Agnes Arthur

Dr Agnes Arthur


School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Skeletal disease such as osteoporosis is caused by the uncoupling of the bone remodelling process. This uncoupling causes the deterioration of the skeleton by a decrease in the production and thus function of bone forming cells and the increase of bone removing cells. This imbalance ultimately results in more brittle bones that have a higher incidence of fracture. Osteoporosis affects over 2 million Australians and costs the health system approximately $20 million/day. With such high prevalence and cost to the Australian health system, it is imperative that we identify novel therapies that limit side effects while treating osteoporosis effectively.

I lead the Musculoskeletal Cellular Communication (MCC) research group. My group is interested in understanding the communication between MSC and their surrounding microenvironment (including bone-resorbing cells (osteoclasts), bone-forming cells (mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts, and osteocytes); fat cells (adipocytes), immune cells, cell lining blood vessels (endothelial cells), and nerve fibres). This communication is important during (1) bone remodelling, (2) bone disease and (3) repair following trauma.

My research focuses on:

1 - The function of a family of receptor tyrosine kinase molecules, the Eph receptors and ephrin ligands expressed by MSC and within their microenvironment. The projects aim to decipher the function of ephrinB1 on the skeletal stem cells and their derivatives during bone development, postnatal skeletal homeostasis/remodelling, during the onset of osteoporosis and following fracture repair. The research also aims to identify the signalling mechanisms by which ephrinB1/EphB molecules mediate their responses during these processes.

2 - The communication between nerve and bone cells and how this communication contributes to maintaining bone health or repair following trauma (osteoporosis, fracture, cancer treatment).

This projects could potentially identify and translate into alternative therapeutic treatments for patients with osteoporosis, to prevent fractures in high risk groups.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) - Stem cell therapies mission. Bioengineering a superior humanized haematopoietic niche derived from mesenchymal stem cells for pre-clinical avatar cancer trials. ($854,593) 2023-2024. Chief Investigators: Daniel Thomas, Agnes Arthur, Andreas Reinisch, Chloe Thompson-Peach, Jason Powell, Susan Branford, Stuart Pitson, Timothy Hughes, David Ross, Laura Edney (NOTE: No order of CI in MRFF)

University of Adelaide, FHMS Research Travel Awards 2022 ($1800) - Attendance of the ANZBMS conference 2022.

University of Adelaide, FHMS Research Infrastructure Funding Award. ($19,700) 2022. Chief Investigators: Hannah Wardill,  Agnes Arthur, Melissa Cantley, Amanda Page, Joanne Bowen and Susan Woods. 

Australian Dental Research Foundation (ARDF) project grant. A pilot study to utilise single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to define the bone remodelling microenvironment human periodontitis gingival and bone tissues. ($13,500) 2020. Chief Investigators: Melissa Cantley, Nicholas Quirk, Agnes Arthur, Sushil Kaur, Kent Algate, James Breen.

University of Adelaide, Adelaide Medical Research Committee Small Equipment Award ($1,909) 2019. Chief Investigators: Agnes Arthur and Melissa Cantley.  

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Equipment Grant. ($23,840) 2019. Chief Investigators: Melissa Cantley and Agnes Arthur 

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Research Travel Awards ($3000) 2019. Attendance of the ASBMR Conference held in Orlando, Florida, USA

ASBMR Family Care Travel Grant ($400 USD) 2019. Attendance of the ASBMR Conference held in Orlando, Florida, USA

Australian Dental Research Fund #381-2018 ($4,480) 2019. Phenotyping the craniofacial and dental features in a murine model of craniofrontonasal dysplasia (CFND). Chief investigators: Samuel Bereza, Sarbin Ranjitkar, Robin Chi-Weng Yong, Agnes Arthur, Peter Anderson.

International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS) fellowship grant. ($25000 USD) 2018-2019. Note 1 of 2 international fellowships given annually. Principal Investigator: Agnes Arthur.

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Research Travel Awards ($2870) - Attendance of the ANZBMS Conference held in Queenstown, New Zealand

The Australian Society for Stem Cell Research / National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia travel award ($840) – Attendance of the ISSCR Conference held in Melbourne, Australia

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Research Travel Awards 2017 ($1000) - Attendance of the ANZBMS conference 2017.

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Equipment Grant 2016 ($5,040). Chief Investigators: Agnes Arthur, Andrew Zannettino, Stan Gronthos.

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Research Travel Awards 2016 ($1000) - Attendance of the ANZBMS conference 2016.

Australian Dental Research Fund #44-2014 ($11,363) 2015. The role of EphB/ephrinB activation in allogeneic Dental Pulp Stem Cell mediated dental tissue regeneration following tooth injury. Chief investigators: Stan Gronthos, Agnes Arthur.

National Health & Medical Research Council, Project Grant # APP1083704 (AUD$548,347) 2015-2017. Title: The role of ephrinB1 reverse signalling in osteogenic differentiation during skeletal development and osteoporosis. Chief investigators: Stan Gronthos, Agnes Arthur and Andrew Zannettino. 

RAH Research Fund - Mary Overton Early Career Fellowship #7730 ($250,803) 2013-2016. Principal Investigator: Agnes Arthur.

International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), Young Investigator Award ($500) 2011

Travel award funded by the ANZBMS 2009

Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide, Publication Award ($1,000) 2009

Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide, Young Investigator Award ($10,000) 2009-2010. Chief Investigator: Agnes Arthur.

Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Adult Stem Cell Research Award ($100,000) 2007-2008. Chief Investigators: Stan Gronthos, Simon Koblar and Agnes Arthur

Principles of Human Health and Disease

Dental Science and Practice I Part I and II

Human Biology IOH Part II

Foundations of Medicine

Scientific Basis of Medicine I

Scientific Basis of Medicine II 

Scientific Basis of Medicine III 

Investigative Cell Biology

Third Year Research Placement 

BHMS Honours Program

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Co-Supervisor Capturing Molecular Regulatory Events of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Emergence From Endothelium Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Luke Bland
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Role of Eph/ephrin Molecules in Mediating Cross-talk Between Stromal and Neural Populations in the Regulation of Neural Differentiation, Adhesion and Migration Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Miss Nethmi Abeynayake
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 - ongoing Co-Supervisor craniosynostosis and pharmacological therapeutics The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Honours Full Time Luke Bland
    2019 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Investigating the role of ephrinB1/EphB2 downstream signalling in mediating osteoclastogenic/osteogenic interactions University of Adelaide Adelaide Medical School Honours Full Time Kellie Wise
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Craniofacial phenotyping of EFNB1 null mice. University of Adelaide Dentistry Honours Part Time Samuel Bereza
    2017 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Investigating the Role of ephrinB1 During Skeletal Repair Following Fracture University of Adelaide Adelaide Medical School Honours Full Time Daniel Reed
    2015 - 2015 Co-Supervisor EphB2/ephrinB1 Interactions Mediate Osteoblast/Osteoclast Communication Via Gap Junction Proteins University of Adelaide School of Medical Sciences Honours Full Time Ana Klisuric
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133180
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor Fourth Floor
  • Room: S430
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

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