• Dr Oddom Demonteiro - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Christopher Vidal - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr. Markus Herrmann - Associate Professor
  • Mrs Griselda Buckland - Clinical Trials Coordinator
  • Sandra Bermeo - PhD Student
  • Krishanthi Gunaratnam - PhD Student
  • Dr Piumali Gunawardene - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Pushpa Suriyaarachchi - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Professor Gustavo Duque


The Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program at Sydney Medical School Nepean is a research program devoted to ageing, bone metabolism, osteoporosis, falls and frailty.
Highlighting the interdisciplinary the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program at Sydney Medical School Nepean

Member snapshot from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research – Professor Gustavo Duque
asbmr Member Snapshot

Professor Gustavo Duque attended medical school at the University of Caldas (Colombia). Following medical school he completed an internal medicine residency at Javeriana University in Bogota (Colombia) followed by a two-year fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at McGill University. After completing his fellowship, Professor Duque completed a PhD in Experimental Medicine at McGill University with the thesis entitled “Molecular Changes of the Aging Osteoblast”. He joined the faculty at McGill University Medical School in 2003 as a member of the Division of Geriatric Medicine. In 2003, he also joined the McGill University-Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research as Project Director.

In 2007, he joined the faculty at The Sydney Medical School Nepean (Australia) as Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program. His research focuses on the identification of the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of osteoporosis in older persons as well as the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in this population.

His work on mesenchymal stem cells differentiation has provided new evidence to the understanding of senile osteoporosis including the toxic role of bone marrow fat and the potential trans-differentiation between bone and fat cells. His experiments using vitamin D in bone cells have demonstrated a new anabolic effect of vitamin D on both osteoblasts and differentiating mesenchymal stem cells.

His Research Program has developed collaborations with major academic institutions worldwide. He is currently funded by major agencies in Canada. He has published extensively on the biology of aging bone and the effect of vitamin D on bone formation. Additionally, he has pursued some clinical studies on vitamin D deficiency and falls prevention in older adults.

Dr Duque has served as a member of several peer-review panels at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Quebec Health Research Funds and as a member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research-Publications Committee. He has been invited as ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals in the field of bone and geriatric medicine and as a member of the board of directors of Osteoporosis Canada.

Musculoskeletal Ageing and Geriatric Medicine

Research Interests

Basic sciences

  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells Differentiation
  • Osteoblasts vs. adipocytes
  • Age-related bone marrow adipogenesis
  • Osteoblast apoptosis
  • Vitamin D and bone cells

Clinical sciences

  • Vitamin D and falls
  • Sarcopenia
  • Frailty
  • Falls and Fractures

Contact Details

Nepean Clinical School
Level 5, South Block
Nepean Hospital

Brooke Keogh, PA to Professor Duque


The International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia


Dr Piumali Gunawardene

Dear Colleagues, please join me in congratulating Dr Piumali Gunawardene for her very successful oral presentation at the International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia ( last week in Boston (USA).
Piumali's Presentation
This is all Nepean-made research!
Congratulations Piumali

The Nepean Osteoporosis and Frailty (NOF) Study


The NOF team

The team from the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program just completed the Nepean Osteoporosis and Frailty (NOF) study. This is an investigator-driven study looking into the development of a new test to diagnose frailty. The study involved the multidisciplinary team visiting local nursing homes to recruit elderly, frail participants.
Those in the team that attended the nursing home are in the picture (from left to right: Steven Phu -physiotherapist, Sandra Bermeo-Serrato - PhD student, Philip Chung - research student, Piumali Gunawardene - geriatrician/PhD student and Griselda Buckland - clinical trials coordinator). The study required the entire team to work closely together as this study required the input and expertise from various disciplines.
The Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program demonstrated an efficient and productive collaboration between the basic and the clinical sciences.

Griselda Buckland
Clinical Trials Coordinator

Muscularskeletal Ageing Research Program

Falls and Fractures Clinic

Nepean Hospital’s Falls and Fracture Clinic celebrated its 4th anniversary on Thursday, 25 October. Staff members were treated to keynote speeches from national and international specialists in the field of geriatrics, with Professor Peter Ebeling (Chair, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Western Hospital and Head of Department, Edocrinology, Western Health) giving an informative presentation on osteoporosis research and special guest Professor Olivier Beauchet (Head of Geriatrics Division, Angers University
Hospital) in attendance from France to discuss his research on vitamin D and its effect on the brain, memory and falls prevention.
Professor Gustavo Duque said that the event highlighted the importance of preventing falls and fractures to local GPs and community organisations. It was also an opportunity to showcase the world best health service delivery provided at Nepean. Nepean Hospital is the only Hospital in Australia, and one of only five major centres in the world, that offers a unique balance re-training technique to prevent falls in older people through the Nepean Falls and Fracture Clinic.
Nepean Falls and Fracture Clinic

Bone Densitometry

Thanks to donations from the Nepean Medical Research Foundation, the Rotary Club in Katoomba and Sydney Medical School Nepean, our Program has recently purchased a state-of-the-art densitometry X-ray machine. As a novelty, we will report not only the usual bone densities but also muscle mass, which is becoming a strong predictor of falls. This machine will be used by several departments at Nepean not only for research purposes but also for outpatients referred by our specialists and GPs in the community.

Gaba Gym

Finally, our seniors could get out of the couch and do some exercise in an appropriate environment. We just opened our Gait and Balance Gym (Gabagym). This type of gym is designed for people older than 65 and offers a combination of gentle exercise, Tai Chi and very sophisticated technology for muscle and balance training, all in a relaxed environment. The Gabagym opened its door in early January. All potential profits will be donated for bone research at Nepean.
Gaba Gym