Bone biology – Sara Windahl Research group

Our research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the bone-strengthening effects of load / exercise. We also study how tartrate-resistant-acid phosphatase (TRAP / Acp 5) affects bone strength and length, cancer and metastasis.

Group image with 4 people in a row: Bhavik Rathod, Sara Windahl, Nicole Gustafsson, Christoffer Bogic.


Our lab is interested in bone biology, with the long-term research aim to facilitate development of new treatment strategies that strengthen the skeleton, improve bone length, and reduce the spread of cancer metastases to bone.

Research projects

The short term aims are to investigate the mechanisms whereby the protein TRAP/ACP5 affects endemic diseases and syndromes such as osteoporosis, metastases, and severe short stature. The studies are divided into a number of sub-projects with the aim to investigate the mechanisms whereby (1) load/exercise increase bone strength, (2) TRAP/ACP5 affects bone length, and (3) TRAP/ACP5 and load can prevent the spread of cancer to the skeleton.

Practical significance

Some of our most common diseases are osteoporosis, breast- and prostate cancer. The risk of osteoporosis and cancer increases with age. With an aging population, the number of patients will increase and thus also the suffering and societal costs. Mutations in ACP5 leads to Spondyloenchondrodysplasia, a rare but severe form of skeletal dysplasia affecting not only the skeleton but often also the nervous and immune systems. it is itself not a disease, but the underlying causes and effects on other organs may be. The possibilities to cure osteoporosis and severe short stature, and prevent metastases to the skeleton are currently limited. The information derived from these studies should suggest whether ACP5 is amenable to therapeutic interference, and in turn inform therapeutic strategies to augment bone strength, treat severe stature and reduce cancer metastases.


Selected publications

For full publication list, check out ORC-ID: 0000-0002-6611-6001

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Other people connected to the group

  • Bogic, Christoffer

Visiting address

Karolinska Institutet, Laboratory medicine, division of pathology, Alfred Nobels Allé 8, Huddinge, 141 52, Sverige

Where to find us!


Suchita Desai, PhD student.

Laura Bock, ERASMUS student.

Sophia Åhman, Bachelor student.