Program in Biomineralization Studies (PiBiomS)

Organic and inorganic nucleators

Biomineralization is a dynamic process in both normal and pathologic human tissues, and plays a vital role in health and disease.

Often times, it is difficult to “fix” a pathology with limited knowledge about affected tissues. The Program in Biomineralization Studies (PiBiomS) at UCSF (collaboration between Schools of Medicine (Urology) and Dentistry (PRDS), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) has two principal goals:

  • To establish patient-guided protocols that would directly address clinically diagnosed problems related to pathological biomineralization (organic and inorganic "culprits" that form biominerals)
  • To disseminate knowledge to patients, residents, graduate students by building education platforms central to biomineralization, both in health and disease states.

Currently, biominerals from various tissues including blood vessels, ligaments, penis, kidney, and cartilage are routinely prepared for imaging and are visualized using various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques.

Partners and Collaborators



Shaul Aloni, Staff Scientist, Molecular Foundry, LBNL

Markus Hardt, Mass Spectrometry Core Leader, Forsyth Institute

David Killilea, MLK Core Manager, UCSF

Samuel Webb, Staff Scientist, Geochemistry, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Residents and Fellows

Jorge Mena, MD, Resident, Urology

Adrian Fernandez, MD, Resident, Urology

Heiko Yang, MD, Ph.D, Resident, Urology

Alumni (Fellows, Department of Urology, UCSF)

Krishna Ramaswamy, MD (co-PI: Dr. Marshall Stoller)

Ryan Hsi, MD (co-PI: Dr. Marshall Stoller)


Benjamin Sherar, MD (co-PI: Dr. Marshall Stoller)


Scott Weiner, MD (co-PI: Dr. Marshall Stoller)


Amanda Reed-Maldanado, MD (co-PI: Dr. Tom Lue)


Rei Uno, MD, PhD – Visiting Scholar (co-PI: Dr. Thomas Chi)