People

 

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. 

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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, she 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, she is 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 crime fiction, exploring the Bay Area, and is passionate about pop culture and playing sudoku. 

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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.

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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.

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Celine Ngo, BS

SOD Research Fellow

Celine (she/her) is a second-year Doctor of Dental Surgery student at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, Celine developed her passion for research under the mentorship of Dr. Lawren Sack and Dr. Leila Fletcher, who conducted plant ecophysiology research investigating drought tolerance mechanisms and leaf trait adaptations to various climates. In the SOD, Celine is involved in Community Dental Clinic (CDC), American Student Dental Association (ASDA), California Public Health Association-North, Dental Bridges, and Orthodontics Club. In the Collins Lab, she is eager to build a strong foundation in basic science research, learn more about musculoskeletal crosstalk, and explore her interest in cell-based therapies, which holds exciting implications for temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis. Outside of the lab, Celine enjoys crocheting, spending time with her cat Luna, building Legos, and exploring coffee shops. 

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Nchegem Janet Nyenke

Undergraduate Intern

Nchegem (she/her) is a rising second-year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Bioengineering. During the summer after her junior year of high school, she interned in the GOFARR Lab at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. There, she investigated the role of lipid metabolism in Alport Syndrome, a form of chronic kidney disease, and the use of extracellular vesicles derived from amniotic fluid stem cells as a potential therapy. In the Collins Lab, she is eager to delve deeper into and further explore the world of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies, while learning skills and techniques like histology and image analysis to contribute to the lab's osteoarthritis research. Outside of the lab, Nchegem enjoys reading (horror comics, fantasy novels, anything with a good plot), exploring the Bay Area, playing puzzle games, and watching cliche and trashy rom-coms.

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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]

 


 

 

Ryan Selle

Undergraduate Intern

Ryan (she/her) is a rising fourth-year undergraduate student at Scripps College, studying biochemistry and art. During the school year, she serves as a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Bethany Caulkins where she has been working to characterize the interaction between the small molecule, ubiquitin, and the synthetic, water-soluble cavitand, TCC, using NMR spectroscopy. In the Collins lab, Ryan is excited to develop her skills in tissue culture and histology and learn about the development of cell-based therapies for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other diseases. In her free time, Ryan enjoys wilderness trips, sculpture, dancing, and eating good food. 

[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]



 

 

Jessica Wagner, PT, DPT

Graduate Student

Jessica (she/her) is a first-year PhD student in the Rehabilitation Science program. She holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from San Diego State University where she also worked in the Tuttle lab researching treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. Prior to her graduate studies, she completed her undergraduate degree at Merrimack College, where she majored in Sports Medicine and minored in Biology, as well as played Division II golf. At Merrimack, she led a study exploring shoulder rotation asymmetry and the unilateral nature of the golf swing. More recently, she worked as a Physical Therapist at the VA Medical Center in San Diego where she developed a deep interest in investigating the micro and macro mechanics of musculoskeletal diseases. In the Collins lab, she is interested in collaborating with scientists to learn about fat-cartilage signaling and markers of osteoarthritis. Outside of the lab, Jessica enjoys baking, any activity outside (hiking, biking, golfing), and being with her dog.

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Former Lab Members

Sonia Alazraie, Undergraduate Volunteer, 2024

Evan Sun, Undergraduate Intern, 2023-2024

Silvia Soule, Medical Student Intern, 2023-2024