Brett Kaufman, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Kaufman
Dr. Kaufman is a member of Department of Medicine and Principal Investigator, Vascular Medicine Institute and Center for Metabolic and Mitochondrial Medicine.

Office Location:
200 Lothrop Street, BST E1241
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-383-6031

Research Interests

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 mechanisms of mtDNA damage and resistance to damage in the context of disease, including cell-free mtDNA signaling, and 3) therapeutic approaches to mtDNA mutation and instability. Multiple organ systems are involved, giving a lot of flexibility to models and diseases of interest. Outside of his primary research goals, Brett focuses on providing a strong mentoring environment that highlights individual's development and identification of strengths. He also collaborates extensively to help diverse research projects understand whether mtDNA-related defects are association with disease.

Selected Publications

  • Cole LK, Mejia EM, Sparagna GC, Vandel M, Xiang B, Han X, Dedousis N, Cole LK, Mejia EM, Sparagna GC, Vandel M, Xiang B, Han X, Dedousis N, Kaufman BA, Dolinsky VW, Hatch GM. Cardiolipin deficiency elevates susceptibility to a lipotoxic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2020 May 11;144:24-34. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2020.05.001. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32418915.
  • Rutledge C, Cater G, McMahon B, Guo L, Nouraie SM, Wu Y, Villanueva F, Kaufman BA. Commercial 4-dimensional echocardiography for murine heart volumetric evaluation after myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2020 Mar 12;18(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12947-020-00191-5. PubMed PMID: 32164714; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7068892.Peer-Reviewed Articles: 2019
  • McManus MJ, Picard M, Chen H-W, De Haas HJ, Potluri P, Leipzig J, Towheed A, Angelin A, Sengupta P, Morrow RM, Kaufman BA, Vermulst M, Narula J, Wallace DC. Mitochondrial DNA Variation Dictates Expressivity and Progression of Nuclear DNA Mutations Causing Cardiomyopathy. Cell Metab. 2019 Jan 8;29(1):78-90.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.08.002. Epub 2018 Aug 30. PubMed PMID: 30174309; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6717513.
  • De Jesus D, DeVallance E, Li Y, Falabella M, Guimaraes D, Shiva S, Kaufman BA, Gladwin MT, Pagano P. Nox1/Ref-1-Mediated Activation of CREB Promotes Gremlin1-Driven Endothelial Cell Proliferation & Migration. Redox Biol. 2019 Apr;22:101138. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2019.101138. Epub 2019 Feb 8. PubMed PMID: 30802716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6395885.
  • Falabella M, Kolesar JE, C. Wallace C, de Jesus D, Sun L, Taguchi YV, Wang C, Wang T, Xiang IM, Alder JK, Maheshan R, Horne W, Turek-Herman J, Pagano PJ, St. Croix CM, Sondheimer N, Yatsunyk LA, Johnson FB, Kaufman BA. G-quadruplex dynamics contribute to regulation of mitochondrial gene expression. Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 3;9(1):5605. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41464-y. PubMed PMID: 30944353; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6447596.
  • Trumpff C, Marsland* AL, Basualto-Alarco?n C, Martin JL, Carroll JE, Sturm G, Vincent AE, Mosharova EV, Gu Z, Kaufman BA*, Picard M*. Acute Psychological Stress Increases Serum Circulating Cell-Free Mitochondrial DNA. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Aug;106:268-276. PMCID: PMC6589121. *co-corresponding authors.
  • Patil P, Falabella M, Saeed A, Lee D, Kaufman BA, Shiva S, St. Croix C, Van Houten B, Neidernhofer LJ, Robbins PD, Lee J, Gwendolyn S, Vo N. Oxidative stress-induced senescence markedly increases disc cell bioenergetics. Mech Ageing Dev. 2019 Apr 17;180:97-106. (PMCID pending).
  • Trumpff C, Marsland AL, Sloan RP, Kaufman BA, Picard M. Predictors of ccf-mtDNA Reactivity to Acute Psychological Stress Identified Using Machine Learning Classifiers: A Proof-of-Concept. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Sep;107:82-92. PMCID: PMC6637411
  • Belmonte FR, Dedousis N, Sipula I, Desai NA, Singhi AD, Chu Y, Zhang Y, Bannwarth S, Paquis-Flucklinger V, Harrington L, Shiva S, Jurczak MJ, O'Doherty RM, and Kaufman BA. Petite Integration Factor 1 (PIF1) helicase deficiency increases weight gain in Western diet-fed female mice without increased inflammatory markers or decreased glucose clearance. PLoS One. 2019;14(5):e0203101. PMCID: PMC6538152.