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- Arthroplasty/Joint Replacement
- Basic Research
- Foot & Ankle
- Intervertebral Disc
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Orthopaedic Oncology
- Orthotics & Prosthetics
- Skeletal Health
- Sports Medicine
- Stem Cells
- Surgical Navigation/Robotics
- Trauma & Problem Fractures
Tamara N. Alliston, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Her research focuses on the molecular basis of arthritis and the molecular pathways that control the growth and differentiation of skeletal tissues.
Alliston received her BA in biology from Trinity University in Texas, then earned her PhD in Cell Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She became a post-doctoral scientst in Dr. Rik Derynck’s laboratory at UCSF, and was appointed Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCSF in 2002.
While a postdoc in Derynck’s lab, Alliston discovered that TGF-[beta] inhibits terminal osteoblast differentiation by repressing Runx-2, a transcriptional regulator. She has continued to study the molecular pathways that regulate TGF-[beta] in development and tumorigenesis. She continues to study TGF-[beta] and has recently identified the growth factor as a key regulator of bone matrix mechanical properties and composition.
Alliston plans to continue to combine molecular, cellular, physiological and materials science methods to investigate the control of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and skeletal tissue function, convinced that this interdisciplinary approach will lead to methods to prevent musculoskeletal disease or improve skeletal repair.
In 2006, Alliston was awarded the Harold M. Frost Young Investigator Award and in 2007, the John Haddad Young Investigator Award, presented by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, recognizing her research contributions and her potential to advance research in bone biology in the future. She is also proud of the accomplishments of students she has mentored, who have received prestigious fellowships and awards for their research, including the UCSF School of Medicine Dean’s Prize in Student Research.
- 2002-2006, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Cell and Tissue Biology University of California, San Francisco
- 2006-2010: Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of California, San Francisco
- 2010-present: Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of California, San Francisco
- 1988-1992, B.A., Cum Laude, Biology Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
- 1992-1998, Ph.D., Cell Biology Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
- 1998-2002: Post-doctoral Scientist, Growth and Development University of California, San Francisco
- Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship July 1999 - June 2002 "Transcriptional and functional regulation of CBFA1 by TGF-b, BMP's, and Smads in osteoblast differentiation."
- Hearing Research Inc. Award March 2005 - Feb 2006 "Investigating the role of TGF-b in bone disease-associated hearing loss."
- UCSF School of Dentistry Creativity Fund June 2005 - May 2006 "TGF-b and Runx2 control of bone matrix quality and bone function in cleidocranial dysplasia-associated hearing loss."Arthritis Foundation Arthritis Investigator Grant July 2002 - June 2007 "Functional regulation of CBFA1 by TGF-b in osteoblast differentiation."
- NIDCR RO3 Application April 2006 - March 2008 "TGF-b regulation of Runx2 in bone formation and quality."
- Hearing Research Inc. Award March 2006 - Feb 2007 "Determining the role of Runx2 in bone disease-associated hearing loss."
- Gordon Conference on Musculoskeletal Biology & Bioengineering, "Functional calibration of extracellular matrix material properties by TGF-beta and Runx2." Andover, NH, August 2, 2010
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Meeting, "Growth Factor Regulation of Osteoblast Differentiation and Bone Quality." Chicago, IL, May 6, 2011
- University of Arkansas Medical School, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Physiology and Biophysics, "Functional calibration of extracellular matrix material properties by TGF-beta and Runx2." Little Rock, AR, May 19, 2011
- University of California Davis, Center for Musculoskeletal Health, "Functional calibration of extracellular matrix material properties by TGF-beta and Runx2." Davis, CA, November 1, 2011
- San Jose State University, Department of Biology, "University of California, San Francisco Graduate Programs and Summer Research." San Jose, CA, November 18, 2011
- Orthopaedic Trauma Institute pre-ORS Symposium on Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering, "Interaction of physical and biological cues in the skeleton." San Francisco, CA, February 3, 2012
- University of California Fresno, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, "A Key Role for the TGF-beta Effector Smad3 in Cartilage Homeostasis and Osteoarthritis." Fresno, CA, January 18, 2013
- Mayo Clinic, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, TGF-beta Integration of Physical and Biochemical Cues in Skeletal Homeostasis." Rochester, MN, March 26, 2013
- UCSF TGF-beta Symposium, "TGF-beta Integration of Physical and Biochemical Cues in the Skeleton." San Francisco, CA, April 5, 2013
- NIH, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Round Table on Temporomandibular Joint Disease, "Bone structure, function, and bioengineering." Bethesda, MD, May 3, 2013
- Biomedical Engineering Society - Cell and Molecular Bioengineering Conference, "TGF-beta Integration of Physical and Biochemical Cues in the Skeleton." San Diego, CA, January 12, 2014
- Duke University, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, "TGF-beta Integration of Physical and Biochemical Cues in the Skeleton." Durham, NC, March 31, 2014
- American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting, Symposium on Cellular Mechanobiology, Houston, TX, September 12, 2014
- American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting, Concurrent Orals: Mechanobiology Houston, TX, September 15, 2014
- University of Connecticut, Center for Molecular Medicine, "TGFbeta Integration of Physical and Biochemical Cues in the Skeleton." Farmington, CT, November 19, 2014
- Sun Valley Mineralized Tissue Workshop, "Osteocyte-mediated control of bone quality through perilacunar remodeling." Sun Valley, ID, August 5, 2014
Grants and Awards
- 2001: Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco
- 2002: Hulda Irene Duggan Arthritis Investigator, Arthritis Founction
- 2004: Travel Award, 86th Annual Endocrine Society Meeting, Endocrine Society
- 2005: Travel Award, Arthritis Research Conference, Arthritis Foundation
- 2006: Harold Frost Young Investigator, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
- 2007: John Haddad Young Investigator Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Membership & Committees
- 2000-present: American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- 2003-present: Endocrine Society
- 2004-present: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)
- Alliston: 2009-present: Orthopaedic Research Society