Molecular Endocrinology and Musculoskeletal Research Group
We are studying the biological mechanisms underlying osteoporosis, muscle wasting and obesity, which are all disorders of hormonal action. Osteoporosis affects one in two women and one in three men over the age of 60, leading to bone fractures; muscle wasting is a significant problem in the elderly population and in patients suffering cancer, burns and chronic illness; and obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in Western populations; and all these diseases cause significant morbidity in the population worldwide.
Our group is using unique and cutting-edge genetically modified mouse models to study the mechanisms involved in these diseases. Our research combines the power of physiology and molecular biology to gain insight into the cellular and molecular pathways through which androgens and calcium-regulating hormones act. Knowledge gained from our research will help build Australia’s health research skills and will allow us to better understand the pathophysiology osteoporosis, muscle wasting and obesity, which is crucial to developing improved therapies for these diseases.
- Characterising the physiological role of the calcitonin receptor in bone and calcium homeostasis.
- Determining the mechanism by which the male sex hormone, testosterone, acts to decrease fat mass.
- Investigating the neural mechanisms of androgen action in the regulation of the musculoskeletal system.
Read more about Rachel's work below:
- 'Hormones and Bones', A/Prof Rachel Davey discusses her research into metabolic bone diseases which has a focus on the physiological role of hormones to increase new bone growth.
- 'Hope for older men', A/Prof Rachel Davey presents her research into discovering a new pathway tor reduce weight gain in men with low testosterone levels.
- Dr Ling Yeong Chia, Research Officer
- Ms Patricia Russell, Research Assistant
- Ms Michele Clarke, Senior Research Assistant
- Prof Jeffrey Zajac
- A/Prof Mathis Grossmann
- Prof Howard Morris and A/Prof Paul Anderson, University of South Australia, SA, Australia
- Prof David Findlay, Dept of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University of Adelaide, SA, Australia
- Prof Gerald Atkins, Dept of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University of Adelaide, SA, Australia
- Assoc Prof Janine Danks, RMIT, VIC, Australia
- Prof Dirk Vanderschueren, Leuven Catholic University, Belgium
- Prof Jack Jhamandas, University of Alberta, Canada
- Dr Joanne Pennock, University of Mancester, UK
- Dr Svetlana Reilly, University of Oxford, UK
- Prof Merry-Jo Oursler, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA
- Prof Gerard Karsenty, Columbia Medical School, New York, USA
- Prof Kristine Wiren, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Oregon, USA
- NHMRC Project Grant, "The actions of the hormone, calcitonin, on bone and calcium metabolism."
- Ian Potter Foundation, "Translation of bone biology research into better treatments for osteoporosis, cancer and arthritis."
- Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, "Understanding the action of androgens to regulate fat mass."
- Austin Medical Research Foundation Research Grant, "The action of sex hormones in the brain to control bone and muscle."
- Rebecca Cooper Grant, "The action of the hormone, calcitonin, to regulate bone formation."
This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
Findlay DM, Zajac JD, Davey RA. “The role of the calcitonin receptor in protecting against induced hypercalcemia is mediated via its actions in osteoclasts to inhibit bone resorption”. Bone 2011, 48, 354-361.