Katherine Spack

Research Interests

  • Translational Research
  • Cartilage Biomechanics
  • Cartilage Morphogenesis


  • B.S. University of California Berkeley, Bioengineering, 2018
  • M.S. Columbia University, Biomedical Engineering, 2020


Originally from the Silicon Valley in California, Katherine completed her B.S. in bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Here she worked in the Gronert optometry lab looking at the lipidomic markers that regulate ocular immunity in order to examine the eye's immunoprivileged status. From here, she moved on to the O'Connell joint biomechanics lab in order to examine the role of glycosaminoglycans on the hydration and tissue mechanics of intervertebral discs. Katherine began her work with the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics lab in August of 2018 as a MS/Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering.

Outside of the lab, Katherine enjoys birding, climbing, and most power tools.


Werbner B.W., Spack K.A., O'Connell G.D., 2019. Bovine Anulus Fibrosus Hydration Affects Rate-Dependant Failure Mechanics in Tension. Journal of Biomechanics. In Press.


  • Spack KA, Shaeffer CA, Shyu PT, Cook J, Hung CT, Rosenwasser MP, Ateshian GA. (2021) "Increasing Surface Conformity in Patellar Osteochondral Allografts Through Modifications of Subchondral Bone" Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference.

  • Shaeffer CA, Spack KA, Hung CT, Rosenwasser MP, Ateshian GA. (2020) "Adaptively Conforming Osteochondral Patellar Allografts for Joint Resurfacing: A Finite Element Analysis of Congruence" Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference.

  • Werbner B, Spack KA, O'Connell GD. (2019) “Annulus Fibrosus Hydration Affects Rate-Dependent Failure Mechanics In Tension” 3rd International Workshop on Spine Biomechanics.

  • Werbner B, Spack, KA, O'Connell GD. (2019) "Effect of Proteoglycan and Water Content on Annulus Fibrosus Failure Mechanics" Annual Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting.