At present, there is
little basic biomedical research on calcium and bone metabolism in Thailand.
One of the reasons for this lack of interest in this field is that metabolic
bone diseases are mostly chronic, not easily diagnosed in the early stages, and
are not life threatening compared to other diseases such as cardiovascular or
infectious diseases. However, incidence of bone diseases has been known to
increase dramatically in recent years with prolonged life expectancy and the
increase in the elderly population in both developed countries and developed
countries including Thailand. Undoubtedly, bone diseases will have a negative
socioeconomic impact in Thailand in the very near future. It is thus necessary
for Thailand to encouraged basic research in the field of calcium and bone
metabolism which will ultimately lead to better understanding of the etiology
and mechanisms of bone diseases, effective treatment and prevention.
Multidisciplinary research approach is the best way to tackle complex research
problems because it provides alternative views as well as ways to solve the
Our research group known as the
Consortium for Calcium and Bone Research or COCAB was established in 2003 as
interdisciplinary research unit in the Center of Excellence of the Faculty of
Science, Mahidol University. The present members include academicians from the
Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol
University, as well as from other universities.
We carry out research in two major
projects; Prolactin, its role in the regulation of calcium and bone metabolism
and The regulation of bone remodeling in health and disease.
research focuses on study of calcium metabolism in health and disease, from the
whole body level to molecular leveling three major organs, that is, intestine,
bone and mammary gland. We are currently investigating cellular and molecular
mechanisms of intestinal calcium transport, mammary calcium transport and
regulation of bone remodeling by using in vivo and in vitro techniques. We
investigate the biophysical and physiological characteristics of calcium
transport in the intestinal epithelium at cellular and molecular levels by
interdisciplinary approach in certain conditions such as pregnancy and
lactation. Currently, we are also investigating effects of exercise on calcium
absorption and expression of calcium transporter genes and tight
junction-associated proteins that are important regulators of the paracellular
transport of calcium.
We also study some medical conditions
that result in deranged calcium metabolism in Thai patients such as chronic
metabolic acidosis (CMA) and postmenopausal osteoporosis and how they affect
the intestinal calcium transport mechanism and bone remodeling.
ศ. ดร. นพ.นรัตถพล เจริญพันธุ์
ดร. นพ. ณัฐพล ภาณุพินธุ
ดร. ปาหนัน สุนทรศารทูล