My goal is to identify new ways to understand the cellular control of bone strength, through investigation of the communication and function of osteoblasts (bone forming cells), osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells), and the internal network of cells within the bone matrix (osteocytes).

My long-term vision is to discover new methods for treating bone diseases like osteoporosis, by identifying novel mechanisms that regulate bone strength.

My laboratory collaborates widely and is internationally recognised for our expertise in the study of gene knockout animals and animal models of destructive bone diseases. Our methods include histology, histomorphometry, micro-computed tomography, Fourier-transform infrared microscopy, immunohistochemistry, confocal immunofluorescence, cell culture and molecular biology techniques.

Key achievements

2024-2028     NHMRC Investigator Grant Awardee (L3)

2019-2023   NHMRC Senior Research Fellow

2022-present  Deputy Editor, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

2019-2021   President, Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society

2020   Paula Stern Achievement Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

2019-2021   President, Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society

2018-2023   Associate Editor, Endocrine Reviews

2018-2021   Associate Editor, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

2016-present   Editor, Journal of Biological Chemistry

2014-2018   Senior Editor, Bone

2013   Herbert A Fleisch Award, International Bone and Mineral Society

2010   Fuller-Albright Award, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research

2009-2018   The University of Melbourne, Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow

Selected publications

Isojima T, Walker EC, Poulton IJ, McGregor NE, Wicks IP, Gooi JH, Martin TJ, Sims NA., G-CSF Receptor Deletion Amplifies Cortical Bone Dysfunction in Mice with STAT3 Hyperactivation in Osteocytes. J Bone Miner Res. 2022 Oct;37(10):1876-1890. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.4654.

Walker EC, Truong K, McGregor NE, Poulton IJ, Isojima T, Gooi JH, Martin TJ, Sims NA., Cortical bone maturation in mice requires SOCS3 suppression of gp130/STAT3 signalling in osteocytes. Elife. 2020 May 27;9:e56666. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56666.

Sims NA, Martin TJ., Osteoclasts Provide Coupling Signals to Osteoblast Lineage Cells Through Multiple Mechanisms. Annu Rev Physiol. 2020 Feb 10;82:507-529. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-021119-034425. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Vrahnas C, Blank M, Dite TA, Tatarczuch L, Ansari N, Crimeen-Irwin B, Nguyen H, Forwood MR, Hu Y, Ikegame M, Bambery KR, Petibois C, Mackie EJ, Tobin MJ, Smyth GK, Oakhill JS, Martin TJ, Sims NA., Increased autophagy in EphrinB2-deficient osteocytes is associated with elevated secondary mineralization and brittle bone. Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 31;10(1):3436. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11373-9

McGregor NE, Murat M, Elango J, Poulton IJ, Walker EC, Crimeen-Irwin B, Ho PWM, Gooi JH, Martin TJ, Sims NA., IL-6 exhibits both cis- and trans-signaling in osteocytes and osteoblasts, but only trans-signaling promotes bone formation and osteoclastogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2019 May 10;294(19):7850-7863. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.008074. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Ansari N, Ho PW, Crimeen-Irwin B, Poulton IJ, Brunt AR, Forwood MR, Divieti Pajevic P, Gooi JH, Martin TJ, Sims NA., Autocrine and Paracrine Regulation of the Murine Skeleton by Osteocyte-Derived Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2018 Jan;33(1):137-153. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3291.

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