Ayse Zengin


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Ethnic differences in bone health in The Gambia and India in the ageing population

Interactions between cardiovascular health and musculoskeletal health in the ageing population

Study of Indigenous Muscle and Bone Ageing, SIMBA


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Ayse Zengin is Head of the Bone and Muscle Research Group within the Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health. She is an expert in bone imaging within the ageing population and in underserved populations (ethnic groups and certain patient populations).


Ayse completed her PhD in a joint project between the Bone Biology and Neuroscience programs at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, UNSW in Sydney, Australia in 2012. Upon completion, Ayse worked as a postdoc in the Endocrinology Department of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (Germany) until December 2013. Ayse then moved to Cambridge (UK) where she was a Postdoctoral Scientist at the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit, Cambridge University where she worked with the MRC Unit in The Gambia (Africa) on a musculoskeletal study in ageing men and women. 


Ayse’s projects have highlighted that a “one-size fits all” approach is not appropriate for the optimal care and management of musculoskeletal health. Throughout her research projects, she has demonstrated that there are ethnic differences in bone and muscle health, and the importance of modifiable lifestyle factors (nutrition, diet, exercise, vitamin D). In 2021, she was awarded the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (Early Career Researcher) from the Faculty of Medicine (Monash University) in recognition of her work towards improving musculoskeletal health in underserved populations.


Her standing within the field of research is evidenced by her chief investigator’s role on a successful MRFF grant, National Centre for Healthy Ageing grant and a number of investigator-initiated grants from industry and charity organisations (Bayer AG, Amgen Inc, Healthy Bones Australia, Ian Potter Foundation). Ayse’s group is at the forefront of musculoskeletal imaging, and she has been invited to speak at national and international conferences.


Nationally, Ayse is a leader and collaborates with other national researchers in the field of bone and muscle research using data from cutting-edge bone imaging devices, utilising deep learning and artificial intelligence in scan analysis, designing new protocols to procure scans of the joints, co-designing community educational programs and improving bone health management in the clinic – particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with haemophilia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease. Internationally, she collaborates with leading scientists in the U.K., The Gambia, South Africa, India and Canada to characterise the ethnic differences in bone and muscle health, to understand multi-morbidity and co-existing chronic conditions (osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease). Together, her findings have contributed to the second edition of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP) guidelines on “Osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis and management in postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age”.

Research interests

  • Global health of musculoskeletal diseases (osteoporosis and sarcopenia)
  • Fall and fracture prevention in disadvantaged populations (e.g The Gambia, India, Aboriginal Australians)
  • Lifestyle effects (diet, nutrition, physical activity etc) on bone and muscle health
  • Effects of chronic co-morbidities (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes) on bone and muscle health

Supervision interests

  1. Study of Indigenous Muscle & Bone Ageing (SIMBA): longitudinal study to determine why fall & fracture risk are increased in Indigenous Australians?
  2. Effects of diet/nutrtion on bone and muscle health in ageing Indian and Gambian adults
  3. Understanding the associations between cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health in ageing Indian men and women
  4. Sex-differences in the associations of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health in South African older adults
  5. Ethnic differences in muscle function decline in Indian, Gambian and South African older adults

Community service

Co-chair of European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) Young Endocrinologists & Scientists (EYES): 2019 - 2021

Upon taking the role as Co-Chair, Ayse has developed new early career initiatives including a mentor program, Clinical Observership Program and created a quarterly newsletter focused at showcasing early career investigators within the field, that is distributed to all members within ESE. Ayse has helped to grow the EYES community by engaging with early career investogators and providing these new initiatives - there are now have >500 early career investigators within the EYES community. Prior to being elected as Co-Chair, Ayse served as the EYES Secretary from 2016-2018 and organised the symposia session at the annual European Congress of Endocrinology which was held in May 2017, Lisbon Portugal. In addition, together with the local organising committee, Ayse has organised the annual EYES conference that was held in Porto, Portugal in September 2017. This involved marking abstracts, organising the program, inviting outstanding early career investigators as plenary speakers, and practicalities of the conference. 

Co-chair of Early Career Investigator Committee (ECIC) of Australia & New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS) - Sept 2018 - 2020

As Co-Chair, Ayse has organised & led committee meetings, organised & hosted the ECIC networking events at the annual ANZBMS congress, developed an early career investigator exchange initiative with the European Calcified Tissue Society and have implemented career development opportunities for early career investigators within the ANZBMS. Ayse also contributes to the quarterly ECIC newsletter which was created in Aug 2019, with an aim to increase the visibility of early career investigators and facilitate networking across members within ANZBMS. As Co-Chair, Ayse meets with the ANZBMS Council twice per year and hold ECIC meetings bi-monthly. 

Community service

Bone Banter Podcast: seeks to increase awareness of musculoskeletal health among the public with a new episode weekly.

iTunes or Android 

Community service

Professional Memberships

- American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)

- Australia & New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS)

- European Society of Endocrinology (ESE)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Bone, Metabolism, Neuroscience, PhD, Sex Steroid Modulation of Neuronal Control on Bone and Energy Homeostasis, Garvan Institute of Medical Research (New South Wales)

Award Date: 19 Dec 2012

Neuroscience, Honours, The effects of simvastatin on NMDA and Muscarinic M1/4 receptors in the rat brain: possible implications for neuropsychological dysfunctions, University of Wollongong

Award Date: 4 Dec 2007

Medical Science, Bachelor, University of Wollongong

Award Date: 6 Dec 2005

External positions

Postdoctoral Fellow, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (University of Munich)

Sept 2012Dec 2013

Investigator Scientist, MRC Human Nutrition Research

14 Jan 201231 Aug 2016

Research area keywords

  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia
  • Ageing
  • Ethnic
  • Fractures
  • musculoskeletal
  • Global Health

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or