Academic Unit of Bone Biology


The Academic Unit of Bone Biology was established in 2003 and has grown to provide a range of translational research activities from the fundamentals of cell signalling and regulation of differentiation during development, life and ageing, through in vivo models to link with the human clinical research within the Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism. Additional links to bone oncology include regulation of tumour cell quiescence and activity, and drug discovery biology in cancer. The Unit is led by Professor Tim Skerry and based in the newly refurbished Sheffield Medical Research Institute laboratories adjacent to the Sheffield University Teaching Hospital Trust in the Hallamshire Hospital. The activities of the Unit provide a focus for research in cellular and molecular aspects of bone biology in the School of Medicine.

The principal interests of the Unit are in understanding the normal regulation of skeletal development, skeletal homeostasis, and how these processes are disturbed in disease.

In addition, the Academic Unit of Bone Biology also accommodates the Skeletal Analysis Laboratory. This laboratory has been established to provide members of the department, the University and external collaborators access to contemporary approaches to analysing bone. We also offer analytical services to industry, with an increasing focus on provision of translational facilities for research as a one-stop-shop, where our range of models and techniques can be tailored to individual requirements. We have two conventional microCT machines for analysis of bone samples and a new in vivo machine capable of imaging bones in life. Staff are experienced in bone histology, bone histomorphometry and image analysis. The activities of this laboratory are managed by Professor Ilaria Bellantuono.