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Dr. David Hoey, Primary Cilium-Mediated Mechanobiology in Bone

Date: Fri 22 Mar 2013, 15:00 - 16:30

Location: SEMS Seminar room

Bone is an exquisitely mechanosensitive organ which constantly adapts its structure to meet the demands of its physical environment. This remodelling phenomenon is ultimately regulated by resident cells, but how these cells sense their local mechanical microenvironment and translate that into a biochemical bone forming response (mechanotransduction) remains poorly understood. The primary cilium is a solitary, immotile microtubule based organelle which extends from the surface of nearly every cell in the human body and has recently demonstrated a role in cellular mechanotransduction.
This seminar will review recent evidence that the cilium is required for fluid flow induced changes in osteogenic gene expression in osteocytes in vitro and that loss of the cilium in bone significantly inhibits loading induced bone formation in vivo. Furthermore, the molecular mechanism of cilia mediated mechanosensing in bone will be introduced. Finally, the role of the primary cilium in biochemically and biophysically induced stem cell differentiation will be discussed. The discovery of bone mechanotransduction mechanisms may yield novel therapeutics to mimic the effect of loading in vivo with the ultimate aim of preventing bone loss in diseases such as osteoporosis.

Dr. David Hoey is a lecturer in Biomedical Engineering within the Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Limerick (UL), Ireland. He graduated with a BA/BAI degree in Mechanical Engineering and PhD degree in Bioengineering from University of Dublin, Trinity College in 2005 and 2009 respectively. After being awarded an IRCSET/Marie Curie INSPIRE fellowship, he moved to Columbia University in New York where he spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Biomedical Engineering department under Prof. Christopher Jacobs investigating the role of the primary cilium in stem cell mechanobiology. During his return phase he spent 6 months in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland under Prof.
Fergal O'Brien before joining UL in February of 2012. He has many national and international collaborators and has presented at over 31 conferences and symposia. In his career to-date, he has won numerous awards and published over 14 journal papers.

Updated by: Jonathon Hills