Joint & Bone Initiative

Dr. Stephen Sims

Research Areas

Ion channels and calcium in muscle and bone cells, with expertise in patch-clamp electrophysiology and live-cell imaging.

Dr. Stephen Sims is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and serves as Associate Vice-Provost in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, University of Western Ontario. His research is supported by competitive awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), with previous support from the Canadian Arthritis Network and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  He is a member of several collaborative research groups, including: "CIHR Group in Skeletal Development and Remodeling", "JuMP - Joint Motion Program: Transdisciplinary training in musculoskeletal health research and leadership" and "Application of imaging modalities to preclinical studies of breast cancer", funded by the Alberta Cancer Research Institute, Breast Cancer Translational Group Grant Program.

Sims and colleagues pioneered the use of patch clamp and fluorescence methods to study authentic mammalian osteoclasts.  They were the first to characterize the ion channels in osteoclasts and have since identified and characterized several classes of channel types as well as their regulation. These studies are of high impact in the bone field, with relevance to understanding the basis of diseases involving bone loss, with the osteoclast now recognized as the target for therapy in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and metastatic tumors in bone. 

Dr. Sims has made major advances by characterizing ion channels and calcium signaling in smooth muscles, including a number of human muscles, such as esophagus and corpus cavernosum of the penis. He has published 96 refereed journal articles and 12 book chapter, and has supervised or co-supervised 12 graduate students and 18 postdoctoral fellows.

 

Recent Publications