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Disorders of Mineralisation

From before you are born, following birth and as you grow and develop towards maturity into early adulthood, your bones continue to change in size and shape to develop into a strong and durable skeleton. However, your bones do not always develop normally or optimally due to many influential factors, including hormones, genes, iatrogenesis, chronic disease, movement disorders, in-born errors of metabolism, and lifestyle (diet, physical activity and exercise). Furthermore, from adulthood, as you age, you start to have less bone in your bones leading to osteoporosis, and more “bone” in your blood vessels leading to vascular calcification which is an indicator of cardiovascular disease. These disorders of mineralisation in older individuals lead to increased risk of fractures, heart attacks and strokes. Our research is focused in two key areas: (1) vascular calcification, and (2) bone and mineral metabolism, and how these two systems are linked across the lifespan.

Associate Professor Josh Lewis leads the disorders of mineralisation research group within the School of Medical and Health Sciences. His research aims to develop better ways to identify and prevent disease before the onset of clinical symptoms. Josh supervises postgraduate students in a range of research areas including developing medical imaging tests for chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases, clinical nutrition and lifestyle research as well as clinical trials to develop better evidence for healthy ageing. Josh is the PI for the 15-year Perth Longitudinal Study of Ageing Women (PLSAW) investigating the role of environmental, anatomical, physiological, metabolic and genetic factors on bone, cardiovascular and neurocognitive health outcomes in older women. He also leads the international Digital Lateral Spine Imaging to Better Predict Health and Prognosis consortium. Currently, he is conducting research on developing convenient, reliable and safe tests for vascular calcification as well as the identification of mechanism(s) and modifiable factors related to vascular calcification.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Josh Lewis

Current projects

  • Modification of Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle: The MODEL randomised controlled trial.
  • QuantiK project that aims to quantify levels of vitamin K1 and K2 in Australian foods using HPLC.
  • Lipocalin 2 project evaluates the association between a novel marker of satiety and physical activity and its relationship with cardiometabolic health during ageing.
  • Modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors related to arterial calcification.
  • VEgetableS for VaScular HEaLth (VESSEL) randomised controlled trial.
  • Digital Lateral Spine Imaging to Better Predict Health and Prognosis (DECIPHER) Consortium.
  • The Global Screening Array Consortium.
  • ECU Lifestyle and Biomarkers Get Connected Study.
  • Perth longitudinal Study of Ageing Women cardiovascular & biomarkers programs.
  • The Biomarker for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment (BiomarCaRE) consortium.
  • Cardiovascular causes of falls and fractures

Research Team

  • Dr Alex Liu
  • Ms Claire Palmer
  • Mrs Jocelyn Tan
  • Dr Mark Jenkins
  • Mrs Shelby Mullins
  • Dr Simone Radavelli-Bagatini
  • Mr Abadi Gebre
  • Ms Anjana Rajendra
  • Mr Callum McCaskie
  • Ms Caroline Hill
  • Ms Claire Palmer
  • Ms Emma Connolly
  • Ms Jo Rees
  • Mr Reindolf Anokye
  • Dr Simone Radavelli-Bagatini
  • Ms Ysabel Jacob

Postgraduate student project opportunities

  • The role of vitamin K on the bone-vascular axis.
  • Flavonoids and vascular calcification.
  • A novel approach to primary prevention of clinical cardiovascular disease.
  • Novel dietary factors and vascular calcification.
  • Vascular calcification in men on ADT

For more information visit the SMHS Higher Degree by Research or HDR students project opportunities webpages.

Recent Research Grants

Developing & evaluating a novel tool for primary prevention of clinical cardiovascular disease, National Heart Foundation, NHF - Future Leader Fellowships, 2020 - 2023,  $1,166,638.

Automated methods for evaluating structural vascular disease, National Health and Medical Research Council, Ideas grants, 2020 - 2022, $652,128.

Bone tired: Better understanding of vascular-bone ageing, Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Ltd, Grant, 2019 - 2021, $100,000.

Development of low-cost, very low radiation community-based screening method for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, National Health and Medical Research Council, Career Development Fellowship, 2017 - 2020,  $242,438.

Key publications

Book Chapters

Fortington L, Hart NH (2020). The Injury Model. Fractures in Sport. NY, USA, Springer Nature.

Selected Journal Articles:

Hart NH, Newton RU, Tan J, Rantalainen T, Chivers P, Siafarikas A, Nimphius S. (2020). Biological Basis of Bone Strength: Anatomy, Physiology and Measurement. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 20(3).

Jenkins M, Hart NH, Nimphius S, Chivers P, Rantalainen T, Rothacker KM, Beck BR, Weeks BK, McIntyre F, Hands B, Beeson BP, Siafarikas A. (2020). Characterisation of peripheral bone mineral density in youth at risk of secondary osteoporosis. J Musculoskel Neuronal Interact. 20(1): 27-52.

Lewis, J., Eggermont, C., Schousboe, J., Lim, W., Wong, G., Khoo, B., Sim, M., Yu, M., Ueland, T., Bollerslev , J., Hodgson, J., Zhu, K., Wilson, K., Kiel, D., Prince, R., (2019), Association between abdominal aortic calcification, bone mineral density and fracture in older women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 34(11), 2052-2060, DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3830.

Owen PJ, Hart NH, Latella C, Hendy A, Lamon S, Rantalainen T. (2019). Identifying and assessing inter-muscular fat at the distal diaphyseal femur measured by peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT). J Clin Densitom. doi: 10.1016/j.jocd.2019.11.001.

Lewis, J., Schousboe, J., Lim, W., Wong, G., Wilson, K., Zhu, K., Thompson, P., Kiel, D., Prince, R., (2018), Long-Term Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease Risk and Prognosis in Elderly Women With Abdominal Aortic Calcification on Lateral Spine Images Captured During Bone Density Testing: A Prospective Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 33(6), 1001–1010, United States, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3405.

Jenkins M, Nimphius S, Hart NH, Chivers P, Rantalainen T, Reuter K, Borland ML, McIntyre F, Stannage K, Siafarikas A. (2018). Appendicular fracture epidemiology of children and adolescents: A 10-year case review in Western Australia (2005 to 2015). Archives in Osteoporosis. 1 3(1): 63

Hart NH, Ireland A, Nimphius S, Rantalainen T, Siafarikas A, Newton RU. (2017). Mechanical basis of bone strength: Influence on bone material, bone structure and muscle action. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 17(3): 114-139.

Bondonno, N., Lewis, J., Prince, R., Lim, W., Wong, G., Schousboe, J., Woodman, R., Kiel, D., Bondonno, C., Ward, N., Croft, K., Hodgson, J., (2016), Fruit intake and abdominal aortic calcification in elderly women: A prospective cohort study. Nutrients, 8(3), Article no. 159, MDPI AG, DOI: 10.3390/nu8030159.

Lewis, J., Schousboe, JT., Lim, W., Wong, G., Zhu, K., Lim, E., Wilson, K., Thompson, P., Kiel, D., Prince, R., (2016), Abdominal Aortic Calcification Identified on Lateral Spine Images from Bone Densitometers Are a Marker of Generalized Atherosclerosis in Elderly Women. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 36(1), 166-173, USA, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.115.306383.

Hart NH, Nimphius S, Weber J, Spiteri T, Rantalainen T, Dobbin M, Newton RU. (2016). Musculoskeletal Asymmetry in Football Athletes: A product of limb function over time. Med Exerc Sports Sci. 48(7), 1379-1387

Lim, W., Wong, G., Lim, E., Byrnes, E., Zhu, K., Devine, A., Pavlos, N., Prince, R., Lewis, J., (2015), Circulating Lipocalin 2 Levels Predict Fracture-Related Hospitalizations in Elderly Women: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 30(11), 2078-2085, Hoboken, USA, John Wiley and Sons Inc., DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.2546.

Zheng, H., Forgetta, V., Hsu, YH., Estrada, K., Rosello-Diez, A., Leo, PJ., Dahia, CL., Park-Min, KH., Tobias, JH., Kooperberg, C., Kleinman, A., Styrkarsdottir, U., Liu, C., Uggla, C., Evans, D., Nielson, CM., Walter, K., Pettersson-Kymmer, U., McCarthy, SE., Eriksson, JA., Kwan, T., Jhamai, M., Trajanoska, K., Memari, Y., Min, J., Huang, J., Danecek, P., Wilmot, B., Li, R., Chou, W., Mokry, LE., Moayyeri, A., Claussnitzer, M., Cheng, C., Cheung, W., Medina-Gomez, C., Ge, B., Chen, S., Choi, K., Oei, L., Fraser, J., Kraaij, R., Hibbs, MA., Gregson, CL., Paquette, D., Hofman, A., Wibom, C., Tranah, GJ., Marshall, M., Gardiner, BB., Cremin, K., Auer, P., Hsu, L., Ring, S., Tung, JY., Thorleifsson, G., Enneman, AW., Van Schoor, NM., De Groot, LC., Van Der Velde, N., Melin, B., Kemp, JP., Christiansen, C., Sayers, A., Zhou, Y., Calderari, S., Van Rooij, J., Carlson, C., Peters, U., Berlivet, S., Dostie, J., Uitterlinden, AG., Williams, SR., Farber, C., Grinberg, D., Lacroix, AZ., Haessler, J., Chasman, DI., Giulianini, F., Rose, LM., Ridker, PM., Eisman, JA., Nguyen, TV., Center, JR., Nogues, X., Garcia-Giralt, N., Launer, LL., Gudnason, V., Mellstrom, D., Vandenput, L., Amin, N., Van Duijn, CM., Karlsson, MK., Ljunggren, O., Svensson, O., Hallmans, G., Rousseau, F., Giroux, S., Bussiere, J., Arp, PP., Koromani, F., Prince, RL., Lewis, J., Langdahl, BL., Hermann, AP., Jensen, J., Kaptoge, S., Khaw, K., Reeve, J., Formosa, M., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., Akesson, K., McGuigan, FE., Garg, G., Olmos, JM., Zarrabeitia, MT., Riancho, JA., Ralston, SH., Alonso, N., Jiang, X., Goltzman, D., Pastinen, T., Grundberg, E., Gauguier, D., Orwoll, ES., Karasik, D., Davey-Smith, G., Aogc Consortium, AC., Smith, AV., Siggeirsdottir, K., Harris, TB., Zillikens, MC., Van Meurs, JB., Thorsteinsdottir, U., Maurano, MT., Timpson, NJ., Soranzo, N., Durbin, R., Wilson, SG., Ntzani, EE., Brown, MA., Stefansson, K., Hinds, DA., Spector, T., Cupples, LA., Ohlsson, C., Greenwood, CM., Uk 10k. Consortium, UK., Jackson, RD., Rowe, DW., Loomis, CA., Evans, DM., Ackert-Bicknell, CL., Joyner, AL., Duncan, EL., Kiel, DP., Rivadeneira, F., Richards, JB., (2015), Whole-genome sequencing identifies EN1 as a determinant of bone density and fracture. Nature, 526(7571), 112-117, UK, Nature Publishing Group, DOI: 10.1038/nature14878.

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