Healthy Bones Australia proudly congratulates the following researchers who have successfully received grants to improve the knowledge base for bone health in Australia.
2020 AMGEN Healthy Bones Australia - ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Associate Professor David Scott
Deakin University, Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition
The 2020 grant was awarded for a pilot feasibility trial of voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants as tele-health self-management tool for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
2019 AMGEN OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Dr Ayse Zengin, PhD
Research Fellow, Monash University
‘Study of Indigenous Bone and Muscle Ageing (SIMBA).’
Minimal trauma hip fractures occur at a younger age and higher rates in Indigenous vs nonIndigenous-Australians. With lower life expectancy, age onset of bone loss is unknown in Indigenous-Australians. Data collected will inform the best “window of opportunity” regarding when to test for osteoporosis in Indigenous-Australians to reduce fracture prevalence. This will enable testing for osteoporosis at the most appropriate age, accurate osteoporosis diagnosis and fracture risk assessment. Together these will prevent fracture and enable older Indigenous-Australians to remain in community and on Country.
Professor Gustavo Duque MD, PhD, FRACP, FGSA
Chair of Medicine and Director of AIMSS, The University of Melbourne
‘A new strategy to prevent fractures in Australian nursing homes’
Hip fractures are devastating for older adults living in residential aged care facilities (RACF) resulting in reduced quality of life, loss of mobility, and increased death rates. Osteoporosis in RACF residents is underdiagnosed and undertreated. To increase risk identification, the team will develop and evaluate an electronic version (app) of the Fracture Risk Scale for the mobile devices of GPs practising in facilities in Western Melbourne. The project will also integrate fracture risk Clinical Assessment Protocols (CAPs). These recommendations will help care providers better understand fracture risk and provide guidance on appropriate treatments.
2019 Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award
Austin Health, The University of Melbourne
Sabashini will expand her previous research in osteoporosis therapeutics by undertaking a research fellowship with Dr Leder’s lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, USA. She will evaluate the use of combination therapy and gain insights into how these therapies work together to improve skeletal integrity.
2018 AMGEN OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Dr Vinicius Cavalheri, PhD
Senior Lecturer and Evidence-Based Physiotherapy Projects Coordinator, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University
‘Addressing the weakening of bones commonly seen in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.’
Patients with chronic lung disease have weak bones and when compared with healthy people have a higher chance of dying if they break their hip during a fall. Jumping-type exercises may improve the strength of their bones, and this study will assess if these exercises are tolerated within rehabilitation programs and investigate changes in bone strength and balance after the 40-week program.
Associate Professor Chris White
Area Director of Research, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
‘Early Identification of Patients at risk from Osteoporosis’
The project addresses issues of early identification of patients at risk of secondary fractures with undiagnosed osteoporosis. The project will analyse over 3,000 radiology reports (originating from the Dubbo epidemiological study) utilising a tool designed to read radiology reports and identify any reports where a fracture is reported (either directly or picked-up incidentally). Results from reviewing these reports in this way will lend evidence of the effectiveness of this tool.
Associate Professor Nigel Toussaint
Deputy Director of Nephrology, Department of Nephrology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
‘NAB-CKD Study (Non-invasive Assessment of Bone health in Chronic Kidney Disease).’
Knowledge of the development and progression of osteoporosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is relatively poor given difficulties in diagnosis. This project uses a measurement of bone microarchitecture which is innovative and non-invasive using MRI to assess osteoporosis and other bone diseases in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and evaluate its clinical usefulness to potentially reduce fracture.
2018 Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Grant
Dr Feitong Wu
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania
Area of research presented at international conference was ‘Associations of measured sedentary time and physical activities with muscle strength, balance and falls in Australian middle-aged women’
Previous Awardees (2017-2013)
2017 AMGEN OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Professor Emma Duncan
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland
‘Determining bone health without bone biopsy in patients with chronic kidney disease.’
Patients with chronic kidney disease have very poor bone health, with extremely high fracture rates. Knowing how best to manage osteoporosis in a patient with kidney disease is very difficult without a bone biopsy is painful and expensive. Information seen on a bone biopsy will be compared with results from blood tests and state of the art imaging. The project aims to find a link between the main cause of osteoporosis seen on the biopsy and the results from blood tests and imaging.
Dr Catherine Connaughton
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria
‘Understanding health and community services that improve recovery from fracture in older adults.’
Quality of life is reduced for at least 12-18 months after an osteoporotic fracture. Dr Connaughton and her team aim to identify health and community services associated with rapid improvement in quality of life. The team will use data from over 6000 patients worldwide to find out which health and community services have best results both 4 months and 12 months after fracture.
2017 RACP/Osteoporosis Australia Research Entry Award
Dr Angela Sheu
Endocrinologist St Vincents Hospital, Sydney, NSW
‘The relationship between osteoporosis and diabetes: exploring the bone-metabolism interface’
Using data from the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES), Dr Sheu will explore the factors that link bone and metabolic health. She will also conduct a trial investigating how osteoporosis medications may affect the risk of developing diabetes. This will be the first study to examine in detail the interaction between metabolic factors and bone health. Better understanding of interactions between bone and glucose metabolism may allow for potential for future therapeutic interventions to be utilised beyond their current clinical use.
2017 Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award
Dr Jasna Aleksova
Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria
‘Reducing the bone health impacts of kidney dialysis’
A large study conducted by Dr Aleksova and her colleagues have found that low levels of the sex hormone oestradiol, a common effect of dialysis in men, is strongly linked to low spinal bone strength. This important finding may lead to new treatments to help preserve bone strength in these patients. Further research by her group has found that detailed analysis of bone density x-ray images to reveal the microscopic ‘architecture’ inside bones helps predict fracture risk in patients with advanced kidney disease. Dr Aleksova presented these findings at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Denver, USA (2017).
2016 Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award
Dr Jinwen Tu
ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, NSW
‘Tamoxifen-Induced Deletion of the Glucocorticoid Receptor in Chondrocytes Enhances K/BxN Serum–Induced Arthritis in Mice’
Glucocorticoids (steroids) have been used successfully for many years to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We have a clear understanding of how these drugs work, but we know much less about how the steroids that are produced by our own body (endogenous glucocorticoids) also affect the development and severity of diseases such as RA and osteoporosis. Dr Tu will present research at the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), in Atlanta, Georgia, that demonstrates the importance of the interactions between endogenous glucocorticoid molecules and cartilage cells in the development of RA.
2016 AMGEN OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Clinical Associate Professor Amanda Vincent
Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Monash University, Victoria
‘Improving awareness and management of bone health and fracture prevention in women with premature menopause.’
Up to 10% of women experience premature menopause (before the age of 40), leading to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Health professionals and patients lack awareness of this increased risk. Professor Vincent’s project will focus on identifying knowledge gaps via a consultation process with women, health professionals and support groups. The project will also investigate a new bone strength measurement technique, trabecular bone score, to improve the identification of women with premature menopause who are at risk of fracture. The project will also compare different methods of bone density testing in women with premature menopause due to Turner syndrome.
2015 AMGEN-GSK OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Professor Julie Pasco
Deakin University, Victoria
‘Clinical utility of reference point indentation’
Professor Pasco’s project will test an alternative way of measuring bone quality to assess fracture risk. The ‘OsteoProbe’ will be used to measure the ability of bone to resist the growth of cracks in a group of men participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. The new measures will be compared with other ways of measuring bone quality and strength. Also the relationships with health behaviours, psychosocial factors and health conditions will be explored.
Dr Phillip Wong
MIMR-PHI Institute, Monas Health, Victoria
‘Treatment of Osteoporosis in Patients with Inherited Red Blood Cell Disorders’
Osteoporosis and fracture is a common problem in adults with inherited red blood cell disorders that require regular blood transfusion. Over 50% of patients with these disorders have severe osteoporosis, even in early adult life. Working at Monash Health with one of the world’s largest groups of patients with inherited blood disorders, Dr Wong’s research has shown that patients lose excessive amounts of calcium in their urine, putting them at risk of kidney stones and weakened bones. This project examines the use of a diuretic (fluid tablet) to prevent the loss of calcium in the urine and reduce bone loss. This study will be the first of its kind worldwide to target calcium loss in urine to prevent bone loss and decrease kidney stones in people with inherited blood disorders needing transfusion.
Osteoporosis Australia bioDensity Equipment Award
Professor Belinda Beck
School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, QLD
‘Man vs Machine: What is the best type of weight training for osteoporosis?’
Professor Beck’s project will test how well a new exercise machine, the bioDensity system, can stimulate stronger bones in people who have low bone density. The results will be compared to another group of people who perform conventional weight training, which is already known to improve bone strength. The trial will also compare how well the two methods reduce the risk of falling, which is a major cause of fractures in people with osteoporosis.
Equipment proudly donated to OA by Performance Health Systems
2015 RACP/Osteoporosis Australia Research Entry Award
Dr Anne Trinh
Monash Health, Victoria
‘The optimisation of bone health in chronic neurological conditions’
Working closely with Dr Fran Milat at the Monash Institute of Medical Research, Dr Trinhs project aims to determine the prevalence of poor bone health and fractures in young adults with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, examining the complex relationships between the density and structure of bones, the composition of the body as a whole, and the risk of fractures. The team’s findings will inform the planning of clinical trials to determine how best to treat osteoporosis in adults with chronic neurological conditions.
2014 AMGEN-GSK OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Dr Fran Milat
Monash Institute of Medical Research, Victoria
‘The Optimisation of Bone Health in Chronic Neurological Conditions’
Poor bone health is more likely to develop in children with cerebral palsy and spina bifida resulting in an increased risk of fractures in adulthood. Dr Milat’s research will fulfil an unmet need to understand the causes of osteoporosis as well as the optimal treatment and prevention of fractures in adults with these conditions. Her findings will help in the planning of clinical trials to determine the optimal treatment of osteoporosis in adults with chronic neurological conditions, and contribute to the development of new treatment guidelines.
Dr Weiwen Chen
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney
‘Clinical applications of trabecular bone score (TBS) in populations at higher fracture risk’
The ‘gold standard’ for the assessment of bone strength is the measurement of its density – the quantity of bone related to its area. However, researchers have known for some time that measuring the quality of bone may be just as important as determining its density. Dr Chen’s research aims to understand how assessing the quality of the underlying ‘scaffold’ structure of bone might predict fracture risk more accurately than measuring its density alone. This will help improve the management of bone health in people with chronic diseases, who can be at higher risk of fracture despite often having normal bone density.
2014 Sambrook Award Recipient
Dr Kirtan Ganda
Endocrinologist, Concord General Repatriation Hospital, Sydney
Dr Ganda’s research focusses on how best to prevent more fractures occurring in people who have already suffered a minimal trauma fracture due to osteoporosis, including the effectiveness of the Minimal Trauma Fracture Service at Concord Hospital. Dr Ganda presented his findings at the ANZBMS annual scientific meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand, and at the ASBMR meeting in Houston (2014).
2014 RACGP/ Osteoporosis Australia Bone Health Research Grant Award
Dr Simon Vanlint
University of Adelaide, Victoria
‘Improving the bone health of cancer survivors – a pilot study of patient activation and resource provision to improve bone health management after breast and prostate cancer’
People with breast and prostate cancer make up the majority of cancer survivors in Australia today, and are 2-4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than the general population. By developing new patient information resources and more effective ways of communicating the importance of bone health, this project aims to empower patients with better knowledge about how to look after their own bone health. Information resources for both patients and doctors will also be used to develop better ways for doctors to manage the bone health in people after breast or prostate cancer.
2014 RACP/Osteoporosis Australia Research Entry Award
Dr Weiwen Chen
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney
‘Effects of osteoporotic fractures and treatment on mortality risk’
This project examines the records of all patients admitted to NSW hospital emergency departments over several years and collects information on fractures, and reviews if the patient was diagnosed with osteoporosis and started on treatment. In addition hospital admissions and death data will be collected to better understand events whivch lead to death following a fracture. In addition this project will investigate the effectiveness of Fracture Liaison Services which are designed to capture fracture patients in hospitals.
2013 AMGEN-GSK OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Associate Professor Craig Munns
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
‘A fracture prevention service to optimise bone health and prevent osteoporosis in the paediatric population’
A/Professor Munns will conduct research into osteoporosis in children who have had fractures. Identifying children who may have osteoporosis will help doctors to intervene early so that fractures in later life are prevented.
Professor Susan Davis
Monash University, Melbourne
‘Achieving targeted assessment of bone health in women at midlife’
Professor Davis has been awarded a grant for research into the prevalence of osteoporosis in women having bone density testing at midlife. This research project will help doctors understand when it is most useful to test middle-aged women for osteoporosis so that action can be taken to reduce the risk of future fractures.
Previous Awardees (2012-2010)
2012 AMGEN-GSK OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program
Dr Jackie Center
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW
Fracture associated mortality: An international study combining multiple datasets
Professor Marlena Kruger
Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ
Health, vegetables, herbs and fruit study (The Scarborough Fair Study)
Dr Egon Perilli
Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria
The material and structural basis of bone fragility in postmenopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis
2012 RACP/Osteoporosis Australia Research Entry Award
Dr Philip Wong
Melbourne’s Prince Henry’s Institute, Victoria
Thalassaemia bone disease and the role of iron overload on bone biology
2012 RACGP/Osteoporosis Australia Bone Health Research Grant
Dr Oliver Frank
University of Adelaide, SA
Increasing prevention, detection and treatment of osteoporosis through automated opportunistic reminders to patients, general practitioners and practice nurses
A/ Professor Tania Winzenberg
(with Dr Dawn Dore and Professor Graeme Jones)
Menzies Research Institute, Tasmania
Vitamin D for correcting deficiency in adolescents: a general practice-based RCT
2011 OA/ANZBMS Research Fellowship supported by Amgen
Dr Michelle McDonald PhD
Orthopaedic Research and Biotechnology Department, Kids Research Institute, The Children’s Hospital Westmead, NSW
2010 OA/ANZBMS Research Fellowship supported by Amgen
Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Research Institute, Tasmania
2010 RACP/OA Scholarship
Dr Emily Gianatti
Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria.
Testosterone treatment in men with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
ANZ Wicking Trust Award
Dr Robyn Daly
University of Melbourne
‘Osteo-cise’ – Better Bones for Life
2010 Myer Foundation National Scholarship
Dr Belal Khan
University of Melbourne, Western Hospital
Balance between the benefits of dietary calcium on bone and any potential adverse cardiovascular outcomes and the influence of vitamin D deficiency on these outcomes.
2010 Macquarie Group Foundation Fellowship
Institute of Bone & Joint Research, Royal North Shore Hospital
Common pathways influencing osteoporosis and atherosclerosis risk.