Skip to main content

Skeletal diseases

Diseases that alter the strength or flexibility of bones, causing pain and increasing the risk of fracture

Bone is a living tissue that is constantly rebuilding itself, breaking down old cells and replacing them with new ones. Aging impacts the density of bone. However, some diseases like osteoporosis cause a significant reduction of density, making patients susceptible to fractures that lead to poor health outcomes.  

At Garvan, researchers are investigating the genetic causes and molecular mechanisms that underlie the onset and progression of bone disease, and are running long-term studies to develop diagnostic tools and guide patient care. We are also investigating cancer cell dormancy in bone, in which cancer cells lodge in the bone and ‘sleep’ for months or years, before ‘waking’ to form new tumours. Our state-of-the-art imaging technology is supporting our work in this important area of research.

Skeletal diseases we research


A disease that reduces the density and quality of the bone, significantly increasing the risk of fracture.