gray, K., Pacey, V., Gibbons, P., Little, D., Frost, C., Burns, J. (2012), Interventions for congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 4, CD008602. [Abstract]


  • Sullivan, K., El-Hoss, J., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2011), JNK inhibitors increase osteogenesis in Nf1-deficient cells. Bone. 49(6), 1311-6. [Abstract]
  • Simm, P., Johannesen, J., Briody, J., McQuade, M., Hsu, B., Bridge, C., Little, D., Cowell, C., Munns, C. (2011), Zoledronic acid improves bone mineral density, reduces bone turnover and improves skeletal architecture over 2years of treatment in children with secondary osteoporosis. Bone. 49(5), 939-943. [Abstract]
  • Yang, N., Schindeler, A., McDonald, M., Seto, J., Houweling, P., Lek, M., Hogarth, M., Morse, A., Raftery, J., Balasuriya, D., Macarthur, D., Berman, Y., Quinlan, K., Eisman, J., Nguyen, T., Center, J., Prince, R., Wilson, S., Zhu, K., Little, D., North, K. (2011), α-Actinin-3 deficiency is associated with reduced bone mass in human and mouse. Bone. 49(4), 790-798. [Abstract]
  • El-Hoss, J., Sullivan, K., Cheng, T., Yu, N., Bobyn, J., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Baldock, P., Alexander, I., Schindeler, A., Little, D. (2011), A murine model of neurofibromatosis type 1 tibial pseudarthrosis featuring proliferative fibrous tissue and osteoclast-like cells. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 27(1), 68-78. [Abstract]
  • Little, D., Kim, H. (2011), Potential for bisphosphonate treatment in legg-calve-perthes disease. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. 31(2 Suppl), S182-S188. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Birke, O., Yu, N., Morse, A., Ruys, A., Baldock, P., Little, D. (2011), Distal tibial fracture repair in a neurofibromatosis type 1-deficient mouse treated with recombinant bone morphogenetic protein and a bisphosphonate. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume. 93(8), 1134-1139. [Abstract]
  • Wilkinson, J., Little, D. (2011), Bisphosphonates in orthopedic applications. Bone. 49(1), 95-102. [Abstract]
  • Little, D., Kim, H. (2011), Future biologic treatments for perthes disease. Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 42(3), 423-427. [Abstract]
  • Birke, O., Davies, N., Latimer, M., Little, D., Bellemore, M. (2011), Experience With the Fassier-Duval Telescopic Rod: First 24 Consecutive Cases With a Minimum of 1-Year Follow-up. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. 31(4), 458-464. [Abstract]
  • Birke, O., Mitchell, P., Onikul, E., Little, D. (2011), The effect of hip position upon the location of the sciatic nerve: an MRI Study. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. 31(2), 165-169. [Abstract]
  • Liu, R., Birke, O., Morse, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2011), Myogenic progenitors contribute to open but not closed fracture repair. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 12, 288. [Abstract]
  • El-Hoss, J., Micallef, A., Fairfull-Smith, K., Bottle, S., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2011), Assessment of Tumor Prevention in Type 1 Neurofibromatosis using a Nitroxide Compound. Free Radicals and Antioxidants. 1(3), 13-18.


  • McDonald, M., Morse, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Schindeler, A., Little, D. (2010), Characterization of the bone phenotype and fracture repair in osteopetrotic Incisors absent rats. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. (5). [Abstract]
  • Zreiqat, H., Ramaswamy, Y., Wu, C., Paschalidis, A., Lu, Z., James, B., Birke, O., McDonald, M., Little, D., Dunstan, C. (2010), The incorporation of strontium and zinc into a calcium-silicon ceramic for bone tissue engineering. Biomaterials. 31(12), 3175-3184. [Abstract]
  • Yu, N., Schindeler, A., Little, D., Ruys, A. (2010), Biodegradable poly(alpha-hydroxy acid) polymer scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B: Applied Biomaterials. 93(1), 285-295. [Abstract]
  • Liu, R., Schindeler, A., Little, D. (2010), The potential role of muscle in bone repair. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. 10(1), 71-76. [Abstract]
  • Tägil, M., McDonald, M., Morse, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Amanat, N., Godfrey, C., Little, D. (2010), Intermittent PTH (1-34) Does Not Increase Union Rates in Open Rat Femoral Fractures and Exhibits Attenuated Anabolic Effects Compared to Closed Fractures. Bone. 46(3), 852-9. [Abstract]
  • Ferri-de-Barros, F., Little, D., Bridge, C., Cummine, J., Cree, A. (2010), Atlantoaxial and Craniocervical Arthrodesis in Children A Tomographic Study Comparing Suitability of C2 Pedicles and C2 Laminae for Screw Fixation. Spine. 35(3), 291-293. [Abstract]
  • Goldhahn, J., Little, D., Mitchell, P., Fazzalari, N., Reid, I., Aspenberg, P., Marsh, D. (2010), Evidence for anti-osteoporosis therapy in acute fracture situations-Recommendations of a multidisciplinary workshop of the International Society for Fracture Repair. Bone. 46(2), 267-271. [Abstract]
  • Kumar, J., Ramachandran, M., Little, D., Zenios, M. (2010), Pelvic osteomyelitis in children. Journal of pediatric orthopaedics. Part B. 19(1), 38-41. [Abstract]
  • Yu, N., Schindeler, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Baldock, P., Ruys, A., Little, D. (2010), In vivo local co-delivery of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-7 and pamidronate via poly-D, L-lactic acid. European Cells & Materials. 20, 431-442. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Morse, A., Peacock, L., Mikulec, K., Yu, N., Liu, R., Kijumnuayporn, S., McDonald, M., Baldock, P., Ruys, A., Little, D. (2010), Rapid cell culture and pre-clinical screening of a transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) inhibitor for orthopaedics. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 11, 105. [Abstract]
  • Gray, K., Pacey, V., Gibbons, P., Little, D., Burns, J. (2010), Interventions for congenital talipes equinovarus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 7(CD008602), 1-9.
  • Birke, O., Schindeler, A., Ramachandran, M., Cowell, C., Munns, C., Bellemore, M., Little, D. (2010), Preliminary experience with the combined use of recombinant bone morphogenetic protein and bisphosphonates in the treatment of congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia. Journal of Children's Orthopaedics. 4(6), 507–517.


  • Johannesen, J., Briody, J., McQuade, M., Little, D., Cowell, C., Munns, C. (2009), Systemic effects of zoledronic acid in children with traumatic femoral head avascular necrosis and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Bone. 45(5), 898-902. [Abstract]
  • Kakar, S., Little, D., Einhorn, T. (2009), Can we improve fixation and outcomes in the treatment of femoral neck fractures? The use of pharmaceuticals. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 23(6), 413-421. [Abstract]
  • Little, D. (2009), Humanising a Mouse Gene for Human Therapeutics - Lessons From Denosumab. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 24(0), 179-81. [Abstract]
  • Baldock, P., Lee, N., Driessler, F., Lin, S., Allison, S., Stehrer, B., Lin, E., Zhang, L., Enriquez, R., Wong, I., McDonald, M., During, M., Pierroz, D., Slack, K., Shi, Y., Yulyaningsih, E., Aljanova, A., Little, D., Ferrari, S., Sainsbury, A., Eisman, J., Herzog, H. (2009), Neuropeptide Y Knockout Mice Reveal a Central Role of NPY in the Coordination of Bone Mass to Body Weight. PLoS One. 4(12), e8415. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Liu, R., Little, D. (2009), The contribution of different cell lineages to bone repair: exploring a role for muscle stem cells. Differentiation. 77(1), 12-18. [Abstract]
  • Elefteriou, F., Kolanczyk, M., Schindeler, A., Viskochil, D., Hock, J., Schorry, E., Crawford, A., Friedman, J., Little, D., Peltonen, J., Carey, J., Feldman, D., Yu, X., Armstrong, L., Birch, P., Kendler, D., Mundlos, S., Yang, F., Agiostratidou, G., Hunter-Schaedle, K., Stevenson, D. (2009), Skeletal Abnormalities in Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Approaches to Therapeutic Options. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. 149A(10), 2327-2338. [Abstract]
  • Liu, R., Ginn, S., Lek, M., North, K., Alexander, I., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2009), Myoblast sensitivity and fibroblast insensitivity to osteogenic conversion by BMP-2 correlates with the expression of Bmpr-1a. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 10(0), 51. [Abstract]


  • Yu, N., Ruys, A., Zenios, M., Godfrey, C., McDonald, M., Kiely, P., Mikulec, K., Little, D., Schindeler, A. (2008), Bisphosphonate-laden acrylic bone cement: Mechanical properties, elution performance, and in vivo activity. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials. 87(2), 482-91. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., McDonald, M., Bokko, P., Little, D. (2008), Bone remodeling during fracture repair: The cellular picture. Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 19(5), 459-66. [Abstract]
  • McDonald, M., Dulai, S., Godfrey, C., Amanat, N., Sztynda, T., Little, D. (2008), Bolus or weekly zoledronic acid administration does not delay endochondral fracture repair but weekly dosing enhances delays in hard callus remodeling. Bone. 43(4), 653-62. [Abstract]
  • Amanata, N., He, L., Swain, M., Little, D. (2008), The effect of zoledronic acid on the intrinsic material properties of healing bone: an indentation study. Medical Engineering and Physics. 30(7), 843-847. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Morse, A., Harry, L., Godfrey, C., Mikulec, K., McDonald, M., Gasser, J., Little, D. (2008), Models of tibial fracture healing in normal and Nf1-deficient mice. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. 26(8), 1053-60. [Abstract]
  • Chang, A., Hook, J., Lemckert, F., McDonald, M., Nguyen, M., Hardeman, E., Little, D., Gunning, P., Reddel, R. (2008), The murine stanniocalcin 2 gene is a negative regulator of postnatal growth. Endocrinology. 149(5), 2403-2410. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Little, D. (2008), Recent insights into bone development, homeostasis, and repair in type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1). Bone. 42(4), 616-622. [Abstract]
  • Schindeler, A., Ramachandran, M., Godfrey, C., Morse, A., McDonald, M., Mikulec, K., Little, D. (2008), Modeling bone morphogenetic protein and bisphosphonate combination therapy in wild-type and Nf1 haploinsufficient mice. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. 26(1), 65-74. [Abstract]