AMGEN OA-ANZBMS Clinical Grant Program 2016
Clinical Associate Professor Amanda Vincent (left)
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), which puts them at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Both medical professionals and patients lack awareness of this increased risk, and action that could reduce osteoporosis and fracture risk is often not taken. Professor Vincent’s project will focus on identifying knowledge gaps via a consultation process with women, health professionals and support groups. This will inform the development of evidence based information for both women and health professionals, which will be made freely available on the Osteoporosis Australia website. Another arm of the project will investigate the ability of a new bone strength measurement technique, trabecular bone score, to improve the identification of women with premature menopause who are at risk of fracture. Lastly, the project will compare different methods of bone density testing in women with premature menopause due to Turner syndrome, a group in whom the usual method of bone density testing can be inaccurate.
Professor Philip Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award 2016
Dr Jinwen Tu (centre)
ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney
'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. In a series of laboratory experiments, Dr Tu has shown that blocking the ‘signals’ that cartilage cells receive from endogenous glucocorticoids results in loss of control of cartilage cell behavior. As a result, cartilage cells release molecules that stimulate inflammation, leading to the destruction of cartilage and bone that are characteristic of RA. Understanding these complex processes is important in order to develop new, specifically targeted drugs that may help to control the devastating effects of RA on joints and bones.