Student opportunities

Student Opportunities

If you are thinking of a career in musculoskeletal, endocrine, cardiovascular or metabolic research the BMRG is a great place to start. We are located at Monash Medical Centre (MMC) Clayton within easy walking distance of both Monash University Clayton Campus and the Clayton Shopping District. If you have any questions about a project, feel free to get in touch with the relevant researcher.
Available Projects

Honours/Masters

Assessing Bone Health in Sarcopenic Obese Older Adults
Obese older adults generally have reduced risk of fracture which is often attributed to stronger bones. However, we have demonstrated that those with sarcopenia (known as ‘sarcopenic obese’) do not experience protection from fractures. This research program will utilise baseline data from an exercise intervention in sarcopenic obese older adults to characterise the bone health of this population using novel imaging techniques including high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography.
Supervisors: Dr David Scott, Dr Ayse Zengin, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact:  03 8572 2397 or david.scott@monash.edu

Wearable Activity Trackers for Monitoring Physical Activity and Mobility in Older Adults
Wearable activity trackers are potentially useful and inexpensive tools for monitoring declines in physical activity and associated loss of mobility in older adults. This research program will utilise data from several observational studies of older adults to compare physical activity estimates from a commercially-available consumer activity tracker to a gold-standard instrument for assessing physical activity in research settings, and to determine whether these physical activity estimates are associated with mobility.
Supervisors: Dr David Scott, Dr Ayse Zengin, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact:  03 8572 2397 or david.scott@monash.edu

Exercise for Reducing Risk Factors for Falls in Obese Older Adults
Obese older adults have increased risk for falls compared with non-obese counterparts. This research program will utilise data from interventions in obese older adults to determine the benefits of different exercise strategies for reducing risk factors for falls, including muscle weakness, mobility disability and poor balance.
Supervisors: Dr David Scott, Dr Ayse Zengin, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact:  03 8572 2397 or david.scott@monash.edu

Honours/PhD

The effects of lifestyle differences on musculoskeletal health in ethnic populations
Genome wide association studies have shown that several genetic variants are associated with certain diseases, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. However, these genetic variants explain less than 10% of those diseases' variance – suggesting that the variability in disease susceptibility is mainly due to environmental lifestyle factors. Lifestyle factors include, but are not limited to: stress, physical activity, nutrition and socioeconomic status. This research project will look at the differences in lifestyle factors between ethnic populations from The Gambia, India and Vietnam, and how these are associated with bone and muscle health.
Supervisors:  Dr Ayse Zengin, Dr David Scott, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact: 03 8572 2918 or Ayse.Zengin@monash.edu

PhD

Musculoskeletal health of Indigenous Australians
Research on non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Indigenous Australians has mostly focused on diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease. Musculoskeletal diseases, such as osteoporosis, share common comorbidities with these NCDs – with a combination further increasing bone fragility and fracture risk. There are no data on bone or muscle health in ageing Indigenous Australians. This research project will be the first to characterise the musculoskeletal health of Indigenous Australians using the latest bone imaging (DXA, pQCT, HRpQCT) and muscle function devices (jumping mechanography, grip strength).
Supervisors:  Dr Ayse Zengin, Dr David Scott, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact: 03 8572 2918 or Ayse.Zengin@monash.edu

Ethnic differences in bone health in The Gambia, India and Vietnam
There are differences in fracture risk between ethnic groups in both men and in women across the globe. Bone structure, geometry and strength, in addition to body composition affect mobility, fall and fracture risk. This epidemiological research project will utilise data from large studies from The Gambia, India and Vietnam to examine the ethnic differences in bone geometry and body composition in order to determine how these affect bone fragility and fracture risk.
Supervisors:  Dr Ayse Zengin, Dr David Scott, Professor Peter Ebeling
Contact: 03 8572 2918 or Ayse.Zengin@monash.edu