Bone and Joint Health

Participating Faculties: Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (host), Engineering, Health Sciences

Project Leaders: David Holdsworth, Trevor Birmingham, Jeff Dixon

Total Project Funding: $256,870

Funding Period:
3 years


Musculoskeletal diseases are one of the most common reasons for seeking health care. These disorders cost Canadians $20 billion a year and have immense impact on quality of life, independence and ability to work. The University of Western Ontario has a “critical mass” of outstanding investigators in the field of musculoskeletal health – the mission of this interdisciplinary initiative is to bring these investigators together as a high-performing team to lead in transdisciplinary research, innovation and education. Our vision is to maintain lifelong mobility. The goals of the IDI in Bone and Joint Health include:

  1. establishing self-sustaining, transdisciplinary research teams;
  2. launching a new Collaborative Graduate Program in Musculoskeletal Health; and
  3. creating programs to enhance the recruitment, education and research experience of undergraduate students.

The musculoskeletal health program at Western comprises over 60 researchers and educators in areas including arthritis, bioengineering, dentistry, health policy, muscle disorders, osteoporosis, orthopaedic surgery, regenerative medicine, rehabilitation, sport medicine and imaging. Team members include biologists, engineers, imaging scientists, anthropologists, clinicians, health scientists and community researchers. This IDI will lead to improved understanding of – and novel therapies for – debilitating bone and joint disorders. IDI members come from six Faculties: Medicine & Dentistry, Engineering, Health Sciences, Social Science, Science and the Richard Ivey School of Business. 

The IDI in Bone and Joint Health is unique in Canada. The increased visibility resulting from this program will facilitate the recruitment of outstanding graduate and postdoctoral trainees and faculty, lead to collaborations and exchanges with top research groups internationally, and enhance the success of our researchers in competitions for major grants and infrastructure support.