Dr. Christopher Vidal

Ph.D., B.Sc. (Hons.) Medical Laboratory  Science

 

info @ christopher-vidal.com



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Short Biography

Born on the 14th January 1972 in Pieta, Malta and lived in Sliema for the first 17 years of my life. At the age of four I started attending St. Elizabeth School in Sliema followed by five years of primary education at Sliema's Government school. From 1982 to 1988 I attended the Archbishop's Seminary, Tal-Virtu, Rabat, Malta. From the very early days of my secondary education I developed a keen interest in science especially in biology. I was also interested in arts, where I attended the School of Arts, Palazzo de la Salle, Valletta, Malta for two years between  1985 - 1987.

 

Track record summary

Dr Christopher Vidal PhD, BSc (Hons) is a bone biologist with a research interest in the mechanisms of age-related bone loss and osteoporosis in older persons. Since October 2009, he works at the University of Sydney (Sydney Medical School Nepean) as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow as part of the Ageing Bone Research Program under the supervision of A/Prof Gustavo Duque. His research focuses on the understanding of molecular mechanisms of differentiating mesenchymal stem cells to osteoblasts and/or adipocytes with the aim to identify novel targets for the development of novel anabolic treatments for osteoporosis in older persons.
He was educated at the University of Malta where he received BSc in Medical Laboratory
Science (2001) and a PhD in Pathology (Molecular Genetics) in 2007 with thesis entitled “The Genetics of Osteoporosis”. Before moving to Australia, he was employed as a postdoctoral scientist with the University of Malta studying the genetics of osteoporosis and celiac disease. Dr Vidal also played a very important part in the establishment of a new Biotechnology company in Malta (MLS BioDNA Ltd) specializing in molecular diagnostics and forensics. As part of the Ageing Bone Research Program he is participating in a number of projects with results being published in several mid and high impact journals such as Bone, British Journal of Pharmacology and PLoS One. At Nepean, Dr Vidal has been able to generate very important and novel data on the role of an alternative tryptophan degradation pathway in bone biology, which he presented at last year’s ASBMR meeting, where his abstract was selected as one of the plenary posters.
From his
studies a novel locus for osteoporosis (BMND8: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=611739) and a variant that affects pre-mRNA splicing was identified (Vidal et al., Bone, 2009). He has published 16 peer-reviewed articles and 1 book chapter (in press Bioinformatics, InTech Publishing: ISBN 9789533072814) in the field of osteoporosis and ageing bone. His work has been presented at several International Conferences including last year meeting of the ASBMR, where his abstract was selected as a plenay poster.

 

Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in Pathology (Molecular Genetics), University of Malta, 2007

  • B.Sc.(Hons.) Medical Laboratory Science, University of Malta, 2001

  • Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, Department of Health, Malta, 1993

 

Expertise
  • Mesenchymal stem cell differentiation

  • Molecular genetics (Linkage and association studies in complex disorders)

  • Clinical chemistry

  • DNA profiling

 

Research Interests
  • Osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells in the bone micro-environment

  • Genetics of inflammation, cancer and complex disorders such as osteoporosis, coeliac disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity

  • Genetic studies in isolated populations

Memberships

 

Current & Previous Positions
  • Post-doctoral Research Officer, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 2009 to date

  • Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, July 2008 - 2009

  • Medical Research Scientist, MLS BioDNA Ltd, 2005 -2009

  • Research Scientist, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Malta, Dec 2005 – July 2008

  • Research Assistant, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, 2001 – 2005

  • Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist, Emergency Lab, St. Luke’s Hospital, Malta, 1998 – 2004

 

Publications (UM Link)

Peer-Reviewed Research Articles (2007 - 2012)

Vidal, C., Bermeo, S., Fatkin, D., and Duque, G. (2012) Role of the nuclear envelope in the pathogenesis of age-related bone loss and osteoporosis. BoneKey (in press)

Vidal, C., Bermeo, S., Li, W., Huang, D., Kremer, R., and Duque, G. (2012) Interferon gamma inhibits adipogenesis in vitro and prevents marrow fat infiltration in oopherectomised mice. Stem Cells (in press) (PMID 22331815)(Impact factor: 7.871)

Demontiero, O., Vidal, C., and Duque, G. (2011) Ageing and bone loss: new insights for the clinician. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease (in press)

Vidal, C., Formosa, R., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2011) Functional polymorphisms within the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene increase the risk for low bone mineral density. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 47: 327 – 333 (PMID 21994215) (Impact factor: 3.628)


Tong, J., Li, W., Vidal, C., Yeo, L.S., Fatkin, D., and Duque, G. (2011) Lamin A/C deficiency is associated with fat infiltration of muscle and bone. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development (in press) (PMID 21982926) (Impact factor: 4.857)

Duque, G., Li, W., Yeo, L.S., Vidal, C., and Fatkin, D. (2011) Attenuated Anabolic Response to Exercise in Lami A/C Haploinsufficient Mice. Bone 49: 412 - 418 (PMID: 21575749). (Impact Factor: 4.089)

Wei, L., Yeo, L.S., Vidal, C., McCorquodale, T., Hermann, M., Fatkin, D., and Duque, G. (2011) Decreased bone formation and osteopenia in lamin A/C-deficient mice. PLoS One (Impact factor: 4.351) (PMID: 21547077) Free article

Duque, G., Vidal, C., Gunaratnam, K., and Rivas, D. (2011) Protein isoprenylation regulates osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells: Effect of alendronate and farnesyl and geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitors. British Journal of Pharmacology 162: 1109 - 1118 (Impact factor: 5.204) (PMID: 21077849)

 

Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) Genetics of osteoporosis in the Maltese population: A review. Malta Medical Journal 21: 6 - 11

 

Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) Frequency of the CCR5-delta 32 polymorphism in the Maltese population. International Journal of Immunogenetics 36: 301 – 304 (PMID: 19744036) (Impact factor: 1.16)

 Vidal, C., Cachia, A., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) Effects of a synonymous variant in exon 9 of the CD44 gene on pre-mRNA splicing in a family with osteoporosis. Bone 45: 736 - 742 (PMID: 19580891) (Impact factor: 4.145)

Scerri, C.A., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Vidal, C. (2009) No effects of a novel synonymous variant within the CD59 gene on its protein product in duodenal biopsies of coeliac individuals. Tissue Antigens 74: 336 - 338 (PMID: 19686460) (Impact factor: 2.245)

Vidal, C., Borg, J., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Scerri, C.A. (2009) Variants within protectin (CD59) and CD44 genes linked to an inherited haplotype in a family with coeliac disease. Tissue Antigens 73: 225 - 235 (PMID: 19254252) (Impact factor: 2.245)

 

Vidal, C., and Cassar, M. (2008) A case of tri-allelic pattern at locus D3S1358 on chromosome 3p21 inherited from paternal grandparent. Forensic Science International - Genetics 2: 372 - 375 (PMID: 19083850)

 

Jaeckle, Santos, L.J., Xing, C., Barnes, R.B., Ades, L.C.,Megarbane, A., Vidal, C., Xuereb, A., Tarpey, P.S., Smith, R.,Khazab, M., Shoubridge, C., Partington, M., Futreal, A., Stratton, M.R., Gecz, J., and Zinn, A.R. (2008) Refined mapping of X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder and sequencing of candidate genes. Human Genetics 123: 469 - 476.  (PMID: 18404279) (Impact factor: 3.974)

 

Cassar, M., Farrugia, C., and Vidal, C. (2008) Allele frequencies of 14 STR loci in the population of Malta. Legal Medicine 10: 153 – 156. (PMID: 18039589)

 

Vidal, C., Galea, R., Brincat, M., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2007) Linkage to chromosome 11p12 in two Maltese families with a highly penetrant form of osteoporosis. European Journal of Human Genetics 15: 800 – 809. (PMID: 17377523) (Impact factor: 4.003) 

 

Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Vidal, C. (2007) The vitamin D receptor gene and osteoporosis. Clinical Dermatology: Retinoids and other Treatments 23: 18 – 21.

 

Vidal, C., Brincat, M., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2007) Effects of polymorphisms in the collagen type 1α1 gene promoter and the C677T variant in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in Malta. Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics 10: 9 – 18. (Link)

 

Borg, J., Scerri, C.A., Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2007) There is no association between -318 (C/T) and +49 (A/G) CTLA4 gene polymorphisms and the coeliac condition in the Maltese population. Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics 9: 49 – 51. (Link)

 

 

Publications 2002 - 2006
 

Book Chapters
Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2011) Family Based Studies in Complex Disorders: The Use of Bioinformatics Software for Data Analysis in Studies on Osteoporosis; in Bioinformatics, InTech Publishing: ISBN 9789533072814

 

Conference Proceedings
Tong J, Vidal C, Li W, Yeo L, Fatkin D, Duque G. Lamin A/C Deficiency is Associated with Fat Infiltration of Muscle and Bone: A Proposed Model of Sarco-Osteopenia. American Geriatrics Society annual meeting (oral presentation), Washington DC, (11-15 May, 2011)


Vidal, C., Nanan, B., Nanan, R., and Duque, G. (2010) Activation of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation plays a role in osteoblastogenesis. ASBMR annual meeting, Toronto (15 –
19 October 2010) – Plenary Poster


Vidal, C., Formosa, R., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2010) Haplotypes within the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene and bone mineral density (BMD) in Maltese post-menopausal women. IOFECCEO10 Congress, Florence, Italy, May 2010


Vidal, C., Formosa, R., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) A haplotype within the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene and bone mineral density (BMD) in Maltese postmenopausal women. Malta Medical Journal (presented at the 7th Malta Medical School Conference Nov 2009)


Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) No effects on pre-mRNA splicing of an intronic insertion/deletion within the TRAF-6 gene. Published abstract for the 7th International Conference on Bone and Mineral Research and 9th International Osteoporosis Symposium, Shangai, China: May 2009


Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) A variant within the TRAF6 gene promoter increases gene expression in the absence of a GATA-1 binding site. Bone 45: Supp 2, S81 – 82. (Poster presentation at the International Congress of Children’s Bone Health Cambridge 2009)


Vidal, C., Cachia, A., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) A variant within the CD44 gene in a Maltese family with osteoporosis. Bone 44: Supp 2: S341; (36th European Symposium on Calcified Tissues (May 2009) – Vienna, Austria)


Vidal, C., Borg, J., Fenech, A., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Scerri, C.A. (2008) A silent mutation within protectin (CD59) gene and exon skipping in a family with coeliac disease. European Journal of Human Genetics 16: Supp 2, 243 (European Human Genetics Conference, June 2008 – Barcelona, Spain)


Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2008) A transversion in the tumour necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 gene promoter increases gene expression in RAW264.7 cells. Calcified Tissue International 82: Supp 1, S148 (35th European Symposium on Calcified Tissues, May 2008 – Barcelona, Spain)

 

Abstracts and Poster Presentations

 

Vidal, C., Nanan, B., Nanan, R., and Duque, G. (2010) Activation of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation plays a role in osteoblastogenesis. JBMR (in press)

 

Li, W., Vidal, C., Yeo, L., Fatkin, D., and Duque, G. (2010) Changes in osteoblastogenesis pathways in absence of lamin A/C expression. Abstract submitted for ASBMR annual meeting, Toronto

 

Vidal, C., Li, W., and Duque, G. (2010) Lamin A/C and MAN1 in osteoblastogenesis. Abstract submitted for ASBMR annual meeting, Toronto

 

Vidal, C., Nanan, B., Nanan, R., and Duque, G. (2010) Immune and osteogenic: The two faces of interferon gamma.

 

Vidal, C., Formosa, R., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2010) Haplotypes within the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene and bone mineral density (bmd) in maltese post-menopausal women. To be presented at the IOF-ECCEO10 Congress, Florence, Italy, May 2010)

 

Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) No effects on pre-mRNA splicing of an intronic insertion/deletion within the TRAF-6 gene. Published abstract for the 7th International Conference on Bone and Mineral Research and 9th International Osteoporosis Symposium, Shangai, China: May 2009

 

Vidal, C., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Scerri, C.A. (2009) No association of polymorphisms within the CD44 gene and the coeliac condition. European Journal of Human Genetics (in press)

 

Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) A variant within the TRAF-6 gene promoter increases gene expression in the absence of a GATA-1 binding site. Bone 45: Sup 2, S81 - 82. Poster presentation at the International Congress of Children's Bone Health, Cambridge 2009.

 

Vidal, C., Cachia, A., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2009) A variant within the CD44 gene in a Maltese family with osteoporosis. Bone (in press)

 

Xuereb-Anastasi, A., Cachia, A., Gatt, C., and Vidal, C.(2008) Sequencing of genes in two families with high incidence of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis International 19: Supp 2, 423

 

Vidal, C., Borg, J., Fenech, A., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Scerri, C.A. (2008) A silent mutation within protectin (CD59) gene and exon skipping in a family with coeliac disease. European Journal of Human Genetics 16: Supp 1, 243

 

Vidal, C., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2008) A transversion in the tumour necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 gene promoter increases gene expression in RAW264.7 cells. Calcified Tissue International 82: Supp 1, S148

 

Vidal, C., Borg, J., Felice, A.E., Xuereb-Anastasi, A., and Scerri, CA. (2007) A genome-wide linkage scan in an extended Maltese family with a high incidence of coeliac disease. European Journal of Human Genetics 15: Supp 1, 241

 

Vidal, C., Galea, R., Brincat, M., and Xuereb-Anastasi, A. (2007) TRAF6 gene variants in a family with a highly penetrant form of osteoporosis. Calcified Tissue International 80: Supp 1, S104

 


 

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