Reduced bone mass in senile osteoporotic patients has been associated with alterations in the differentiation capacity of resident bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and has led to speculation that bone deterioration associated with age-related osteoporosis may be directly related to an inability to produce a sufficient number of functionally active osteoblasts. One of our aims therefore is to characterize the functional role played by BMSCs in the development of osteoporotic bone through the use of molecular, biochemical and histological techniques. We are currently utilizing stem cells isolated from both human patients and experimental models and have developed the necessary techniques with which to successfully harvest and expand cells from specific stem cell niches. It is envisaged that these studies will afford us a better understanding of the cellular processes involved in this debilitating disease with the potential to developing new therapeutic targets.
Since its establishment in January 2010, the group has acquired experience and technical expertise in various areas of scientific research including; mesenchymal stem cell research (isolation, expansion, differentiation), molecular biology (quantitative-PCR, telomere analysis, cloning and transfection of genetic material), protein synthesis (recombinant protein production using bacteria) and biomedical research (murine model for age-realted osteoporosis).