Currently the musculoskeletal development division is being developed by A/Professor Christine Rodda, Paediatric Endocrinologist with establishes expertise in growth, skeletal development and vitamin D metabolism and Dr Rachel Duckham, a senior research scientist with considerable depth and breadth of experience in RCT’s concerning children’s musculoskeletal health.
Together we very much look forward to applying Dr Duckham’s expertise to study specific paediatric clinical conditions.
Our specific areas of focus within this division comprise:
  • Musculoskeletal development during childhood and adolescence in both health and disease
  • Effects of Vitamin D deficiency on musculoskeletal development
  • Genetic abnormalities of vitamin D metabolism
  • Embryonic musculoskeletal development and imprinting (this area is yet to be established)

A/Prof Christine Rodda
Program Director
Associate Professor Christine Rodda, Paediatric Endocrinologist, is a medical graduate and post graduate of the University of Melbourne. She undertook her doctoral studies with Professor T. John Martin in the area of the oncofetal role of parathyroid hormone related protein, and her post-doctoral studies were with Professor Henry Kronenberg at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she studied the skeletal effects of bisphosphonates in animal models.
Associate Professor Christine Rodda is a Paediatric Endocrinologist with 30 years of clinical experience in this field, and a Past President of the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG). She initially trained in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes with the late Dr David Grant, Professor Michael Preece and Professor David Dunger (senior registrar at that time) at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. Her major areas of research and clinical expertise include genetic disorders of calcium and vitamin D metabolism, and metabolic bone disease, vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and osteopenia of prematurity, with over 70 peer reviewed publications, including articles published in Science and The Lancet, and 4 book chapters.
In November 2012, after 13 years as Head of Paediatric Endocrinology at Monash Medical Centre, she stepped down from this position to take up an academic position in Paediatrics with Melbourne University, at Sunshine Hospital, where she played a lead role in developing and implementing the new paediatric course at Sunshine Hospital for third year MD students (PCP3).
A/Professor Rodda is also a Program Leader of the Musculoskeletal Development arm, within the Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), under the directorship of Professor Gustavo Duque, at Sunshine Hospital. Since taking up her clinical position with Western Health, Associate Professor Christine Rodda has established a multidisciplinary Young Adults Diabetes Clinic, and a paediatric and adolescent endocrinology service. She is also a Visiting Paediatric Endocrinologist to the Ballarat Health Service.

Dr Rachel Duckham
Project Director
With a background in Sports Sciences, my post-doctoral research focusses on early detection of children’s risks for lifelong compromised bone health. I have worked on two widely-recognised longitudinal studies in paediatric bone, from Canada and Australia and recently published research highlighting the importance of physical activity during the younger years on adult bone strength using data from the highly regarded longitudinal growth data set at University of Saskatchewan, Canada. This paper attracts consistent citations, strengthens evidence for musculoskeletal health from physical activity in childhood, and attests to the quality of my use advancing technologies in understanding bone health of children.
  • Early detection of children’s risks for lifelong compromised bone health
  • The influence of exercise and nutrition on musculoskeletal health over the life span, specialising in the younger years.
  • Musculoskeletal development during childhood and adolescence in both health and disease
  • Effects of Vitamin D deficiency on musculoskeletal development
  • Genetic abnormalities of vitamin D metabolism
  • Embryonic musculoskeletal development and imprinting (this area is yet to be established)
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