I am a bone biologist and cancer researcher, with a longstanding fascination for disorders of the skeleton, particularly osteoporosis and cancer-associated bone disease. I have a particular interest in the molecular mechanisms of bone disease, in how cancers spread to bone, and what controls dormancy (sleeping) and reactivation of cancer cells within bone. I am motivated by the clinical impacts that my research has already had, and by the potential for widespread future impacts on bone disease, cancer relapse and metastasis.
I head Garvan’s Bone Biology research lab. I also lead and co-lead a number of international research consortia, including ProMis (PROstate Cancer MetastasIS; co-funded by Movember and the Prostate Cancer Foundation) and the Wellcome Trust-funded Origins of Bone & Cartilage Disease program.
My postdoctoral training was at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sheffield. I relocated to the University of Oxford’s Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences as a Senior Research Fellow in 2001, returning to the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Sheffield in 2003 as Professor of Bone Biology. In 2009 I formed and led the new Department of Human Metabolism, and became the inaugural co-Director of the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research.
In 2011, I moved to Garvan, in Sydney, to lead its Division of Bone Biology and to take up the inaugural Mrs Janice Gibson & the Ernest Heine Family Foundation Chair in Osteoporosis. As of 2018, I lead Garvan’s Healthy Ageing research theme, which brings together a multidisciplinary group of over 150 researchers and clinician-scientists who study osteoporosis, cancer in bone, type 2 diabetes and disorders of metabolism, neurodegenerative diseases, other neurological conditions and hearing. I am also Deputy Director of Garvan, with responsibilities for whole-of-institute scientific affairs.