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The loss of bone is a problem in many inflammatory diseases and there are few therapeutic options to replace bone once it has been lost. Our research focuses on the causes of this bone loss and identifying potential treatment options.

Confocal image of an osteoclast actively resorbing the bone matrix (cathepsin K in red, F-actin ring in green.
Confocal image of an osteoclast actively resorbing the bone matrix (cathepsin K in red, F-actin ring in green.

The prevalence of immune cells and mediators as major regulatory factors in skeletal biology has become increasingly evident in the last 20 years yet the complexity of the various interactions continues to provide challenges for immunologists and bone biologists world-wide.

Osteoimmunology seeks to define the roles and interactions of immune cells with skeletal cells and to identify shared pathways and signalling molecules.  By understanding these interactions and mediators, my lab aims to apply this clinically for the treatment of bone cancers and metastases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoporosis, and periodontitis.

We are currently focused on determining how inflammation can cause both bone destruction and bone formation in ankylosing spondylitis?

How the tissue repair cycle initiated and what happens if it fails to switch off?  What are the roles of different macrophage subsets in bone turnover?

Are there ways to reprogram bone forming osteoblasts to produce more bone?

Ways to alter the bone microenvironment in multiple myeloma and leukaemia to reduce disease burden and preserve bone architecture.


Image: Myeloma bone: microCt image of a mouse tibia showing osteolytic lesions due to multiple myeloma.

Related research themes