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Bone Physiology Research Laboratory

Main Objectives

Osteoclast with Trap Staining_Fuchs

Reductions in bone strength associated with aging, with resultant increases in the risk for low trauma fracture represents a prominent and growing problem worldwide. Osteoporotic fractures create devastating consequences, including increased morbidity and mortality, and reductions in quality of life. Thus, interventions that function to increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fracture are highly desirable. One way to improve bone strength is to increase bone size by targeting periosteal bone surfaces during growth and aging. Adding bone to periosteal surfaces increases bone size and yields greater increases in bone strength than changes in bone mass alone. While periosteal bone apposition is an important component of bone health, the molecular pathways involved in its regulation remain unclear.

Trabecular Bone

The goal of Dr. Fuchs research is to investigate genetic factors that influence periosteal bone apposition at the tissue and cellular level using novel animal models. In particular, Dr. Fuchs is working on identifying specific genes and molecular pathways involved in regulating periosteal tissue and cellular level responses to anabolic treatments and to fracture. At this time her research focuses on a novel protein called periostin, an extracellular matrix protein preferentially expressed in immature osteoblasts on periosteal bone surfaces. Periostin exhibits unique properties that suggest it may function as a regulatory factor for anabolic actions targeting periosteal bone surfaces. The surface-specificity of periostin suggests that this protein may be an excellent candidate for the development of novel therapies aimed at improving bone strength via periosteal adaptation and may be important for fracture repair.

Location & Contact

Bone Cell

The Bone Physiology Research Laboratory is located in Fesler Hall in Rooms 105 and 121 and is directed by Dr. Robyn K. Fuchs, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. For more information please contact Dr. Robyn Fuchs at 317-274-3145 (


Laboratory Director:

Photo: Dr. Robyn Fuchs - PhD Dr. Robyn Fuchs - PhDAssistant Professor317-274-3145

Department Investigators:

Photo: Dr. Stuart Warden - PhD, PT, FACSM Dr. Stuart Warden - PhD, PT, FACSMAssociate Dean of Research & Professor317-278-1875

Current Students

  • Katie Felton, BS, SDPT (Department of Physical Therapy)
  • Lisa Daily, BS, SDPT (Department of Physical Therapy)
  • Meghan Koerner, BS, SDPT (Department of Physical Therapy)
  • Anna Gaddy, (Department of Science, Life Health Science Intern)

Past Students

  • Matt Galley, BS, (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Life Health Science Intern)
  • Elisa VanEyke, BS, (Department of Chemistry, Life Health Science Intern, IU Top 10 Female Student)
  • Jennifer Doyle, BS, (Department of Biomedical Engineering)
  • Frank Klene, DPT (Department of Physical Therapy)
  • Brandon McGaughey, DPT (Department of Physical Therapy)


  • Fuchs RK, Warden SJ, Turner CH (2009) Bone anatomy, physiology and adaptation to mechanical loading In Planell JA, Best SM, Lacroix D, Merolli A (eds), Bone Repair Biomaterials, Cambridge, England, Woodhead Publishing Ltd, 25-68
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK. Exercise and bone health: optimizing structure during growth is key, but all is not in vain during gaining. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009; 4 {Epub ahead of print]
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK. Are “exercise pills” the answer to the growing problem of physical inactivity? British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008; 42(11):562-3.
  • Fuchs RK, Allen MR, Condon KW, Reinwald, S, Miller LM, McClenathan D, Keck B, Phipps R, Burr DB. Calculating clinically relevant drug doses to use in animal studies. Osteoporosis International. 2008; 19:1815-1817.
  • Warden SJ, Nelson IR, Fuchs RK, Bliziotes MM, Turner CH. Serotonin (5-Hydorxytryptamine) transporter inhibition causes bone loss in adult mice independently of estrogen deficiency. Menopause. 2008; 15 (6):1176-1183.
  • Fuchs RK, Warden SJ. Combination therapy using exercise and pharmaceutical agents to optimize bone health. Clinical Reviews in Bone Mineral Metabolism. 2008; 6:37-45.
  • Fuchs RK, Allen MR, Condon KW, Reinwald, S, Miller LM, McClenatahan D, Keck B, Phipps R, Burr DB. Strontium ranelate does not stimulate bone formation in ovariectomized rats. Osteoporosis International. 2008; 19(9):1331-41.
  • Fuchs RK, Phipps RJ, Burr DB. Recovery of trabecular and cortical bone turnover after discontinuation of risedronate and alendronate therapy in ovariectomized rats. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2008; 23(10):1689-97.
  • Gunter KG, Baxter-Jones AD, Mirwald RL, Almstedt HC, Fuchs RK, Durski SL, Snow CM. Impact exercise increases BMC during Growth: an 8-Year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2008; 23(7):986-93.
  • Fuchs RK, Allen MR, Ruppel ME, Diab T, Phipps RJ, Miller LM, Burr DB. In situ examination of the time-course for secondary mineralization of haversian bone using synchrotron Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy. Matrix Biology. 2008; Jan;27(1):34-4.
  • Fuchs RK, Shea M, Durski SL, Hansen B, Bay BK, Winters-Stone KM, Widrick J and Snow CM: Individual and combined effects of exercise and alendronate on bone mass and strength in ovariectomized rats. Bone. 2007; Aug 41(2): 290-6.
  • Widrick JJ, Fuchs RK, Maddalozzo GF, Marley K, Snow CM. Relative effects of exercise training and alendronate treatment on muscle function of ovariectomized rats. Menopause. 2007; 14( 3 Pt1):528-34.
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK, Castillo AB, Nelson IR, Turner CH. Exercise when young provides lifelong benefits to bone structure and strength. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2007; 22(2): 251-9.
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK, Kessler CK, Avin KG, Cardinal RE and Stewart RL: Ultrasound produced by a conventional therapeutic ultrasound unit accelerates fracture repair. Physical Therapy. 2006; 86(8):1118-27.
  • Sheridan C, Kishimoto H, Fuchs RK, Mehrotra S, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Turner CH, Goulet R Jr, Badve S, Nakshatri H. Breast Cancer Research. 2006; 8(5):R59.
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK, Castillo AB and Turner CH: Does exercise during growth influence osteoporotic fracture risk later in life?  Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. 2005; Dec:5(4):344-6.
  • Warden SJ, Fuchs RK and Turner CH: Steps for targeting exercise toward the skeleton to increase bone strength. Europa Medicophysica. 2004; 40:223-232.
  • Fuchs RK and Snow CM: Gains in hip bone mass from high-impact training are maintained: A randomized controlled trial in children. Journal of Pediatrics. 2002; 141:357-362.
  • Fuchs RK, Cusimano B and Snow CM: Box jumping: A bone building exercise for elementary school children.  Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 2002; 73:2.
  • Fuchs RK, Bauer JJ, Snow CM. Impact forces from jumping depends on jump height. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2001; 16(12) 2369.
  • Fuchs RK, Bauer J and Snow CM:  Jumping improves hip bone mass: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.  2001; 16:148-156.
  • Snow CM, Williams DP, LaRiviere J, Fuchs RK and Robinson TL. Bone gains and losses following seasonal training and detraining in gymnasts. Calcified Tissue International. 2001; 69:7-12.
  • Bauer J, Fuchs RK, Smith GA, Costello M and Snow CM. Force characteristics of children participating in exercise that increases bone mass. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 2001; 17:142-152.

Current Research Funding

Grant Agency: NIH K01 Award (AR054408-01A); Division of National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: $600,857 (7/1/08-06/30/13)

Grant Agency: National Osteoporosis Foundation
Role:  Principal Investigator
Amount: $57,000 (9/1/2008-12/31/2009)