Tamara Alliston, PhD has led her own laboratory since 2006 in the University of California San Francisco Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She currently holds the position of Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF, in addition to Adjunct Professor positions in both the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF. Dr. Alliston was the recipient of the 2019 ORS Women’s Leadership Award.
What is your specific area of research?
What are you currently working on?
We are investigating the biological mechanisms controlling bone quality and responsible for joint crosstalk, in the healthy skeleton and in skeletal diseases including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
What was your reaction to winning the ORS Women’s Leadership Forum Award?
I was grateful to have the opportunity to share my thoughts on leadership with other ORS members at the WLF reception.
What advice would you give investigators who are just starting out in the field?
Be bold. Articulate and pursue the research of your dreams. Look for an opportunity to write and submit a non-traditional ‘blue-sky’ grant that frees/forces you to think big. Even if this grant is not funded – the process of writing it helps us set our sights higher and helps us move toward the science we believe will be most impactful. In my experience, this process has helped my lab keep focused on a big picture vision while pursuing practical smaller projects that will help us get there.
Is there anything in your career/research that, if you had it to do over, you would change?
What do you like to do for fun?
What was the last book you read for fun? Would you recommend it?
Go Tell It on a Mountain by James Baldwin. Yes – definitely.
What is the most unusual/unexpected item sitting on your desk right now?
Fly fishing hooks – tied for me by Peter Johnson at the 2018 Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering Gordon Conference.