Basic Research Division

Basic Research Division

Skeletal Biology Laboratory

The Basic Research Division of the Skeletal Biology Laboratory focuses on underlying mechanisms that govern the regulation of bone growth and homeostasis. This knowledge is utilized to design strategies to prevent or treat metabolic bone disease and bone cancer. Our research is performed using cell culture and animal models. Current specific research foci include:

  • Neuroendocrine regulation of body weight and bone metabolism.
  • Beneficial and detrimental effects of alcohol on bone.
  • Nutrition as a factor in tumor metastasis to bone.
  • Cross-talk between immune cells, fat cells, cancer cells, and bone cells.
  • Regulation of stromal (stem) cell differentiation into bone cells and fat cells
  • Effects of spaceflight/weightlessness on bone.


Lab Associates


Laboratory Techniques, Equipment and Space

The Turner laboratory (Skeletal Biology) is housed in Milam Hall (Room 6; 1,300 square feet) and houses equipment necessary for molecular biology and cell culture analysis, including: 

  • GM 7 Analyzer (measurement of alcohol, creatinine, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other oxidase and dehydrogenase substrates)
  • Perspex gel box for electrophoresis
  • Beckman DU60 spectrophotometer
  • SPEX 6700 Freezer Mill for RNA isolation from bone
  • Savant DNA-Speed Vacuum
  • Vacuum pump and rotor
  • GDS1 Gel drying system (gel dryer, drying pump, dry ice trap)
  • Fisher microfuge 59A
  • Eppendorf 54155 microcentrifuge
  • Corning 245 pH meter
  • Two Pelco 1055 rotary mixers
  • Hermle 2230M microfuge
  • Hofer DNA sequencing apparatus (pokerface SE 1500)
  • Cetus DNA thermal cycler for PCR
  • Molecular Dynamic Phosphor-Image Scanner for Northern blots 
  • Packard Cyclone Storage Phosphor System for gene microarrays
  • NAPCO 6200 Carbon-dioxide incubator
  • Olympus inverted microscope
  • Fisher Scientific Versa-bath 236 shaking water bath
  • Two liquid nitrogen storage tanks for cells
  • Two Kenmore -20oC freezers
  • Three -70oC freezers
  • Tissue culture hood


The Iwaniec laboratory (Skeletal Imaging) is housed in Milam Hall (Room 6A; 600 square feet) and houses equipment necessary for image and histomorphometry analysis, including:

  • Lunar PIXImus 2 Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometer (General Electric Healthcare, USA) used for measuring body composition and bone mass
  • Scanco mCT40 scanner (Scanco Medical AG, Basserdorf, Switzerland) used for measuring bone mass and architecture
  • Leica 2165 and 2265 microtomes (Leica Microsystems, Germany) used for cutting histological specimens
  • 3 Osteomeasure Bone Morphometry Systems (Osteometrics, Inc., Atlanta, GA) used for histomorphometric evaluation of cell number and activity