The Ageing & Osteosarcopenia – Biomedical, translational and clinical program is led by Professor Gustavo Duque.
This is a strong translational research program aimed to identify the mechanisms of age-related musculoskeletal diseases and frailty. This program focus on the age-related changes in muscle and bone and their significance in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia, osteoporosis, osteosarcopenia and physical frailty.
The biomedical section of this program is dedicated to the understanding of age-related changes in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and the mechanisms that explain their predominant differentiation into fat. This team also investigates the mechanisms of lipotoxicity in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia and osteoporosis, while looking at new potential therapeutic approaches to prevent this phenomenon. This programs also involves the development and testing of multiple animal models of accelerated ageing and osteosarcopenia.
Our translational team focuses on the development and testing of new therapies for osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia. With several patents already obtained by this team, our research activities focus on understanding the mechanism of action of these new treatments, their potential toxicity and therapeutic modalities, and completion of the preclinical validation of these compounds.
Our clinical research team performs three set of activities:
  • Our imaging team works on developing and testing new imaging techniques to quantify changes in the musculoskeletal system that are associated with sarcopenia, osteoporosis and osteosarcopenia, while also looking at optimisation of the imaging techniques that are currently available in the preclinical and clinical settings.
  • Our Clinical Trials Unit oversees multiple phase II, III and IV clinical trials testing the effectiveness and safety of several new compounds aimed to treat osteoporosis, sarcopenia, frailty and osteosarcopenia.
  • Our Clinical Interventions Unit is dedicated to the development of innovative models of care aimed to the treatment and prevention of falls, fractures and frailty in our older population.

Prof Gustavo Duque
Program Director
Professor Gustavo Duque is a world leader in ageing and musculoskeletal research. He is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with special interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older persons. His initial training included Internal Medicine at Javeriana University (Colombia) and Geriatric Medicine, which he completed at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Subsequently, he obtained his PhD at McGill University in 2003 with a thesis entitled ‘Molecular Changes of the Ageing Osteoblast’ under the supervision of Dr Richard Kremer.
Between 2003 and November 2007, Prof Duque joined the faculty at McGill University Medical School as a member of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and as Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. In November 2007, he moved to Australia to join the Faculty as Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program at Sydney Medical School Nepean – University of Sydney. In 2012, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. In 2015, Prof Duque moved to Melbourne to assume a new position as Chair of Medicine and Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Melbourne.
Prof Duque’s major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms of age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D, exercise and proteins on bone and muscle mass. Finally, he is implementing a new Falls and Fractures clinic at Sunshine Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in a comprehensive manner.

Dr Lakshman Singh, PhD
Linked Program Director
Lakshman is a Senior Scientist and the Program Director of Bone, Biomedical and Translational research at AIMSS. He has a long standing interest in bone biology, especially in relation to ageing and the role of mesenchymal stem cells in bone health. His post-doctoral career commenced at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, when he joined Dr Robert (Bob) Pignolo’s lab. at the Department of Geriatric Medicine. His work there focused on understanding the role of Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells in ageing using mouse transplantation (chimera) approach. Thereafter, he worked at The University of Sheffield, UK, as a Thomas-Berry & Simpson Fellow, at the Department of Human Metabolism on projects aimed at understanding the role of ageing in breast cancer bone metastasis. At AIMSS, he is involved in various projects involving muscolo-skeletal biology including the development of a potential bone anabolic, understanding the functional aspects of a rare variety of circulating stem cell, searching for a common effector molecule to tackle age-associated bone and muscle loss simultaneously, and exploring the effect of Vitamin D and PTH on bone and muscle biology, with focus on age-associated changes.
6Scopus Author ID: 56354103900

Rita Kinsella
Linked Program Director
Rita Kinsella is a musculoskeletal Physiotherapist who works both clinically and as a researcher at AIMSS as well as at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Her role at AIMSS as Clinical Research Manager involves the implementation and coordination of a variety of musculoskeletal based research projects across AIMSS and its many collaborators.  She is an honorary Research Fellow of the Melbourne Medical School, Department of Medicine. At St Vincent’s hospital she is involved in a variety of orthopaedic physiotherapy based trials, investigating conservative interventions for hip and knee osteoarthritis, as well as her own PhD research exploring optimal exercise interventions for rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Dr Ebrahim Bani Hassan DrVM, DrVSc, PhD, GCALL, GCUT, Fel.IBLAIM
Linked Program Director
Ebrahim is a veterinary surgeon and internist, and a Fellow of IBLAIM. His speciality is musculoskeletal pathobiology, imaging and image analysis; and also holds PhD and postdoc experiences in the field. He is currently working on the pathobiology and diagnostics of osteosarcopenia, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteoarthritis. He is interested in studying the interactions between bone muscle and fat tissues, as well as musculoskeletal decline in association with other system diseases (e.g. metabolic, cardiovascular and neurological conditions). Ebrahim is in charge of the clinical imaging and image analysis facilities at AIMSS and welcomes well-designed collaborative projects on musculoskeletal health and pathobiology. This program at the moment is nursing a very young project on the 3D printing of bone. Watch the space for the exciting news.

A/Prof Kris Ghosh
Linked Program Director
A/Prof Kris Ghosh is Clinical Service Director of Division of Subacute and Aged Care services at Western Health, Melbourne since January 2016 and also currently Acting Head of Unit for the Department of Geriatric Medicine. He is also Honorary Associate Professor with Melbourne University. Prior to his arrival in Melbourne, he held roles of Clinical Director in the department of Medicine for Older People and Stroke Medicine at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) and Honorary Associate Clinical Professor at Warwick Medical School, Warwick University. In England, he worked as Stroke Specialist and Consultant Physician in Geriatrics and General Medicine at University Hospital, Coventry and SWFT respectively.
A/Prof Ghosh qualified from Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, one of India’s foremost teaching medical institutes. Then he went to Ireland and England and obtained post graduate degrees in Medicine from Royal College of Physicians, Diabetes from Warwick and Leicester University and was trained as a Specialist Registrar in General Medicine, Geriatric and Stroke Medicine with West Midlands deanery. Previously he worked as a Registrar in Renal and Transplant Medicine in a National Centre in Dublin. A/Prof Ghosh received further training for advanced Gerontology from European Academy of Medicine for Ageing at IUKB, Switzerland and for Parkinson’s disease from Parkinson’s disease Academy at UK.
His expertise spans the areas of Geriatric Medicine, Stroke, General Medicine, Parkinson’s disease and Diabetes in older people. His interests include safety and quality in Medicine for older people, Service innovation, system redesign and professional governance support for Medical, Nursing and Allied health staff and Clinical Governance team for Safe and Best care of patients.
He is passionate about getting services to work together to respond to the individual needs and priorities of older people for their health and care.

A/Prof Damian Myers
Linked Program Director
Damian Myers is an Associate Professor in the College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University; Program Director for Medical Imaging and Principal Research Fellow at AIMSS, as well as an Honorary Principal Fellow, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital and Western Hospitals. An expert in Medical Imaging and Basic Science, A/Prof Myers has had previous appointments as Senior Scientist, Epilepsy and Neuropharmacology Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Project Leader and Consultant for CRC for Biomedical Imaging Development and Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, X-ray Science and Instrumentation and Advanced Materials-Wave Physics.
  • Age-related bone and muscle loss
  • Mesenchymal stem cell differentiation
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Bone anabolics
  • Vitamin D
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Mouse models of accelerated ageing, frailty and osteosarcopenia
  • Sarcopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Frailty
  • Osteosarcopenia
  • Nutrition
  • Fatty acids
  • Falls
  • Fractures
  • Frailty
  • Geriatric medicine
  • Gait and balance gym
  • Falls and fractures clinic
  • Fracture prevention program
  • Fracture liaison service
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Teriparatide
  • pQCT
  • Body composition
  • Densitometry
  • Balance
  • Balance training
  • Exercise
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential aged care
  • Orthogeriatrics
  • Hip protectors
  • Whole body vibration
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Circulating osteoprogenitors
  • Biomarkers
  • Apoptosis
  • Ageing
  • Autophagy
  • Osteogenic/myogenic pathways
  • Adipogenesis
  • Bone marrow fat
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