Staff, Students and Monash Collaborators

Meet the Bone and Muscle Health Research Group

Researchers

Professional and Academic Support Staff

Ruth Fantozzi

Executive Assistant Ms Ruth Fantozzi provides high-level Executive Assistant support to Professor Peter Ebeling in his role as the Head of the Department of Medicine, as well as for his role as Chair of the Division of Medicine at Monash Health. In 2017 she was recognised for her outstanding work – winning the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Administration. Find out more about Ms Ruth Fantozzi

Cat Shore-Lorenti

Research Co-ordinator Mx Cat Shore-Lorenti completed a Master of Philosophy in endocrinology and epidemiology in 2015 whilst also working part-time as a Research Assistant on projects centred around musculoskeletal health in older adults – community members and hospital patients. Now, as Clinical Trials Coordinator for the Bone and Muscle Research Group, Cat is involved in:

  • translational research, trying to prevent age-related muscle wasting (InvestiGAIT);
  • the expansion, maintenance and development of our international atypical femur fracture registry (TRAFFIC), and;
  • post-marketing medical research observing quality of life and refracture rates in severe osteoporosis treated with Forteo (ALAFOS).

Cat also manages the Clinical Imaging Service, providing access to inexpensive DXA, HR-pQCT and pQCT for researchers external to our group. If you would like to incorporate the Service into your research, email: med-bmrg@monash.edu

Chris Fone

Research Assistant Mr Christopher Fone provides research support across our studies and clinical trials in musculoskeletal health. His current research interests comprise reducing and delaying the loss of mobility and function with age.  Returning to his scientific interests following a 15 year career in business and management spanning financial services, IT and coffee production, Chris joined our team while he studies a Bachelor of Science in biomedical science and psychology as his first step towards becoming a doctor. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce.

Roger Zebaze pt

Part-time staff Dr Roger Zebaze.

Students

PhD Students

Hanh Nguyen

Dr Hanh Nguyen is a Consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health who's clinical and research interest is in osteoporosis and optimising skeletal health in under-recognised populations. She is currently undertaking her PhD in the Bone and Muscle Research Group with a particular focus on rare anti-resorptive therapy related atypical femur fractures and has helped established the NHMRC funded international collaborative TrAFFiC Study (https://trafficstudygroup.org/) to assess the clinical, genetic and bone material risk factors associated with this condition. Her clinical experience in the Menopause Clinic and Adult Turner Syndrome Clinic at Monash Health has stimulated an interest in bone health in women with Premature Menopause and Turner Syndrome, and she has received multiple research awards and presented internationally in this field.  Supervisors:

  • Prof Peter R Ebeling, AO
  • A/Prof Frances Milat
  • A/Prof Amanda Vincent
Jasna Aleksova

Phd student Dr Jasna Aleksova's research focuses on the bone health of patients with chronic kidney disease and those with kidney transplants. These patients have a high burden of fractures compared to the general population, but current strategies to identify and treat those at highest risk for fracture are inadequate. Given chronic kidney disease now affects one in ten Australians, urgent measures are needed to identify and treat those at highest risk of fracture. Her research specifically evaluates the role of hypogonadism on the bone health of these patients, and novel imaging techniques, including the trabecular bone score and structural hip analyses, to better predict patients who are at the greatest risk of fracture.  Supervisors:


  • A/Prof Frances Milat
  • Prof Robert McLachlan
  • Prof Peter Ebeling
  • Prof Peter Kerr
  • Prof Grahame Elder
Jakub Mesinovic

PhD student Mr Jakub Mesinovic's research is focused on type 2 diabetes and how this effects musculoskeletal health in older adults. This encompasses the effects of type 2 diabetes on falls and fracture risk, bone microarchitecture, geometry and density as well as physical performance. Jake is also interested in the role different types of exercise may have on these relationships, as it serves as a low-cost preventative and ongoing treatment for some of the detrimental effects type 2 diabetes has on musculoskeletal health.  Supervisors:

  • Dr David Scott
  • Prof Peter Ebeling
  • A/Prof Barbora de Courten
  • Dr Ayse Zengin
Mavil Cervo

PhD student Ms Mavil Cervo has conducted clinical research studies on the effects of food on the immune system, cognitive and psychomotor skills, and on the nutritional status of children, as well as on body fat loss and blood glucose levels in adults. She also did a study to determine the nutrient composition of street foods and co-authored a book on High Value Fruits and Vegetables. Currently, Mavil’s research focuses on the inflammatory potential of diets and their effects on musculoskeletal health and sarcopenia. She is also interested in the bioactive substances in foods and their roles in the prevention of osteoporosis, inflammation and frailty.  She is keen to develop new dietary and clinical nutrition guidelines for bone health promotion and disease prevention which will help reduce the prevalence of osteoporosis and other chronic diseases.  Supervisors:

  • Dr David Scott
  • Dr Tracy McCaffrey
  • Prof Kerrie Sanders
  • Prof Peter Ebeling
Eleanor Thong

PhD student Dr Eleanor Thong is a Consultant Endocrinologist with interests in metabolic bone disorders, diabetes and obesity management. Her research aims to explore the impact of autoimmune conditions, specifically Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease, on reproductive and bone health in adults. She intends to utilise novel techniques such as trabecular bone score (TBS) and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomoraphy (HR-pQCT) to further explore mechanisms of autoimmunity on skeletal fragility.  Supervisors:

  • Prof Helena Teede
  • A/Prof Fran Milat
  • Prof Peter Ebeling
Carrie-Anne Ng

PhD student Ms Carrie-Anne Ng's research surrounds the use of exercise targeted at improving bone health, particularly to prevent the insidious development of osteoporosis. She is particularly interested in the intricacies of individualising exercise training for osteoporosis in populations with other chronic conditions.  Supervisors:

  • Dr David Scott
  • Prof Peter Ebeling
Anoohya Gandham
PhD student Ms Anoohya Gandham
Carol Alonso
Physiotherapy placement student Ms Carol Alonso
Juan Rodriguez
Physiotherapy placement student Mr Juan Rodriguez
 

Alumni

  • Mr Amar Lakhani
  • Mr Lachlan McMillan
  • Mr Theo Di Pauli von Treuheim

Monash Collaborators

Peter Fuller
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow Professor Peter Fuller, AM is the centre head, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Amanda Vincent
A/Prof Amanda Vincent is an Adjunct Research Fellow.  Find out more about A/Prof Amanda Vincent.
Francis Milat
Adjunct Senior lecturer Dr Fran Milat is an Endocrinologist, Head of the Metabolic Bone Services at Monash Health, Head of the Metabolic Bone Research Group at the Hudson Institute and Adjunct Clinical A/Professor in the School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University. She graduated from Medicine at Monash University with honours in 1996 and completed endocrine training at Monash Health and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. She pursued her research interest in metabolic bone disorders, obtaining an MD examining mechanisms of PTH and Wnt pathway action in bone at St Vincent’s Institute (University of Melbourne).  Fran is committed to improving patient care through clinical research, with interests in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disorders associated with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies, chronic neurological diseases, pregnancy, renal disease and other medical conditions. She is involved in the supervision of research students as well as medical student and postgraduate teaching. She is the current Co-chair of the ESA Annual Scientific Meeting Program Organising Committee (2016-18). She was the recipient of a Monash Health Leadership Award in 2016 (for her work in osteoporosis), the Endocrine Society of Australia Mid-Career Award in 2017 and the ESA Ken Wynne Memorial Postdoctoral Research Award for 2018.  Find out more about Dr Frances Milat.

Adjunct Research Fellow Mr Alexander Rodriguez

Phillip Wong
PhD student Dr Phillip Wong
Anne Trinh
PhD student Dr Anne Trinh
PhD student Dr Wei-Ling Chiu is an Endocrinology Consultant