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.



  • Orthopaedic Trauma Institute
  • 2550 23rd Street
    Building 9, 2nd Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    Phone: 415-206-8812
Ralph Marcucio PhD
Associate Professor
Ralph Marcucio PhD


Ralph Marcucio was born in and grew up in Amsterdam, New York. Ralph began his research career as an intern at The Boyce Thompson Institute while he was an undergraduate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University in 1990, Ralph was accepted intoCornell University's School of Agriculture PhD program. He completed his PhD in 1995. For his exemplary performance and dedication as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Ralph was recognized by the Dean of Cornell University's School of Agriculture for his outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. After receiving his PhD, Ralph was awarded a prestigious NIH training grant to study tissue interactions that control development of the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Marcucio spent 5 years in the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine studying the origins of the musculature responsible for moving the head and jaw skeleton.

In 2000, Dr. Marcucio joined the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF). In this position, Ralph began studying how the skeleton of the face attains its shape and form. This work has resulted in the preparation of numerous manuscripts for publication in world-renowned research journals and has formed the basis for his independent research career.

In 2003, Dr. Marcucio was appointed to the faculty at UCSF as an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research program focuses on two basic science areas. First, using cutting-edge genomic technology, Dr. Marcucio is examining how the entire genome responds to orthopaedic trauma. This genome-mining approach is aimed at determining the global genome response during fracture repair and allows the possibility to generate improved, highly innovative therapies for people undergoing fracture repair. Second, Ralph is examining the role that the brain plays during normal development of the facial skeleton. Many facial birth defects have an underlying brain malformation, and the goal of the research is to generate novel therapeutic approaches that will allow correcting facial malformations prior to birth.

Dr. Marcucio is a dedicated and enthusiastic mentor to dental and medical students. His students have been invited to participate in University, State, National, and International research competitions. Dr. Marcucio reviews articles for leading journals including Cell and Tissue Research, Bone, and Mechanisms of Development, and has been an invited speaker at National and International Scientific Conferences.


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