BJI think tanks

BJI think tanks let researchers explore grand MSK challenges by bringing together interdisciplinary knowledge and perspectives.

BJI think thanks are designed to increase knowledge, enhance research, and expand interdisciplinary collaborations, and often lead to submissions of large team grants.  

They usually begin with a conversation around a grand MSK challenge before spinning off into smaller project-related groups. Think Tanks are facilitated by BJI administration in collaboration with BJI members and typically include 10 to 15 outstanding local, national, or international experts.  

For a list of past think tanks, have a look at our members resources.

Current BJI think tanks

Common spine disorders

Solving the global problem of spinal pain

Led by Alison Rushton & Dave Walton

Challenge: Neck and back pain have a high global burden of disease. Large cohort studies have provided some insights, but existing biobanks lack diversity and specificity when it comes to spine-related disorders.

Goal: We will establish and follow a large diverse cohort of participants from the London area by collecting tissues, imaging, and questionnaire data.

Impact: BJI researchers and international collaborators will use this novel data set to understand how back pain develops and generate strategies for prevention and treatment.

Bone health across the lifespan

Identifying conditions for lifelong bone health

Led by: Tina Ziebart & Jay Stock

Challenge: Poor bone quality is associated with impaired mobility and heightened risk of fractures. Bone development in early life likely establishes late life bone quality.

Goal: We will build a database with cross-sectional sampling from participants across the entire life course, including social factors, imaging, and tissues.

Impact: BJI researchers and international collaborators will use this novel data set to identify the factors in early life that affect bone health in later life.

Microbes in musculoskeletal health

Mobilizing gut microbes to improve outcomes

Led by Jeremy Burton, Lillian Barra & Matt Teeter

Challenge: Gut microbiota produce nutrients required for bone and joint health and influence systemic inflammation. Microbial therapies are poorly studied in MSK compared to other areas like cancer.

Goal: We will establish ways to insert gut microbiota analysis into ongoing MSK studies and develop infrastructure to support interventional trials with microbial therapies like probiotics.

Impact: BJI researchers will be international leaders in understanding the effects of gut microbiota on MSK health and generate partnerships for landmark clinical trials in this field.


How to get involved...

Think tank meetings are by invitation, but if you are interested in participating in one of these groups or if you have an idea for a new think tank, please contact for assistance.