Kelsey H. Collins, PhD

Principal Investigator

Kelsey H. Collins (she/her) completed her undergraduate work in Exercise Biology at University of California, Davis, and earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Calgary. During her postdoctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis, she created a tissue engineering and regenerative medicine platform to determine the signaling mechanisms between adipose and musculoskeletal tissues. For this work, she received the New Investigator Recognition Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2020, was named among the inaugural class of Rising Stars in Engineering in Health by Columbia University in 2020, and received the Orthoregeneration award from the Orthoregeneration Network (ON) Foundation in 2023. Her transition to independence at UCSF was supported by an NIH NIAMS K99/R00 Award. Dr. Collins was recently included in the 2023 cohort of the Arthritis National Research Foundation for her work on novel therapeutic strategies for joint disease that facilitate healthy aging, maintain function to maximize health span, and minimize pain. Currently, she serves as the Associate Member-at-Large for the Orthopaedic Research Society Executive Board. In her spare time, Dr. Collins enjoys exploring the natural beauty of Northern California on foot, a bike, or a paddleboard with her husband. 

[email protected] 



Bethany Andoko, BA

Junior Specialist

Bethany (she/they) received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, with an emphasis in Cell Biology, Development, & Physiology. During their time at Berkeley, they worked in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Bowles, primarily conducting soil chemical, physical and biological analyses that result from experimental fieldwork. In the Collins lab, they are interested in employing interdisciplinary approaches that involve mouse surgeries, pre-clinical pain and behavioral assessments, and stem cell biology to expand their expertise and diversify their skill set. Additionally, she is a UCSF PROPEL Scholar and eagerly seeks mentorship and networking opportunities to aid in their preparation for graduate school. Outside of the lab, Bethany enjoys listening to music, watching (and re-watching) shows, reading, and exploring the Bay Area, and is passionate about pop culture and playing Wordle. 

[email protected] 






Kristen Chan, BS

CIRM Master's Student

Kristen (she/her) is a first-year Master's Student at San Francisco State University, studying Biomedical Sciences: Concentration in Biotechnology and undergoing a full-time research fellowship under the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges program. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis, where she also served as an undergraduate researcher in the Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility of Dr. Jamal Lewis working on isolating Polysaccharide A for use in nanoparticles. More recently, Kristen currently works at OmniAb Inc as an Assistant Scientist in the Antibody Discovery team, uncovering unique monoclonal antibodies against difficult targets using transgenic animals and high-throughput single B-cell screening technologies. In the Collins Lab, she is interested in collaborating with other scientists and building her professional network. She is also interested in learning and understanding the mechanisms of fat-cartilage signaling and how stem cells can be manipulated to develop regenerative therapies for OA. Outside of the lab, Kristen enjoys dancing ballet, drawing, solving 1,000+ piece puzzles, and diamond painting.

[email protected]





Emma Nedley, BA

SOD Research Fellow

Emma (she/her) is a second-year Doctor of Dental Surgery student at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Health and Societies, with a concentration in Healthcare Markets and Finance, and minored in Chemistry and Bioethics. She is passionately involved in the UCSF SOD and beyond, currently serving as Class Vice President, Wellness Coordinator for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), Faculty Student Liaison for American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Treasurer for Children's Night Clinic, and Treasurer for Orthodontics Club, and is a student collaborator for the Pre-Clinical Education Curriculum working group. In the Collins Lab, she is interested in learning about osteoarthritis and adipose biology, specifically how musculoskeletal crosstalk can be leveraged to better understand the temporomandibular joint. Outside of the lab, Emma enjoys playing softball (she was a Division 1 athlete!), exercising, reading, exploring new restaurants, and spending time with her two golden retrievers.

[email protected]




Tiffany Pham, BA

Junior Specialist

Tiffany (she/her) received her undergraduate degree from Scripps College, majoring in Molecular Biology with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Scripps, she engaged in research under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Carpenter at IU Bloomington, investigating the interplay between c-Myc and Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). She also explored paternal genome elimination in Nasonia vitripennis (jewel wasp) while working in the lab of Dr. Patrick Ferree at W.M. Keck Science. In the Collins Lab, she is eager to gain valuable research experience in the field of orthopedics and looks forward to collaborating with both basic science and clinical groups as part of her preparation for medical school. Outside of the lab, Tiffany enjoys reading everything from classic literature to romance, participating in competitive hobby jogging, and engaging in various crafts such as embroidery and textile arts.

[email protected]






Silvia Soule, BS

Medical Student Intern

Silvia (she/her/ella) is a second-year medical student at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. She holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Brigham Young University, where she worked as a Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Julianne Grose. Her research focused on investigating the role of bacteriophages in the gut microbiome, exploring the applications of phage therapy, and studying the potential of phage to combat antibiotic resistance. In the Collins Lab, she is interested in examining the impact of aging on knee osteoarthritis. Through her research, she aims to deepen her understanding of the interconnectedness between these two conditions while gaining valuable experience that will contribute to the care of her future patients. Outside of the lab, Silvia enjoys the outdoors, exploring new places to eat, crocheting (specifically beanies and chunky blankets), cooking and baking with her husband, and hiking with her two dogs.

[email protected] 




Evan Sun

Undergraduate Student Intern

Evan (he/him) is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, double majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health. He concurrently works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Clinical Research Center within the UC Berkeley School of Optometry under Dr. Meng C. Lin. In the Collins Lab, he is eager to study preclinical models of osteoarthritis in mice and will be looking into the various models that our group will be utilizing for our current and future projects. Outside of the lab, Evan engages in a number of physical activities, notably basketball, running, and surfing; is a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd; and enjoys learning how to bake.

[email protected]





Priscilla Tjandra, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Priscilla (she/her) obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, where her research focused on systemic bone loss following myocardial infarction (MI) in mice models and the role of the sympathetic nervous system and complement system in the phenomena. Prior to her graduate studies, she completed her undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University, where she majored in Mechanical Engineering. In the Collins Lab, she is focused on leptin signaling in human tissue. She is especially enthusiastic about cultivating her collaborative skills, particularly in the clinic, and looks forward to the application of cellular-level approaches to scientific problems and their translation into a comprehensive understanding of whole-body pathology. Outside of the lab, Priscilla enjoys engaging in various DIY activities such as crocheting, knitting, sewing, carpentry, painting, and more. She also has a passion for K-Pop and dedicates time to training her dog (and cat, with limited success) new tricks.

[email protected]




Reyna Villa, BA

Junior Specialist

Reyna (she/her) received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Molecular and Cell Biology. During her undergrad, she served as a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Ana Paula Arruda, investigating the role of RRBP1 in mitochondrial form and function in fed and fasted states including zonation in the liver under different metabolic conditions. In the Collins Lab, she is interested in exploring the metabolic factors that underlie musculoskeletal diseases and unraveling molecular mechanisms involved in fat-cartilage signaling. She hopes to gain valuable knowledge and skills to better understand how musculoskeletal crosstalk works and identify potential therapeutics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys exploring new restaurants and coffee shops, watching shows, going to the beach, cooking, and exploring the city.

[email protected]




April 2023: Dr. Kelsey Collins, PhD, joins the faculty of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and UCSF Musculoskeletal Center. This marks the launch of the Laboratory for Musculoskeletal Crosstalk as well as the beginning of Dr. Collins' journey as a Principal Investigator, where she aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms of tissue crosstalk in osteoarthritis.

Collins Lab, n=1.

June 29th, 2023: Kicking off the launch of the Collins Lab with our very first lab lunch at the UCSF Parnassus Heights campus! Following a tour of PH, we concluded our tour with a commemorative shot from the roof of the Regeneration Medicine Building (RMB). Image courtesy of Cristal Yee from the Alliston Lab.

Collins Lab, n=5. 

Pictured (L to R): Evan Sun, Silvia Soule, Dr. Kelsey Collins, Tiffany Pham, Bethany Andoko

July 3rd, 2023: First day of work in the lab! We took the UCSF shuttle to the Mission Bay campus to obtain our ID badges. 

Pictured (back row, L to R): Tiffany Pham and Bethany Andoko; (front row, L to R): Silvia Soule and Evan Sun

July 7th, 2023: Last day of our first week. We love reading papers while enjoying the spectacular views from the Regeneration Medicine Building!

Pictured (L to R): Silvia Soule, Tiffany Pham, Bethany Andoko, Evan Sun

July 17th, 2023: First (mini) group outing! Behind the scenes of the Collins Lab website photoshoot at Crissy Field. San Francisco winds: 0, Collins Lab: 1.

Pictured (back row, L to R): Emma Nedley, Evan Sun, Reyna Villa, Priscilla Tjandra; (middle row, L to R): Tiffany Pham, Silvia Soule, Bethany Andoko; (front): Dr. Collins

July 17th, 2023: More Collins Lab ussies! Image courtesy of Emma, lighting extraordinaire and BeReal wiz.

Collins Lab, n=8. (Finally!)

Pictured (back row, L to R): Evan Sun, Priscilla Tjandra, Dr. Collins, Reyna Villa; (middle row, L to R): Tiffany Pham, Bethany Andoko, Silvia Soule; (front): Emma Nedley

July 24th, 2023: Group dinner at New Belgium following the UCSF NORC Mini-Retreat, "The intersection of body composition musculoskeletal health."

Pictured (L to R): Evan Sun, Tiffany Pham, Dr. Kelsey Collins, Bethany Andoko, Priscilla Tjandra

July 24th, 2023: Gorgeous evening shot from the bridge adjacent to China Basin, with Oracle Park peeping from behind. Image courtesy of Evan, our ever-trustworthy navigation master and parking spot locator.

July 27th, 2023: Our very first lab retreat at Golden Gate Park, enjoying light refreshments and pizza from Arizmendi Bakery. Image courtesy of Reyna Villa, Junior Specialist and the newest addition to the Collins Lab!

Pictured (L to R): Bethany Andoko, Tiffany Pham, Dr. Kelsey Collins, Priscilla Tjandra, Evan Sun, Silvia Soule

July 27th, 2023: The Collins lab group is filled with wildly imaginative and creative artistic flames (ask us about our custom mugs)! We concluded our first lab retreat with pottery painting at Earthfire Arts Studio in the Inner Sunset.

Pictured (back row, L to R): Evan Sun, Bethany Andoko, Priscilla Tjandra, Dr. Kelsey Collins; (front row, L to R): Tiffany Pham, Silvia Soule, Reyna Villa

August 1st, 2023: Happy first day in lab, Priscilla! As our first postdoc, Dr. Tjandra will help us define tissue specific responses to leptin signaling in models of OA. We are thrilled to learn from her PhD experience in systemic crosstalk and complement signaling. 


August 7th, 2023: Dr. Collins and Bethany at the 3rd Annual PROPEL Research Symposium, held at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus. We are proud to be part of the PROPEL Post-baccalaureate Program and wholeheartedly echo their mission to promote diversity in science by providing research experiences to those historically underrepresented and excluded.

August 30th, 2023: Bonding over baseball & bone biology, and rooting for the SF giants for the 2023 UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery Research Retreat! The Collins Lab and others enjoyed a sun-tastic summer outing after a skeletal proteomics workshop, with friends from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the Medical University of Southern California.

October 5th, 2023: We celebrated the installation of our surgical microscope from Leica Biosystems! Once the TV monitor is wall-mounted and the binoculars are installed, we will be ready to start our work on preclinical models of osteoarthritis in a way that is visually accessible way and teaching friendly.

November 9th, 2023: Congratulations to Tiffany and Reyna for their acceptances into the UCSF PROPEL program!

November 13th, 2023: Tiffany, Beth, and Priscilla attended the Inaugural Bakar Aging Research Institute (BARI) Symposium to support the work of aging researchers at UCSF and beyond. This event was held at the glamorous de Young Museum in San Francisco.

November 17th, 2023: Watch party to support and learn from Eva Gonzales, PhD (UCSF Hernandez Lab), while she discussed her crosstalk plans for her future faculty position. We enjoyed many inspiring talks at the Next Generation Faculty Symposium, sponsored by Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCSF.

December 1st, 2023: Priscilla presented her dissertation research, titled “Systemic Bone Loss Following Myocardial Infarction and the Role of the SNS and Complement System” at the Orthopaedic Surgery Research-In-Progress (RIPS) series.


December 4th, 2023: Dr. Collins and Beth presented at the Inaugural Chicago Center on Musculoskeletal Pain (C-COMP) Symposium at Rush University in Chicago, IL. Dr. Collins’ talk and Beth’s poster highlighted the lab’s goals of disentangling the role of adipose and neuroimmune crosstalk in OA pain. Beth also participated in pain testing training with the Malfait-Miller Lab at Rush.

December 12th, 2023: Congratulations to Reyna for winning the People’s Choice Award in the UCSF Stem Cell image competition at the IRM Holiday Party. This Safranin O/Fast Green-stained mouse knee joint is the first histology image generated in our group!

January 2nd, 2024: Dr. Collins’ first senior author paper, titled "Designer Fat Cells: Adipogenic Differentiation of CRISPR-Cas9 Genome-Engineered Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells", was published in European Cells & Materials.

January 8th, 2024: Kristen Chan joined the lab as a CIRM Master’s Student! We are excited to learn from her as she brings her experience from working in the pharmaceutical industry to our designer adipose anti-cytokine stem cell therapy projects.

January 9th, 2024: All smiles and laughter at the Holiday Party, jointly hosted by the Departments of Anatomy and Microbiology.

Congratulations to Emma for being selected to join the Dental Student Research Program! We are thrilled to support her presentation on the role of the infrapatellar fat pad in osteoarthritis at UCSF's Clinical Research and Excellence Day. Emma works with Dr. Collins and Dr. Souza, and is under the leadership of Dr. Lisa Berens and Roger Mraz in the School of Dentistry.





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