The Center for Children's Bone Health

Lab head: David Little, Aaron Schindeler, Craig Munns
Location: The Kids Research Institute at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

The Center for Children's Bone Health (CCBH) aims to advance orthopaedic care and bone health through an improved understanding of bone diseases, bone healing and pharmaceutical therapies. Its research approach is highly translational, bridging the gap from bench to bedside.

The CCBH encompasses an array of basic scientists, engineers, technicians and research assistants, postgraduate scholars, medical doctors and other clinical staff across the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN).  Members of the CCBH have had significant academic and grant success and has a robust publication records, particularly in high impact bone, orthopaedic, and tissue engineering journals.

Research approach equipment: Advanced genetically modified mouse models Culture of cell lines and primary bone & muscle cells from mice & humans Gene expression & protein analysis by qPCR and western blotting Tissue histology & histomorphometry XR, DEXA, QCT and microCT scanning Virus induced gene excision Surgical models in rodents(fracture models, BMP-induced bone, spine fusion) & drug administration Manufacturing of polymer scaffolds and other tissue engineering constructs

Building bone strength in brittle bone disease

Primary supervisor: Aaron Schindeler

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) or brittle bone disease is a genetic condition that dramatically increases fracture risk. Children with OI will typically feature many fractures during their childhood and there is currently no curative therapy. OI is managed by physiotherapy, surgery, and drugs to improve bone strength. This project focuses on the latter category.

In this project, a student will work with an established research team to test the combination of anti-resorptive drugs and growth hormone in a mouse model of brittle bone disease. Improvements in bone size and quality will be measured using DEXA, micro computed tomography, histomorphometry, and biomechanical testing. An honours students will gain a broad range of lab-based skills as well as an improved understanding of the biology of bone fragility. This project will have a major translational impact on patient care, and will result in a peer-reviewed publication.

This project is based at the Kids Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Interested students should contact A/Prof Aaron Schindeler on or 02 98451451 for more information.

Discipline: Applied Medical Sciences, Westmead
Co-supervisors: Craig Munns
Keywords: Bone health, Genetic diseases, Pharmaceutics