1994: PhD in bone research. Dept of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, Dept of Human Metabolism & Clinical Biochemistry, and Dept of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, UK.
1989: BSc (1st Class Hons) in Biochemistry. Dept of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, UK.
Mike graduated from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 1989 with a first class honours in Biochemistry and in 1994 with a PhD in bone pharmacology. After postdoctoral studies in Sheffield he moved to the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1997 he was appointed Professor of Musculoskeletal Pharmacology and from 2005-2010 he led the Musculoskeletal Research Programme, recognised as a Centre of Excellence by the European League Against Rheumatism. Mike relocated to the Garvan Institute in Sydney 2012 to establish and lead the Bone Therapeutics Group within the Healthy Ageing Theme.
Mike's ground-breaking research elucidated the mechanisms of action of bisphosphonates, a blockbuster class of anti-resorptive drug used worldwide and the gold standard treatment for osteoporosis, bone metastases, childhood bone disorders and other skeletal diseases. His work identified two classes of bisphosphonate drug with distinct mechanisms of action and transformed understanding of bisphosphonate pharmacology. These findings provided an explanation for the adverse effects of bisphosphonates and offer new insights into the possible mechanisms underlying pleiotropic effects of bisphosphonates on tumour growth and mortality. His research continues to focus on the anti-cancer and immune-modulatory actions of bisphosphonates, as well as autoinflammatory disorders that have mechanistic similarities to the actions of bisphosphonate drugs. He has strong links with the pharmaceutical industry, served on various Editorial Boards including Bone and Journal of Endocrinology, numerous grant and fellowship committees, the Board of Directors of the International Bone & Mineral Society and the committee of the UK Bone Research Society. He has published more than 90 papers and 38 reviews and book chapters, with >15,000 citations.
Current and recent grants:
St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation: $50,000. New approaches to understand and treat bowel inflammation in childhood autoinflammatory disease (Kavan Research Grant 2020) (CIA).
NHMRC: $715,755. 3 year project grant, 2018-2020. Protein prenylation and inflammation: new insights into the pathophysiology and treatment of mevalonate kinase deficiency (CIA).
NHMRC: $595,000. 3 year project grant, 2015-2018. How do bone-active drugs increase patient survival? (CIA).
AIFA: $30,000. 1 year project grant, 2018. Restoring protein prenylation in a mouse model of mevalonate kinase deficiency (coapplicant with MA Munoz).
ARC: $395,000. 3 year project grant, 2017-2019. Navigating flux control through a fundamental, branched metabolic pathway (coapplicant with AJ Brown, UNSW).
Marian & EH Flack Trust: $75,000. Curing a childhood inflammatory disease. 1-year pilot funding, 2017 (MJ Rogers, MA Munoz).
Ian Potter Foundation: $2,000. conference grant to support a 1-day symposium, Autoinflammatory Diseases: a workshop for researchers, clinicians and patients (June 2017).
Cancer Council NSW: $360,000. New uses for old drugs: anti-tumour actions of bisphosphonates. 3 year project grant, 2014-2016 (CIA).
PCFA/Movember: $5,000,000. 5-year Program Grant and Revolutionary Team Award, 2014-2017. Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis (ProMis): New Opportunities for Therapeutic Development (coapplicant).
Mike was first recipient of two prestigious international awards - the Iain T. Boyle Award (2003) from the European Calcified Tissue Society and the Herbert A. Fleisch Award (2009) from the International Bone & Mineral Society.