Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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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
Fax: 412-648-5980
Administrative Assistant:
Kathy Brickett
Phone: 412-624-5840
Fax: 412-648-5980
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:
Kaufman, BA, Picard, M, Sondheimer, N. Mitochondrial DNA, nuclear context, and the risk of carcinogenesis. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. 2018.
Falabella, M, Fernandez, RJ, Johnson, B, Kaufman, BA. Potential roles for G-quadruplexes in mitochondria. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2018; epub ahead of print.
Guha, M, Srinivasan, S, Roman, P, Jiang, Y, Kaufman, BA, Taylor, D, Dong, D, Chakrabarti, R, Picard, M, Carstens, RP, Kijima, Y, Feldman, M, Avadhani NG. Aggressive triple negative breast cancer have unique molecular signature on the basis of mitochondrial genetic and functional defects. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2018; 1864(4 Pt A): 1060-1071.
Han HS, Dieras V, Robson M, Palacova M, Marcom PK, Jager A, Bondarenko I, Citrin D, Campone M,, Telli M, Domchek SM, Friedlander M, Kaufman B, Garber JE, Shparyk Y, Chmielowska E, Jakobsen EH, Kaklamani V, Grandishar W, Ratajczak CK. Veliparib with temozolomide or carboplatin/paclitaxel versus placebo with carboplatin/paclitaxel in patients with BRA 1/2 locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer: randomized phase II study. Annals of Oncology. 2018; 29(1): 154-161.
Falabella M, Sun L, Barr J, Pena AZ, Kershaw EE, Gingras S, Goncharova EA, Kaufman BA. Single-step qPCR and dPCR Detection of Diverse CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Edition Events in vivo G3. in vivo. 2017; 7(10): 3533-3542.
Guhha M, Srinivasan S, Guja K, Mejia E, Garcia-Diaz M, Johnson FB, Ruthel G, Kaufman BA, Rappaport EF, Glineburg MR, Fang JK, Szanto AK, Nakagawa H, Basha J, Kundu T, AVadhani NG. HnRPNPA2 is a novel histone acetyltransferase that mediates mitochondrial stress-induced nuclear gene expression. Cell Discovery. 2016; 2: 16045.
Isakoff SJ, Puhall S, Domchek SM, Friedlander M, Kaufman B, Robson M, Telli ML, Dieras V, Han HS, Garvber JE, Johnson EF, Maag D, Qin Q, Giranda VL, Shepherd SP. A randomized Phase II study of veliparib with temozolomide or carboplatin/paclitaxel versus placebo with carboplantin/paclitaxel in BRCA 1/2 metastatic breast cancer: design and ratinale. Future Oncology. 2017; 13(4): 307-320.
Belmonte FR, Martin JL, Frescura K, Damas J, Pereira F, Tarnopolsky MA, Kaufman BA. Digital PCR methods improve detection sensitivity and measurement precision of low abundance mtDNA deletions. Scientific Reports. 2016; 6: 25186.
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: DCAF7/HDAC4/TFEB Axis in Acute Lung Injury
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL142777
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2023
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
Selected for the University of Pittsburgh Senior Vice Chancellor's Seminar Series, 2018
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