Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Cardiology

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photo Brett A. Kaufman, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-383-6031

Office: 200 Lothrop St. BST E1241
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-6031
Administrative Assistant:
April Youschak
Phone: 412-647-5840
Education and Training
Honors BS in Biochemistry, Indiana University - Bloomington, 1995
Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2003
Course in Cell Physiology, Marine Biological Laboratory, 1996
Postdoc, McGill University, 2008
Research Interest
Dr. Kaufman's long-standing research interest is to understand the contribution of mtDNA metabolism to disease progression. For 20 years he has been uncovering the fundamental processes that underlie mitochondrial respiratory deficiency with a focus on mtDNA stability and copy number control – processes essential for respiratory function and viability. Dr. Kaufman's major research goals are 1) to define the biochemical events responsible for the maintenance of mtDNA content, 2) to understand how distinct pathways influence mtDNA maintenance, and 3) to understand mechanisms of mtDNA damage and resistance to damage in the context of disease.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Soleimanpour SA, Ferrari AM, Raum JC, Groff DN, Yang J, Kaufman BA, Stoffers DA. Diabetes susceptibility genes Pdx1 and Clec16a function in a pathway regulating mitophagy in ß-cells. Diabetes. 2015; 64(10): 3475-3484.
Shanmughapriya S, Rajan S, Hoffman NE, Zhang X, Guo S, Kolesar JE, Hines KJ, Ragheb J, Jog NR, Caricchio R, Baba Y, Zhou Y, Kaufman BA, Cheung JY, Kurosaki T, Gill DL, Madesh M. Ca2+ signals regulate mitochondrial metabolism by stimulating CREB-mediated expression of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter gene MCU. Science Signaling. 2015; 8(366): ra23.
Kaufman BA, Liu C, Soleimanpour S. Mitochondrial regulation of beta cell function: maintaining the momentum for insulin release. Molecular Aspects of Medicine. 2015; 42: 91-104.
Kolesar JE, Safdar A, Abadi A, MacNeil LG, Crane JD, Tarnopolsky MA, Kaufman BA. Mitochondrial oxidative damage accompanies muscle atrophy in mtDNA mutator mice. Free Radicals Biology & Medicine. 2014; 75: 241-251.
Dong D, Pereira F, Barrett SP, Kolesar JE, Yatsunyk LA, Cao K, Damas J, Johnson FB, Kaufman BA. Association of G-quadruplex forming sequences with human mtDNA deletion breakpoints. BMC Genomics. 2014; 15: 677.
Soleimanpour SA, Gupta A, Bakay M, Ferrari AM, Groff DN, Fdista J, Spruce LA, Kusher JA, Groop L, Seeholzer SH, Kaufman BA, Hakonarson H, Stoffers DA. The diabetes susceptibility gene Clec16a regulates mitophagy. Cell. 2014; 157: 1577-1590.
Kolesar JE, Wang CY, Taguchi YV, Chou SH, Kaufman BA. Two-dimensional intact mitochondrial DNA agarose electrophoresis reveals the structural complexity of the mammalian mitochondrial genome. Nucleic Acids Research. 2013; 41(4): e58.
Soubannier V, Rippstein P, Kaufman BA, Shoubridge EA, McBride HM. Reconstitution of mitochondria derived vesicle formation demonstrates selective enrichment of oxidized cargo. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7: e52830.
Mallilankaraman K, Cardenas C, Doonan P, Chandramoorthy HC, Irrinki KM, Golenar T, Csordas G, Madireddi P, Yang J, Muller M, Miller R, Kolesar JE, Molgo J, Kaufman BA, Hajnoczky G, Foskett JK, Madesh M. MCUR1 is an Essential Component of Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uptake that Regulates Cellular Metabolism. Nature Cell Biology. 2012; 24: 1336-1343.
Campbell CT, Kolesar JE, Kaufman BA. Mitochondrial transcription factor A regulates mitochondrial transcription initiation, DNA packaging, and genome copy number. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2012; 1819: 921-929.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Molecular Mechanisms of Mitochondrial DNA Deletion Formation
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of General Medical Science
Grant Number: R01 GM110424
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2020
Title: Cyb5R3 and cGMP Signaling
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Bayer Corporation
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2019
Title: Signaling Mechanisms by Which Mitochondria Regulates Fibrosis in the Lung
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL131789
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: The Role of PINK1 in mtDNA Integrity and Tumorigenesis
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2017
Title: The Jackson Laboratory Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: The Jackson Laboratory/National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: P30 AG038070
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2016
Title: March of Dimes Center for Prematurity Research at the University of Pittsburgh
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Pennsylvania/March of Dimes Foundation
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2016
Notable Achievements
United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Chairman's Proze for highest rated research grant, 2011
McCabe Fellow, 2009
Muscular Dystrophy Association Development Award, 2008-2010
Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2005-2008
Dr. David Lin Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004-2005
Jeanne Timmons-Costello Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2003-2004
Honors Division Grant, Indiana University, 1995
Harry G. Day Award for Chemistry, Indiana Universiy, 1994
Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta at Indiana University, 1992