Sambrook Award

Professor Philip Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award

Professor Sambrook was the inaugural Medical Director of Osteoporosis Australia and a strong advocate of osteoporosis research and public awareness of bone health in Australia. His commitment and passion have greatly benefitted the health of Australians, and his work will continue to influence the field for years to come.

Professor Sambrook helped establish the Osteoporosis Australia-ANZBMS Research Fund. The fund has given rise to this award, which recognizes Professor Sambrook’s achievements and aims to inspire similar accomplishments in a new generation of researchers.

The Professor Philip Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award is presented annually to an outstanding early career scientist or clinical researcher. The award offers a valuable opportunity for researchers in the early stages of their career to present their work at an overseas conference. Applicants must have received their research qualification or latest clinical qualification within the past 5 years, and hold current membership of ANZBMS or ARA. 

The award is announced at the ANZBMS Annual Scientific Meeting.

The Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Grant for 2019 is now CLOSED

Recipient of the 2019 Award: Sabashini Ramchand

Sabashini Ramchand, Austin Health, The University of Melbourne

This year, Sabashini took up an opportunity to expand on her previous research in osteoporosis therapeutics by undertaking a research fellowship with Dr Leder’s lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, USA. So far, her work has involved the use of monotherapy to prevent bone loss. Here, she will evaluate the use of combination therapy and gain insights into how these therapies work together to improve skeletal integrity. This consolidated with her knowledge in the use of bone remodelling markers and bone imaging she hopes to learn new skills such as the use of finite element analysis and bone histomorphometry.

Recipient of the 2018 Award: Dr Feitong Wu

Dr Feitong Wu, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Area of research to be presented ‘Associations of measured sedentary time and physical activities with muscle strength, balance and falls in Australian middle-aged women’

Recipient of the 2017 Award: Dr Jasna Aleksova

Dr Jasna Aleksova, Hudson Institute of Medical Research: Reducing the bone health impacts of kidney dialysis

People with chronic kidney disease are at much higher risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures than the general population. PhD student Dr Jasna Aleksova is conducting research at Melbourne’s Hudson Institute of Medical Research to understand why this happens, and investigating ways to more easily detect poor bone health in these patients.
A large study conducted by Dr Aleksova and her colleagues has 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 Dr Aleksova’s group has found that highly detailed analysis of bone density x-ray images to reveal the microscopic ‘architecture’ inside bones is a highly sensitive and convenient way of predicting fracture risk in patients with advanced kidney disease. The usual way of assessing bone health in dialysis patients is to remove a tiny piece of bone for examination under the microscope. Dr Aleksova’s work may help to reduce the need for this invasive and difficult procedure.
Dr Aleksova is presenting her findings at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Denver, USA, in September 2017.

Recipient of the 2016 Award: Dr Jinwen Tu

From 2016, the Sambrook Award has been awarded as a Young Investigator Travel Grant. 

'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.

Recipient of the 2015 Award: Dr Sharon Brennan-Olsen

Does DNA Methylation Underpin the Social Gradient of Osteoporotic Fracture? A Conceptual Model.
Dr Brennan-Olsen currently leads the Social Epidemiology Research Unit at Deakin University, conducting cross-disciplinary research in public health, epidemiology and health education. The cornerstone of Dr Brennan-Olsen’s recent work is the biology that underpins the social gradient of osteoporosis, hypothesising that socially disadvantaged individuals are at greater risk of osteoporotic fracture due to biological changes induced by chronic stress. Dr Brennan–Olsen and her colleague Dr Kara Holloway have presented this work at the 2015 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Seattle, and the 2015 Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society Annual scientific meeting in Hobart.

Recipient of the 2014 Award: Dr Kirtan Ganda
Dr Ganda is an endocrinologist at Sydney’s Concord General Repatriation Hospital. He has a strong commitment to improving bone health in the community through a combination of patient care, teaching and research. 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, and an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of the Minimal Trauma Fracture Service at Concord Hospital is the focus of his recently completed PhD. This research has been extended to include an analysis of secondary fracture prevention programs throughout Australia and overseas. 

Dr Ganda will use his award to present his latest findings at the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society Annual scientific meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand, and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Houston, both taking place in September 2014. 

Recipient of the 2013 Award: A/Prof. Emma Duncan

Associate Professor Emma Duncan is a senior staff specialist in endocrinology at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute. After qualifying in medicine in Australia in 1992, Professor Duncan spent a decade in the UK establishing her research career, including a stint at one of the world’s most respected genetic research institutes, the Welcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University. Returning to Australia in 2005, Professor Duncan established herself as an active clinician-scientist, focusing on the genetic control of bone density. She has established several large international gene mapping projects in osteoporosis, and developed cutting edge approaches to genetic research that have led her team to identify the causes of several bone diseases.  Professor Duncan has also driven some important clinical trials for bone disease, including the BONES study (zoledronate for avascular necrosis of the hip), previously led by Professor Sambrook. Her leadership in bone health extends to the teaching of doctors, the promotion of bone health both nationally and internationally, and extensive involvement with organisations that raise awareness of the importance of bone health, including Osteoporosis Australia.

This award will allow Professor Duncan to present her latest research – the discovery of a sensitive and cost-effective way of diagnosing the important musculoskeletal conditions Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Marfan’s Syndrome - at the annual meeting of the American Association for Bone and Mineral Research, in Baltimore, October 2013.

“Professor Sambrook provided a far-reaching positive influence for my involvement in clinical and basic research in bone disease. He supported me generously in the earliest stages of my research career. I worked with him on many projects and committees and always found him to be kind, constructive and extraordinarily professional. He showed me what good leadership can mean, by polite, quiet but firm example”. 

Recipient of the 2012 Award: Prof Gustavo Duque

Gustavo Duque is a Professor of Medicine, Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney. He is Director of the Ageing Bone Research program and Staff Specialist, Dept of Geriatric Medicine.  He has been invited to speak at numerous Australian and overseas conferences, published over 70 publications in peer reviewed journals and been a member of several peer-reviewed panels for major funding agencies in both Canada and Australia. He has been an ad hoc reviewer for more than 25 journals in the field of bone, internal medicine and geriatric medicine. He has personally received 12 awards including ‘Young Investigator Award’ from the American Bone & Mineral Society in 2003. He has also supervised students at all levels of study - PhD, Masters, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Honors, and summer research students. He has also given his time to speak at local community meetings and help raise awareness about bone health.

He is passionate about bone research and after moving to Australia in 2007 had the opportunity to meet Prof Sambrook in person as his colleague and advisor. From Colombia originally he says one of Prof Sambrooks early research papers helped ignite his interest in working in the bone field.

Osteoporosis Australia acknowledges the companies and individual donors that have made this award possible:

Donations can be made through our online donation page.

Author: Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee
Last updated: 12/09/2019 - 13:47