Signature Research Areas | Musculoskeletal Health

Decorative image of a knee joint.

Highlights

Identified as Western's second Western Cluster of Research Excellence

145+ researchers engaged, including five Canada Research Chairs, across six faculties

Home to one of Canada’s largest biomedical engineering programs

Access to $100+ million of biomedical imaging infrastructure

Partnered with CSTAR, a national centre developing and testing minimally invasive surgical approaches and devices

Provides a collaborative training program in MSK health research

Overview

Musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis and osteoarthritis, are rapidly growing problems, affecting 11 million Canadians over age 12 – at a cost of $33 billion annually. Members of Western’s Bone and Joint Institute have a goal providing lifelong mobility for all by advancing knowledge, tools and treatments related to physical activity; mobility and health; tissue injury, repair and replacement; pain, disability and chronic disease.

Academic Priorities

  • Innovation: new preventative, rehabilitative, medical and surgical therapies; diagnostic techniques, medical and assistive devices
  • Collaboration: bring together integrated transdisciplinary teams
  • Education: produce the next generation of MSK researchers
  • Knowledge translation: move new knowledge from the laboratory to the community, marketplace and clinic

Key Research Initiatives

Bone & Joint Institute

With more than 145 members, the Bone & Joint Institute brings together a critical mass of experts across disciplines achieving high-impact transdisciplinary research for the benefit of millions of Canadians suffering from pain and reduced mobility. The Institute's broad-based strengths include arthritis, bioengineering, orthopaedic surgery, regenerative medicine and sport medicine.

Facility for Advanced Biomedical Device Design and Fabrication

Home to Canada’s first high-resolution 3D metal printer with capacity to print patient-specific metal components based on 3D imaging data, FIDS offers applications in orthopaedic fixation and in the development of surgical tools and patient-specific guides.

Preclinical Imaging Research Centre

Home to one of only six GE eXplore Ultra slip-ring scanners, developed in London in partnership with GE Healthcare, the Preclinical Imaging Research Centre's emphasis is on in-vivo imaging, with unique equipment for micro-computed tomography, ultrasound biomicroscopy and in-vivo optical imaging.

  • Dr. Sandy Kirkley Centre for Musculoskeletal Research
  • Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratories
  • Skeletal Biology Laboratories
  • Wolf Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory

Collaboration with Renowned Clinical Facilities

  • The Roth | McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre: the largest upper extremity tertiary care centre in Canada, seeing approximately 40,000 patients annually.
  • The Arthritis Institute at St. Joseph's Health Care: has vigorous day programs for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, with a team including social work, psychology, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nursing, nutrition and rheumatology.
  • The Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic: one of North America's largest sport medicine centres, with a focus on clinical research in orthopaedic sport medicine and rehabilitation. It is a much emulated example of interdisciplinary care for MSK conditions.
  • The Rorabeck Bourne Joint Replacement Clinic: Clinicians at London Health Sciences Centre perform more than 1,500 hip and knee replacements each year, and maintainsa robust clinical research program with strong ties to private-sector partners in medical devices.
  • The Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging: Canada's leader in research and program development for physical activity and healthy aging in older adults.
  • Biomedical Imaging Research Centre: Provides Bone & Joint Institute members with access to dedicated, state-of-the-art MRI, CT, X-ray and PET scanners to accelerate clinical trials.