Posted 14 December 2023

New funding to tackle age-related bone disease

Professor Natalie Sims has been awarded a prestigious NHMRC Investigator Grant to continue her research into the causes of age-related bone fragility, which is currently poorly understood.

Commonly occurring in the hip and wrist, fractures in older people are a major public health issue because current treatments do not help everyone with fragile bones.

“We’ve known for almost 50 years that cortical bone gets more porous as we age, but we still don’t understand how this happens, what drives it, or how to slow down this process” Natalie explains.

“In this new project, I’ll work with an international team to apply cutting-edge imaging, with biomechanical and computational techniques to unpick the intricacies of how bone the bone material itself develops and degenerates through the lifespan.”

“This new knowledge presents opportunities not only to develop better treatments for osteoporosis, but to improve surgical implants for knee and hip replacements and could even be applied to engineering better load-bearing materials for manufacturing cars, planes, and buildings.”

“Bone really is a completely fascinating substance.”

NHMRC Investigator Grants are awarded to Australia’s highest performing researchers at all career stages. It provides 5-year funding security for high-performing researchers through salary and a substantial research support package.

Natalie has been awarded $2.95m over 5 years.