Fall 2006

New Department Faculty

Tamara Alliston, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Residence

In May, Tamara N. Alliston, Ph.D., was appointed assistant 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 a B.A. degree in biology from Trinity University in Texas, then earned a Ph.D. degree in cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She became a postdoctoral scientist in the laboratory of Rik Derynck, Ph.D., 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 Runx2, a transcriptional regulator. She has continued to study the molecular pathways that regulate TGF-beta in development and tumorigenesis 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.

Related Information

News Releases

Orthopaedic Surgery Chair Named
Thomas Parker Vail, M.D., has been named the chair of Orthopaedic Surgery in the UCSF School of Medicine. Vail, director of adult reconstructive surgery at Duke University Medical Center, will assume his new post in January 2007.

UCSF Cited for Hospital Quality
UCSF Medical Center was one of eight California acute care hospitals among the top 50 U.S. hospitals named by the Washington, D.C.-based Leapfrog Group.