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Centennial Seminar Series - Tamara Alliston, PhD
Hosted by the Molecular Cellular Sciences Seminar Series
Dr. Tamara Alliston
Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
School of Medicine
Co-Director Musculoskeletal Center
University of California, San Francisco
Multiscale mechanobiology of TGF-beta signaling in the skeleton
November 11, 2020
4:00 p.m. Central Time
Alliston T, Foucher KC, Frederick B, et al. The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in orthopedic research. J Orthop Res. 2020;38(8):1661-1665. doi:10.1002/jor.24685
Additional Information Provided by Dr. Alliston
Activities Related to Women/Diversity
2019 - ORS Women's Leadership Forum Award
2012 - 2016 Inaugural Professional Development and Mentoring Council Chair on the ORS Board of Directors
2019 - 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society - Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
2016 - present - Elected as the Vice Chair (2018) and Chair-Elect (2020) of the Gordon Conference on Musculoskeletal Biology and Engineering, the first woman to hold this position since 1998 (that was Linda Sandell). The meeting is postponed due to COVID till 2022.
Contributions to Diversity
UCSF: Half of my current and former graduate and post-graduate trainees are women and at least 6 trainees in the last 5 years are from groups underrepresented in science. At UCSF, I strive to further enrich the diversity of our research team through active participation in several programs. First, as Chair of the UC Berkeley/UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering and co-PI on the Training Grant, I am deeply engaged in recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups. Under my leadership, the program formed the Diversity Enhancement Committee, which dramatically improved the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups, from 8% in 2015 to 23% of the incoming class. Second, through the UCSF Science Education Partnership we mentor summer students identified by their public high school teachers as individuals with high, but under-developed potential. Third, we host undergraduates through the UCSF Summer Research Training Program, in which many students are underrepresented in science or engineering or first generation to college. Fourth, I give outreach scientific seminars to institutions such as San Jose State University to recruit underrepresented students to UCSF graduate programs.
National: Through my service to the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), I chaired the New Investigator Mentoring Committee and served the Board of Directors as the Professional Development Council Chair, which oversees outreach to women and individuals underrepresented in the sciences. I led the development of several new initiatives to broaden participation and success of diverse groups in science. For example, I started a series of popular professional development webinars that are widely attended by diverse researchers nationally and internationally, particularly those at institutions without elaborate research infrastructure. Another new program gives public high school students from underserved communities a day of individualized, mentored exploration of science with trainees and faculty at the ORS Annual Meeting. After 3 years, the program grew to capacity to host up to 40 students. In 2019, I was appointed to the the first ORS Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which is about to deliver recommendations to increase diversity and improve inclusion in orthopaedics, which unfortunately continues to have the lowest participation of women and underrepresented minorities of any clinical specialty.
Public Education and Advocacy: To increase exposure to science of diverse student populations in the Bay Area public schools, my laboratory hosts public elementary and middle school students and visits classrooms to teach about the scientific method and science careers. We have hosted at least 7 events, reaching over 200 children. Likewise, we host outreach events for the public in which approximately 100 adults interested in science have visited the lab for seminars, demonstrations, and conversation with trainees. I regularly present seminars to community groups and participate in science advocacy in Washington D.C. by educating legislators and their staff about the economic and social importance of research funding as a catalyst for training a diverse workforce.