I have spent most of my almost 30-year career at the Garvan Instititute working on the genetics and epidemiology of osteoporosis, a field of research that I have made substantive contributions. The primary focus of my research program is on the discovery and translation of etiological and genetic factors that determine an individual's risk of fracture and adverse outcomes. I pursue both epidemiological and genetic research, often combining the two, to address issues that are transformational, shaping policy and practice leading to better treatment and control of osteoporosis.
I hold two doctorates from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and three professorships. In 1990, I joined the Garvan's Bone Division to work on the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES). While working on DOES, I also undertook doctoral study, which I graduated in 1997 with a PhD in Medicine from the UNSW under the mentorship of Professor John Eisman and the late Professor Philip Sambrook. Subsequently, I was awarded the highest degree of Doctorate of Science (DSc) from the UNSW for my distinguished contributions to osteoporosis research. At the time I was among 35 individuals who were granted the DSc degree by UNSW.
After graduating from the UNSW, I was appointed Associate Professor at the WSU School of Medicine (Ohio, USA), where I was involved in setting up a new osteoporosis research group. In 2001, I returned to the Garvan Institute to head the Epidemiology and Genetics of Osteoporosis group. In 2004, I was appointed Associate Professor at the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine. In 2008, I was awarded with the NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, and the same year, I was promoted to full Professor at the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the St Vincent’s Clinical School. In 2015, I was appointed Distinguished Professor of Predictive Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). In 2016, I was further appointed Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia.
I consider that osteoporosis can be treated more effectively by improving the way we identify at-risk people early. Over the past ~30 years, I have made cutting-edge contributions to those aspects of osteoporosis. In recent years, I became interested in the relationship between bone health, obesity and diabetes. Moreover, with training in biostatistics/epidemiology, and wide exposure to the clinical setting, I have extended the knowledge of my core discipline through using innovative methodologies to give new insights into aetiology of bone mass, fracture risk assessment, and genetics of osteoporosis. My team and I have uncovered and defined the effects of aetiological factors, including genetic variants that contribute to fracture susceptibility, and have translated this knowledge into predictive models for targeting treatment options.
My work has helped shift the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of osteoporosis into a new and better paradigm. I have published ~300 publications (62 during the past 5 yr), including 238 original papers, in mostly highest impact journals in the field. Overall, my publications have received >30000 citations from other authors. My careerwise H-index is 80, which puts me in the top 1% medical researchers worldwide. I am one of the highly cited scientists in the field of osteoporosis and medicine.
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