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Tamara Alliston, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentOrthopaedic Surgery
Address513 Parnassus Ave, Med Sci
San Francisco CA 94143
Phone415-502-6523
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Our research focuses on the mechanobiologic pathways controlling stem cell and skeletal cell differentiation in bone and cartilage. We seek to understand how these pathways maintain the mechanical integrity of the healthy skeleton, and how this is disrupted in skeletal diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.

    In particular, we study the mechanobiology of TGFß in the skeleton. To answer these questions we combine molecular, cellular, physiologic, bioengineering, and materials science approaches. This interdisciplinary approach will advance the development of therapies that can prevent skeletal disease and improve the speed and success of skeletal tissue regeneration.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    AAOS/ORS Tackling Joint Disease by Understanding Crosstalk between Cartilage and Bone Research Symposium
    NIH/NIAMS R13AR068913Sep 21, 2015 - Aug 31, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The mechanobiology of TGF-beta signaling in chondrocytes
    NIH/NIAMS R21AR067439Sep 18, 2014 - Aug 31, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The mechanistic control of bone extracellular matrix material properties by TGFb
    NIH/NIDCR R01DE019284Jul 1, 2008 - Jul 31, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    TGF-Beta regulation of Runx2 in bone formation and quality
    NIH/NIDCR R03DE016868Mar 1, 2006 - Feb 28, 2009
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Fowler TW, Acevedo C, Mazur CM, Hall-Glenn F, Fields AJ, Bale HA, Ritchie RO, Lotz JC, Vail TP, Alliston T. Glucocorticoid suppression of osteocyte perilacunar remodeling is associated with subchondral bone degeneration in osteonecrosis. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 22; 7:44618. PMID: 28327602.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Ouyang A, Cerchiari AE, Tang X, Liebenberg E, Alliston T, Gartner ZJ, Lotz JC. Effects of cell type and configuration on anabolic and catabolic activity in 3D co-culture of mesenchymal stem cells and nucleus pulposus cells. J Orthop Res. 2016 Oct 4. PMID: 27699833.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Jáuregui EJ, Akil O, Acevedo C, Hall-Glenn F, Tsai BS, Bale HA, Liebenberg E, Humphrey MB, Ritchie RO, Lustig LR, Alliston T. Parallel mechanisms suppress cochlear bone remodeling to protect hearing. Bone. 2016 Aug; 89:7-15. PMID: 27085457.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Rys JP, DuFort CC, Monteiro DA, Baird MA, Oses-Prieto JA, Chand S, Burlingame AL, Davidson MW, Alliston TN. Discrete spatial organization of TGFß receptors couples receptor multimerization and signaling to cellular tension. Elife. 2015; 4. PMID: 26652004.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Tufts L, Shet Vishnudas K, Fu E, Kurhanewicz J, Ries M, Alliston T, Li X. Correlating high-resolution magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy and gene analysis in osteoarthritic cartilage. NMR Biomed. 2015 May; 28(5):523-8. PMID: 25761416; PMCID: PMC4400260 [Available on 05/01/16].
    6. Nguyen J, Alliston T. Calluses flex their muscles to align bone fragments during fracture repair. Dev Cell. 2014 Oct 27; 31(2):137-8. PMID: 25373771; PMCID: PMC4492116.
    7. Alliston T. Biological regulation of bone quality. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2014 Sep; 12(3):366-75. PMID: 24894149; PMCID: PMC4134366.
    8. Carriero A, Zimmermann EA, Paluszny A, Tang SY, Bale H, Busse B, Alliston T, Kazakia G, Ritchie RO, Shefelbine SJ. How tough is brittle bone? Investigating osteogenesis imperfecta in mouse bone. J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Jun; 29(6):1392-401. PMID: 24420672; PMCID: PMC4477967.
    9. Akil O, Hall-Glenn F, Chang J, Li A, Chang W, Lustig LR, Alliston T, Hsiao EC. Disrupted bone remodeling leads to cochlear overgrowth and hearing loss in a mouse model of fibrous dysplasia. PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e94989. PMID: 24788917; PMCID: PMC4006800.
    10. Lim M, Otto-Duessel M, He M, Su L, Nguyen D, Chin E, Alliston T, Jones JO. Ligand-independent and tissue-selective androgen receptor inhibition by pyrvinium. ACS Chem Biol. 2014 Mar 21; 9(3):692-702. PMID: 24354286; PMCID: PMC3962707.
    11. Hall J, Jheon AH, Ealba EL, Eames BF, Butcher KD, Mak SS, Ladher R, Alliston T, Schneider RA. Evolution of a developmental mechanism: Species-specific regulation of the cell cycle and the timing of events during craniofacial osteogenesis. Dev Biol. 2014 Jan 15; 385(2):380-95. PMID: 24262986; PMCID: PMC3953612.
    12. Gould TW, Birchall JP, Mallick AS, Alliston T, Lustig LR, Shakesheff KM, Rahman CV. Development of a porous poly(DL-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)-based scaffold for mastoid air-cell regeneration. Laryngoscope. 2013 Dec; 123(12):3156-61. PMID: 23670365; PMCID: PMC4501022.
    13. Berthet E, Chen C, Butcher K, Schneider RA, Alliston T, Amirtharajah M. Smad3 binds Scleraxis and Mohawk and regulates tendon matrix organization. J Orthop Res. 2013 Sep; 31(9):1475-83. PMID: 23653374; PMCID: PMC3960924.
    14. Albro MB, Nims RJ, Cigan AD, Yeroushalmi KJ, Alliston T, Hung CT, Ateshian GA. Accumulation of exogenous activated TGF-ß in the superficial zone of articular cartilage. Biophys J. 2013 Apr 16; 104(8):1794-804. PMID: 23601326; PMCID: PMC3627867.
    15. Tang SY, Alliston T. Regulation of postnatal bone homeostasis by TGFß. Bonekey Rep. 2013; 2:255. PMID: 24404376; PMCID: PMC3722719.
    16. Nguyen J, Tang SY, Nguyen D, Alliston T. Load regulates bone formation and Sclerostin expression through a TGFß-dependent mechanism. PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e53813. PMID: 23308287; PMCID: PMC3538690.
    17. Jia J, Yao W, Amugongo S, Shahnazari M, Dai W, Lay YA, Olvera D, Zimmermann EA, Ritchie RO, Li CS, Alliston T, Lane NE. Prolonged alendronate treatment prevents the decline in serum TGF-ß1 levels and reduces cortical bone strength in long-term estrogen deficiency rat model. Bone. 2013 Jan; 52(1):424-32. PMID: 23088940; PMCID: PMC3804116.
    18. Chen CG, Thuillier D, Chin EN, Alliston T. Chondrocyte-intrinsic Smad3 represses Runx2-inducible matrix metalloproteinase 13 expression to maintain articular cartilage and prevent osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Oct; 64(10):3278-89. PMID: 22674505; PMCID: PMC3544176.
    19. Tang SY, Herber RP, Ho SP, Alliston T. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 is required for osteocytic perilacunar remodeling and maintains bone fracture resistance. J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Sep; 27(9):1936-50. PMID: 22549931; PMCID: PMC3415585.
    20. Allen JL, Cooke ME, Alliston T. ECM stiffness primes the TGFß pathway to promote chondrocyte differentiation. Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Sep; 23(18):3731-42. PMID: 22833566; PMCID: PMC3442419.
    21. Barth HD, Zimmermann EA, Schaible E, Tang SY, Alliston T, Ritchie RO. Characterization of the effects of x-ray irradiation on the hierarchical structure and mechanical properties of human cortical bone. Biomaterials. 2011 Dec; 32(34):8892-904. PMID: 21885114; PMCID: PMC4405888.
    22. Zimmermann EA, Schaible E, Bale H, Barth HD, Tang SY, Reichert P, Busse B, Alliston T, Ager JW, Ritchie RO. Age-related changes in the plasticity and toughness of human cortical bone at multiple length scales. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 30; 108(35):14416-21. PMID: 21873221; PMCID: PMC3167515.
    23. Cooke ME, Allon AA, Cheng T, Kuo AC, Kim HT, Vail TP, Marcucio RS, Schneider RA, Lotz JC, Alliston T. Structured three-dimensional co-culture of mesenchymal stem cells with chondrocytes promotes chondrogenic differentiation without hypertrophy. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Oct; 19(10):1210-8. PMID: 21816228; PMCID: PMC3188316.
    24. Tang SY, Souza RB, Ries M, Hansma PK, Alliston T, Li X. Local tissue properties of human osteoarthritic cartilage correlate with magnetic resonance T(1) rho relaxation times. J Orthop Res. 2011 Sep; 29(9):1312-9. PMID: 21445940; PMCID: PMC4092115.
    25. Li C, Allen J, Alliston T, Pruitt LA. The use of polyacrylamide gels for mechanical calibration of cartilage--a combined nanoindentation and unconfined compression study. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2011 Oct; 4(7):1540-7. PMID: 21783163; PMCID: PMC4507509.
    26. Ionova-Martin SS, Wade JM, Tang S, Shahnazari M, Ager JW, Lane NE, Yao W, Alliston T, Vaisse C, Ritchie RO. Changes in cortical bone response to high-fat diet from adolescence to adulthood in mice. Osteoporos Int. 2011 Aug; 22(8):2283-93. PMID: 20941479; PMCID: PMC3132390.
    27. Chang JL, Brauer DS, Johnson J, Chen CG, Akil O, Balooch G, Humphrey MB, Chin EN, Porter AE, Butcher K, Ritchie RO, Schneider RA, Lalwani A, Derynck R, Marshall GW, Marshall SJ, Lustig L, Alliston T. Tissue-specific calibration of extracellular matrix material properties by transforming growth factor-ß and Runx2 in bone is required for hearing. EMBO Rep. 2010 Oct; 11(10):765-71. PMID: 20847738; PMCID: PMC2948188.
    28. Tang SY, Mathews P, Randall C, Yurtsev E, Fields K, Wong A, Kuo A, Alliston T, Hansma P. In situ Materials Characterization using the Tissue Diagnostic Instrument. Polym Test. 2010 Apr 1; 29(2):159-163. PMID: 20582333.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Thurner PJ, Chen CG, Ionova-Martin S, Sun L, Harman A, Porter A, Ager JW, Ritchie RO, Alliston T. Osteopontin deficiency increases bone fragility but preserves bone mass. Bone. 2010 Jun; 46(6):1564-73. PMID: 20171304; PMCID: PMC2875278.
    30. Alliston T. Chondroitin sulfate and growth factor signaling in the skeleton: Possible links to MPS VI. J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2010; 3(2):129-38. PMID: 20628554.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Ionova-Martin SS, Do SH, Barth HD, Szadkowska M, Porter AE, Ager JW, Ager JW, Alliston T, Vaisse C, Ritchie RO. Reduced size-independent mechanical properties of cortical bone in high-fat diet-induced obesity. Bone. 2010 Jan; 46(1):217-25. PMID: 19853069; PMCID: PMC4501030.
    32. Hansma P, Yu H, Schultz D, Rodriguez A, Yurtsev EA, Orr J, Tang S, Miller J, Wallace J, Zok F, Li C, Souza R, Proctor A, Brimer D, Nogues-Solan X, Mellbovsky L, Peña MJ, Diez-Ferrer O, Mathews P, Randall C, Kuo A, Chen C, Peters M, Kohn D, Buckley J, Li X, Pruitt L, Diez-Perez A, Alliston T, Weaver V, Lotz J. The tissue diagnostic instrument. Rev Sci Instrum. 2009 May; 80(5):054303. PMID: 19485522; PMCID: PMC2832056.
    33. Butcher DT, Alliston T, Weaver VM. A tense situation: forcing tumour progression. Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Feb; 9(2):108-22. PMID: 19165226; PMCID: PMC2649117.
    34. Mohammad KS, Chen CG, Balooch G, Stebbins E, McKenna CR, Davis H, Niewolna M, Peng XH, Nguyen DH, Ionova-Martin SS, Bracey JW, Hogue WR, Wong DH, Ritchie RO, Suva LJ, Derynck R, Guise TA, Alliston T. Pharmacologic inhibition of the TGF-beta type I receptor kinase has anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on bone. PLoS One. 2009; 4(4):e5275. PMID: 19357790; PMCID: PMC2666804.
    35. Saeki K, Hilton JF, Alliston T, Habelitz S, Marshall SJ, Marshall GW, Denbesten P. Elevated TGF-beta2 signaling in dentin results in sex related enamel defects. Arch Oral Biol. 2007 Sep; 52(9):814-21. PMID: 17391645; PMCID: PMC2043093.
    36. Alliston T. TGF-beta regulation of osteoblast differentiation and bone matrix properties. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2006 Oct-Dec; 6(4):349-50. PMID: 17185818.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Balooch G, Balooch M, Nalla RK, Schilling S, Filvaroff EH, Marshall GW, Marshall SJ, Ritchie RO, Derynck R, Alliston T. TGF-beta regulates the mechanical properties and composition of bone matrix. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 27; 102(52):18813-8. PMID: 16354837; PMCID: PMC1323171.
    38. Kang JS, Alliston T, Delston R, Derynck R. Repression of Runx2 function by TGF-beta through recruitment of class II histone deacetylases by Smad3. EMBO J. 2005 Jul 20; 24(14):2543-55. PMID: 15990875; PMCID: PMC1176457.
    39. Alliston T, Ko TC, Cao Y, Liang YY, Feng XH, Chang C, Derynck R. Repression of bone morphogenetic protein and activin-inducible transcription by Evi-1. J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 24; 280(25):24227-37. PMID: 15849193.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Selvamurugan N, Kwok S, Alliston T, Reiss M, Partridge NC. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 regulation of collagenase-3 expression in osteoblastic cells by cross-talk between the Smad and MAPK signaling pathways and their components, Smad2 and Runx2. J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 30; 279(18):19327-34. PMID: 14982932.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Alliston T, Derynck R. Medicine: interfering with bone remodelling. Nature. 2002 Apr 18; 416(6882):686-7. PMID: 11961535.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Alliston T, Choy L, Ducy P, Karsenty G, Derynck R. TGF-beta-induced repression of CBFA1 by Smad3 decreases cbfa1 and osteocalcin expression and inhibits osteoblast differentiation. EMBO J. 2001 May 1; 20(9):2254-72. PMID: 11331591; PMCID: PMC125448.
    43. Alliston TN, Gonzalez-Robayna IJ, Buse P, Firestone GL, Richards JS. Expression and localization of serum/glucocorticoid-induced kinase in the rat ovary: relation to follicular growth and differentiation. Endocrinology. 2000 Jan; 141(1):385-95. PMID: 10614661.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Gonzalez-Robayna IJ, Alliston TN, Buse P, Firestone GL, Richards JS. Functional and subcellular changes in the A-kinase-signaling pathway: relation to aromatase and Sgk expression during the transition of granulosa cells to luteal cells. Mol Endocrinol. 1999 Aug; 13(8):1318-37. PMID: 10446906.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Richards JS, Russell DL, Robker RL, Dajee M, Alliston TN. Molecular mechanisms of ovulation and luteinization. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1998 Oct 25; 145(1-2):47-54. PMID: 9922098.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Alliston TN, Maiyar AC, Buse P, Firestone GL, Richards JS. Follicle stimulating hormone-regulated expression of serum/glucocorticoid-inducible kinase in rat ovarian granulosa cells: a functional role for the Sp1 family in promoter activity. Mol Endocrinol. 1997 Dec; 11(13):1934-49. PMID: 9415398.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Richards JS, Fitzpatrick SL, Clemens JW, Morris JK, Alliston T, Sirois J. Ovarian cell differentiation: a cascade of multiple hormones, cellular signals, and regulated genes. Recent Prog Horm Res. 1995; 50:223-54. PMID: 7740159.
      View in: PubMed
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