Profile and Department: Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, Western University
Our studies focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the formation and destruction of bone and cartilage. We study the function and regulation of osteoblasts (bone forming cells), chondrocytes (cartilage forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells). Bone loss in inflammatory diseases, such as periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and metabolic diseases, such as osteoporosis, arises from imbalance between the rates of bone formation and resorption. Therefore, we are particularly interested in understanding the physiological regulation of these processes, and in identifying therapeutic agents that inhibit loss of bone and cartilage. We investigate cell behavior using a variety of approaches, including fluorescence spectrophotometry, patch-clamp electrophysiology, microphysiometry, live-cell imaging and molecular biology. Our studies are supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence, and pharmaceutical & biotech industries.