Success for Garvan researchers at key bone biology conference

Garvan congratulates Bone Biology Division researchers Dr Michelle McDonald, Scott Youlten, Thao Ho-Le and Dr Weiwen Chen, all of whom received awards at last week’s ANZBMS-IFMRS conference.

Dr Michelle McDonald, Dr Weiwen Chen, Scott Youlten and Thao Ho-Le

27 June 2017

Four members of the Bone Biology Division at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research received awards last week, at the joint annual scientific meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS) and the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS).

The conference, which was held in Brisbane on 17-21 June, brought together researchers in bone biology and 20 international invited speakers from 11 different countries across Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Asia and North America. Co-organised by Garvan’s Professor Mike Rogers, it was attended by junior and senior Bone Biology Division researchers, many of whom gave talks or presented research posters.

The awards for Garvan researchers were as follows:

  • Dr Michelle McDonald won an Amgen-ANZBMS Outstanding Abstract Award. This is the third year in a row that Dr McDonald has been awarded in this way, itself an outstanding achievement. Dr McDonald spoke about her work examining the potential for anti-sclerostin therapy to prevent bone loss and bone fracture induced by multiple myeloma;
  • Dr Weiwen Chen won the MSD ANZBMS Clinical Research Excellence Award. She spoke about how osteoporotic fractures affect mortality, and described how osteoporotic fractures contribute to overall population mortality at a level similar to diabetes and cancer;
  • Scott Youlten received the Christopher and Margie Nordin Young Investigator Poster Award. His poster set out his work in understanding how the spectrum of genes that are expressed in bone cells varies with age and gender, following on from his talk at the conference examining how gene expression changes throughout the skeleton; and
  • Thao Ho-Le won the prestigious Sol Posen Research Award for the best first-author publication submitted in the previous 18 months, for her recent paper describing how genetic profiling can deepen our understanding of an individual’s risk of fracture.

Prof Rogers says, “This inaugural conference of the ANZBMS with the IFMRS societies covered a tremendous breadth of topics by world-leading clinical and basic science researchers. It was particularly pleasing to see members of the Bone Biology Division showcase their work so successfully to the international musculoskeletal research community.”

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