Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers services and programs through the following Divisions. Use these links to directly access all our Department sites.


Laboratory for Skeletal Cell Signaling and Differentiation

The University of California San Francisco Orthopaedic Laboratory is for Skeletal Cell Signaling and Differentiation directed by Tamara N. Alliston, Ph.D. The laboratory is located within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and is dedicated to understanding the mechanical and biochemical signals that direct stem cells to make bone and cartilage and using this information to prevent and cure degenerative skeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Driving Question
How is stem cell differentiation regulated in normal skeletal tissue and in degenerative skeletal disease?

What is unknown?
Which cellular controls are lost in osteoarthritis and how stem cell differentiation into skeletal cells is normally regulated.

Why is this important?
1 in 3 Americans suffers from a degenerative skeletal disease, resulting in over 1 million joint replacements per year in the U.S.

Guiding Hypothesis
Skeletal cell differentiation is abnormal in osteoarthritis due to defects in physical and biochemical signaling.

Scientific Goals

Understanding how force acts as a signal to control stem cell differentiation
Understanding the control of skeleeteal cell differentiation in normal and diseased tissues.

Overall Goal
Prevention and Cure of osteoarthritis and other degenerative skeletal diseases
Contact Information:

Orthopaedic Surgery Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Laboratory
Box 0514 , 533 Parnassus Ave, UC Hall U-470
San Francisco, CA. 94143 – 0514
Phone: 415-502-4945
Fax: 415-476-1128


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