Bone marrow adipose tissue as a novel regulator of metabolic homeostasis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Centre for Cardiovascular Science

Abstract

Stop and think about your bones; what images come to mind? Perhaps a skull with grinning jaws, or the strong white limbs stretching from your hips to your toes. You might even think of the bone marrow within them, producing the blood that courses through your veins. But this is not the whole picture, for your skeleton hides a secret: it is full of fat, and no one knows why.

This unsolved mystery is surprising. Scientists first noticed that our bone marrow contains fat-storing cells, called adipocytes, over a century ago. Having fat in our bones might strike you as unusual, but it is not: bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT) makes up to 70% of bone marrow volume in healthy adults, suggesting that MAT has a role in normal human physiology. MAT further increases in conditions of altered bone formation or metabolic health. For example, increased MAT occurs in osteoporosis, suggesting that MAT might contribute to the bone fragility that defines this disease. Perhaps most bizarrely, MAT formation increases in starvation states, such as during caloric restriction in animals or in human patients with anorexia nervosa. This is in stark contrast to adipose tissue elsewhere in the body, called white adipose tissue (WAT), which is broken down during starvation to be used as fuel. Caloric restriction has numerous health benefits, including increased lifespan, decreased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and metabolic benefits such as enhanced fat breakdown and insulin sensitivity. MAT also increases in response to treatment with anti-diabetic drugs, which, like caloric restriction, enhance insulin sensitivity. These clinical observations raise the possibility that MAT directly promotes insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. But unlike WAT, almost nothing is known about the biological function of MAT.

The possibility that MAT exerts metabolic benefits could have enormous implications for human health. Metabolic diseases such as diabetes currently place a huge burden on public health, both in the UK and around the globe. One in seventeen adults in the UK, or 3.2 million people, now has diabetes, and this is expected to rise to 4.6 million people by 2030. This is causing a major strain on the economy, costing the NHS over £1.5 million an hour, or 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales. In total, an estimated £14 billion is spent a year on treating diabetes and its complications in the UK. Globally, diabetes cost £232 billion in 2010, and this is projected to increase to over £300 billion by 2030. Identifying new treatments for diabetes and its complications would therefore provide a massive benefit to human health worldwide. However, developing such treatments requires improved understanding of the factors that regulate insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. This leads us back to MAT. What controls MAT formation, and does MAT benefit metabolic health?

A team of scientists at the University of Edinburgh is now working to answer these key questions. Members of this research team recently found that, during caloric restriction, MAT is a key source of adiponectin, a hormone that helps to maintain insulin sensitivity and fat breakdown, and which is linked to decreased risk of obesity-associated cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The University of Edinburgh team will now build on this research by studying why MAT expands during caloric restriction and investigating if MAT affects our metabolic health. Finally, these researchers will study samples of MAT and WAT provided by human donors to determine precisely how MAT differs to WAT in humans.

These studies will help to unravel the mystery of MAT. In doing so, this research might allow the development of new treatments for diabetes and its complications, as well as other diseases including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. This will be vital if we are to reduce the public health impact of these globally relevant health problems.

Technical Summary

Bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT) comprises up to 70% of bone marrow volume in healthy adults and further increases under conditions of altered metabolic homeostasis, such as caloric restriction (CR). My previous research identifies MAT as an endocrine organ that has systemic effects. These observations suggest that MAT directly impacts metabolic homeostasis, knowledge that might reveal new approaches for treating diabetes and other metabolic diseases. However, in stark contrast to white or brown adipose tissues (WAT or BAT), study of MAT has been extremely limited; hence, the physiological and pathological roles of MAT are poorly understood. My research will address this major gap in knowledge by investigating the characteristics, formation and metabolic function of MAT. My first objective is to establish unique MAT characteristics. To do so I will use RNAseq, proteomics and metabolomics to globally characterise MAT, WAT and BAT from rats, followed by targeted analysis of these tissues from humans. This will provide crucial insights into MAT biology directly relevant to human health. My second objective is to determine if increased glucocorticoid action mediates MAT expansion during CR. To do so I will use surgical and pharmacological tools to block glucocorticoid activity in mice fed control or CR diets. This will shed new light on why CR causes MAT expansion. My third objective is to determine if MAT impacts metabolic homeostasis. To do so I will create a new mouse model that lacks MAT. I will then study these mice to determine if lack of MAT has metabolic consequences, both on a normal diet and during CR. Finally, my fourth objective is to establish new mouse models for specific, inducible genetic targeting of MAT. These unique models will open avenues for future research to shed new light on MAT formation and function. Such knowledge might reveal new mechanisms of metabolic regulation, thereby allowing development of new strategies to treat metabolic diseases.

Planned Impact

My research will hugely extend our knowledge of MAT formation and function while also establishing new experimental tools to open avenues for future cutting-edge research. This new knowledge might advance understanding and treatment of diverse clinical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, haematopoietic disorders, metastatic bone disease, and various cancers. Thus, the results of my research will have broad translational potential, including the following beneficiaries:

1) Pharmaceutical arms of the commercial sector - My results could allow the development of new treatments for the above diseases. For example, my research will reveal if MAT regulates insulin sensitivity. If so, then MAT might directly contribute to the effectiveness of FGF21, an emerging anti-diabetic therapy that promotes MAT expansion. Thus, the results of my research have clear potential to impact drug development. Indeed, my previous MAT research was partly funded by partners in the pharmaceutical industry, underscoring the strong translational potential of my work.

2) The NHS and public health policy-makers - Improved knowledge of MAT function could benefit clinical approaches to diagnose and treat the diverse diseases listed above, which in turn could allow for more effective public health strategies. For example, MAT is emerging as an important clinical indicator for increased fracture risk, and therefore could be used as a biomarker to identify high-risk individuals. My research will reveal if MAT also exerts systemic metabolic effects, in which case increased MAT might be associated with improved cardiometabolic health. Such knowledge would better inform clinicians and public health policy-makers in using MAT as a clinical biomarker. Moreover, my work will reveal if glucocorticoid excess promotes MAT expansion and/or bone loss during caloric restriction. This knowledge is clinically relevant to bone loss during anorexia nervosa, a condition that remains incompletely understood. Therefore, these results could directly benefit clinical practice within the five-year timeframe.

3) The wider public - New disease treatments and improved clinical practice would greatly benefit the wider public. For example, diabetes currently places a huge burden on public health, affecting 6% of UK adults, or 3.2 million people. This is a huge detriment to the economy, with an estimated £14 billion spent a year on treating diabetes and its complications in the UK. Identifying new treatments for diabetes and its complications would therefore hugely benefit the UK economy and the health of the wider public.

4) Staff working on this project - In pursuing this research I will supervise and mentor my lab members, who will develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and time-management. I will develop skills including project- and financial-management, leadership and mentoring. Thus, my lab members and I will develop professional skills that are essential for success in many employment sectors.

Within the five-year timeframe we will have established the unique characteristics of MAT compared to WAT and BAT, including analysis of human tissues to ensure direct relevance to human health. We will have determined if excess glucocorticoids contribute to MAT expansion and bone loss during caloric restriction. We will have revealed if MAT impacts metabolic homeostasis, laying a foundation for development of new treatments for metabolic disease. Finally, we will have established new mouse models for specific, inducible MAT targeting, thereby opening avenues for future research to more precisely dissect MAT function. Such research will allow us to establish if MAT directly impacts the diverse clinical conditions described above, which will aid progress toward meeting these extensive unmet clinical needs.

Publications

10 25 50

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Chau YY (2019) Fat cell progenitors get singled out. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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Morris EV (2020) Myeloma Cells Down-Regulate Adiponectin in Bone Marrow Adipocytes Via TNF-Alpha. in Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

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Scheller EL (2016) Marrow Adipose Tissue: Trimming the Fat. in Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM

 
Description Institutional Strategic Support Fund
Amount £23,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Department Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Practical Skills Grant
Amount £979 (GBP)
Organisation Society for Endocrinology 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 10/2018
 
Description Research Boards May 2018 Submissions -  Population & Systems Medicine Board
Amount £677,093 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S010505/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Research Incentive Grant
Amount £8,525 (GBP)
Funding ID RIG007416 
Organisation Carnegie Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 02/2019
 
Description Wellcome-University of Edinburgh Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF3) award
Amount £38,500 (GBP)
Funding ID IS3-R2.03 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2019 
End 05/2020
 
Description Aberdeen collaborations 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Department Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We analysed samples of mouse bones sent by two groups based at the Rowett Institute, and anonymised data from a human nutrition study.
Collaborator Contribution Two partners sent bone samples from their unique genetically altered mouse models. One of these partners also sent us laboratory reagents for analysing expression of transcripts of interest in some of our experimental samples. A third partner coordinated a nutritional intervention study in human volunteers, to assess effects of caloric restriction on weight loss and body composition. We analysed some of this data to address a specific hypothesis.
Impact Myself and my MRC-supported postdoc are co-authors on a paper that was recently published (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2018.01.019)
Start Year 2016
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Centre (BSRC)
Country Greece 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Bruker Belgium
Country Belgium 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Center For Biomarker Research In Medicine
Country Austria 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Erasmus MC
Department Department of Internal Medicine
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Evercyte
Country Austria 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation MS-Omics
Country Denmark 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Marche Polytechnic University
Department Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation Pathophysiology of inflammatory bone disease (PMOI)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation University of Lille
Department Physiopathology of Inflammatory Bone Diseases (PMOI)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description BoneAHEAD 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am a named collaborator on a collaborative grant awarded by the French Government to Professor Pierre Hardouin. The grant is entitled 'BoneAHEAD' (Bone Adiposity in HEAlth and Diseases) and is aimed at establishing a pan-European network for further research into bone marrow adipose tissue, with the specific goal of obtaining EU funding for further research. Consistent with this, in 2016/2017 we applied for two EU calls: a COST Network grant, and an Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). We were unsuccessful with these initial applications but have now submitted revised applications. We expect to hear the outcome by mid-2018.
Collaborator Contribution The initial funding application was led by Prof. Hardouin. He and I, as well as several other partners (e.g. Oxford, Erasmus, Alexander Fleming, Lille) have spearheaded the COST and ITN applications.
Impact We organised the First European meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA2015) held in Lille, 28-29 August 2015 (http://bma2015.sciencesconf.org/). A summary of BMA2015 was published in the journal 'Bone' (http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(15)00414-7/abstract) We then organised the second BMA meeting in Rotterdam in August 2016 (https://adiposity.sciencesconf.org/), a summary of which was published in the journal 'Adipocyte' ( We have written a summary of this meeting, which is to be published in the journal 'Adipocyte' (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21623945.2017.1313374). This was followed by BMA2017 in Lausanne in August-September 2017 (https://bma2017.sciencesconf.org/). In the build-up to BMA2017 we worked toward the creation of an International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). This was voted on at BMA2017 and is now in the process of being formally established as the first society focused on bone marrow adipose research (http://bma-society.org/) (https://twitter.com/BMA_Society)
Start Year 2015
 
Description Edwards collaboration 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NDORMS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My lab is analysing bones from research conducted by Prof. Claire Edwards' group in Oxford.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are providing bone samples from mouse models of multiple myeloma. My lab is analysing these to assess the impact on marrow adiposity
Impact We have analysed one set of preclinical samples and are awaiting further samples. I am also a collaborator named on a grant application from the Edwards lab.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Article for The Endocrinologist magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was asked to write an article on my research for The Endocrinologist, the magazine for members of the Society for Endocrinology. The society has approximately 2,500 members and therefore this was a good opportunity to inform academics, students, clinicians and patients about the subject of my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.endocrinology.org/endocrinologist/126-winter17/features/why-are-our-bones-full-of-fat-th...