Careers & Students

How do osteocytes control the process of mineralisation?

How do osteocytes control the process of mineralisation?

PhD project

Bone strength depends on both the quantity of bone, and the composition of bone material. Bone’s composition is controlled both by osteoblasts, that deposit the bone matrix, and by the gradual process by which bone becomes mineralised. By discovering the mechanisms that promote the formation of strong bone material, we will be able to find new ways to diagnose skeletal fragility and to treat conditions like osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta. We have recently developed novel methods, using Infra-red light at the Australian Synchrotron, that make it possible to measure the process of mineralisation in bone samples from mice with different genetic alterations in their osteocytes (cells residing the bone matrix), and in human and cell culture samples. This project will use these methods, as well as electron microscopy, cell culture of human and murine samples, PCR, Western blotting and histology to make these discoveries.

Supervised by:

  • A/Prof Natalie Sims
  • Disease Focus:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Research Unit:

  • Bone cell biology and disease