When bone becomes weaker, it has greater susceptibility to fracture. In Australia,1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over the age of 60 will experience a fracture in their lifetime due to poor bone health. My research seeks to change that.

My current work targets specific sites in the skeleton vulnerable to breaks, such as the hip and wrist, to increase bone strength. To understand the differences between skeletal sites (e.g. periosteum, endocortical, cortical bone and bone marrow), I am identifying and tracking the specific cell populations that contribute to the deposition of new bone, using lineage tracing and murine (mouse) models. By defining the signals within these cell populations that promote bone formation, I will be able to identify new ways to improve bone strength.

Key achievements

2020   SVI Rising Star Award

2020-current   Marion and EH Flack Trust; EH Flack Fellowship

2022   SVI Rising Star Award; Harold Mitchell Foundation Travel Award; Weary Dunlop Foundation Research Grant; Kaye Ibbertson Award, Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society; American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, John Haddad Young Investigator Award

Selected publications

Wee NKY, de Lima TFC, McGregor NE, Walker EC, Poulton IJ, Blank M, Sims NA. Leptin receptor in osteocytes promotes cortical bone consolidation in female mice. J Endocrinol. 255(1):25-37. doi: 10.1530/JOE-22-0084.

Wee NKY, Novak S, Ghosh D, Root SH, Dickerson IM and Kalajzic I. (2022) Inhibition of CGRP signaling impairs fracture healing in mice. J Orthop Res. doi:10.1022/jor.25474

Wee NKY, Sims NA, Morello R. (2021) The Osteocyte Transcriptome: Discovering Messages Buried within Bone. Curr Osteoporos Rep.19(6):604-615. doi: 10.1007/s11914-021-00708-5.

Root SH*, Wee NKY*, Novak S, Rosen CJ, Baron R, Matthews BG, Kalajzic I.  (2020) Perivascular osteoprogenitors are associated with transcortical channels of long bones. Stem Cells. 36(6):769-81. doi:  10.1002/stem.3159. *Co-first authors.

Wee NK, Lorenz ML, Bekirov Y, Jacquin MF and Scheller EL. (2019) Shared autonomic pathways connect bone marrow and peripheral adipose tissues across the central neuraxis. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 10: 668. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00668

Wee NK, Sinder BP, Novak S, Wang X, Stoddard C, Matthews BG and Kalajzic I. (2019) Skeletal Phenotype of the Neuropeptide Y knockout mouse. Neuropeptides. 73: 78-88. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2018.11.009

Google Scholar profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=LfAUcHIAAAAJ&hl=enhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jmwDNweX2A

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