Western establishes The Bone and Joint Institute

Western University has taken another bold step toward positioning itself as a global leader in research and innovation in musculoskeletal (MSK) health by establishing The Bone and Joint Institute.

“Bone and joint disorders are the leading cause of disability in Canada and there are hundreds of millions of people around the world suffering from these conditions,” said David Holdsworth, a researcher at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “By bringing together Western researchers from many disciplines at The Bone and Joint Institute, we have the opportunity to make great strides forward in helping these people maintain lifelong mobility.”

The Bone and Joint Institute will focus on four academic priorities: excellence in innovation, including new preventive, rehabilitative, medical and surgical therapies, diagnostic techniques, and medical and assistive devices; collaboration, bringing together integrated transdisciplinary teams; education, to produce the next generation of MSK researchers; and knowledge translation, to move new knowledge from the laboratory to the community, marketplace and clinic.

“Western is committed to fostering collaborative research across disciplines and faculties to address complex issues of societal importance,” said John Capone, Vice-President (Research) at Western. “With a complement of skilled, knowledgeable people, world-leading imaging facilities and labs, and community partners, we are uniquely positioned to achieve international prominence in bone and joint health research and to draw the best and brightest people from around the world.”

The Bone and Joint Institute and the Collaborative Training Program in Muskuloskeletal Health Research (CMHR) also announced that Dr. Shabana Amanda Ali has been named the first recipient of the Kirkley Postdoctoral Fellowship in Musculoskeletal Health Research and Innovation, which is aimed at promoting the recruitment of exceptional candidates to foster new collaborative research and bridge existing areas of strength in MSK research at Western. Dr. Ali comes to Western from the Institute of Medical Science at The University of Toronto. Her focus is improving pain management for those with osteoarthritis.

These announcements build on Western’s $5 million investment in the Western Cluster of Research Excellence in Musculoskeletal Heath in November 2014 , funding more than 70 researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Faculties of Health Sciences, Engineering, Science and Social Science to study conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, trauma, and work, sport and exercise-related injuries. Applications are now being accepted for a second Kirkley Fellowship.