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Paul R. Brakeman, M.D., Ph.D.

Paul R. Brakeman, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Pediatric Dialysis Unit
Division of Pediatric Nephrology
Department of Pediatrics

Contact Information

Room U585, Box 0748
San Francisco, CA 94143-0748 
Phone: 415-476 2423
Fax: 415-476 9976


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  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., Biophysics, 1985-1989
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, M.D., 1989-1997
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Ph.D., Neuroscience, 1989-1997
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident, Pediatrics, 1997-2000
  • University of California, San Francisco, Chief Resident, Pediatrics, 2000-2001
  • University of California, San Francisco, Fellowship, Pediatric Nephrology, 2001-2004
  • American Board of Pediatrics - General Pediatrics
  • American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Nephrology Subspecialty
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Obstructive nephropathy
  • Pediatric dialysis
  • Systemic lupus erythematous
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Artificial kidney engineering
  • Kidney development
  • Sodium and water transport

Dr. Brakeman is an Associate Professor based at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital with a primary appointment in Pediatrics and a secondary appointment in the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate training at UC Berkeley in biophysics before entering a combined MD/PhD program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His thesis work consisted of evaluating the role of immediate early genes in learning and memory during brain development. He completed his MD and PhD degrees in 1997 before coming to UCSF to pursue residency in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Brakeman served as chief resident in pediatrics in 2000-2001 and then went on to become a fellow in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at UCSF. During his fellowship, Dr. Brakeman began his renal research career, studying kidney development and the molecular mechanisms of kidney morphogenesis. Dr. Brakeman joined the UCSF faculty after completing his fellowship in 2004.

Since joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. Brakeman has developed clinical expertise in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric dialysis patients, pediatric chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infections and obstructive nephropathy. 

  • Basil O'Connor Award, March of Dimes, 2010-2012
  • Travel Award, 10th International Developmental Nephrology Workshop, 2007
  • Fellow, Pediatric Scientist Development Program, 2002-2004

The primary focus of Dr. Brakeman's research is the engineering of human renal epithelial cells for use in a bioartificial kidney. Work is currently underway at UCSF on a multi-center project to develop a bioartificial implantable renal assist device based on hemofiltration. One of the important components of an implantable bioartificial device is an active renal proximal tubule cell bioreactor that can provide some of the metabolic activity of renal tubules. Another critical function of the cellular bioreactor will be the reabsorption of salt and water in order to reduce the volume of the filtrate generated as much as possible before elimination via the bladder. Dr. Brakeman's lab is focused on engineering human proximal tubules cells to enhance sodium and water reabsorption for use in the bioartificial kidney. In addition, he is actively evaluating the use of the proximal tubule cell bioreactor for use in toxicology and pharmaceutical evaluation of novel compounds. 

Dr. Brakeman's work is funded by the Roger's Family Foundation.

Most recent publications from a total of 23
  1. Gao L, Yang Z, Hiremath C, Zimmerman SE, Long B, Brakeman PR, Mostov KE, Bryant DM, Luby-Phelps K, Marciano DK. Afadin orients cell division to position the tubule lumen in developing renal tubules. Development. 2017 10 01; 144(19):3511-3520. View in PubMed
  2. Oates A, Benedict KA, Sun K, Brakeman PR, Lim J, Kim C. Laser acupuncture reduces pain in pediatric kidney biopsies: a randomized controlled trial. Pain. 2017 Jan; 158(1):103-109. View in PubMed
  3. Brakeman P, Miao S, Cheng J, Lee CZ, Roy S, Fissell WH, Ferrell N. A modular microfluidic bioreactor with improved throughput for evaluation of polarized renal epithelial cells. Biomicrofluidics. 2016 Nov; 10(6):064106. View in PubMed
  4. Tran CS, Eran Y, Ruch TR, Bryant DM, Datta A, Brakeman P, Kierbel A, Wittmann T, Metzger RJ, Mostov KE, Engel JN. Host cell polarity proteins participate in innate immunity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Cell Host Microbe. 2014 May 14; 15(5):636-43. View in PubMed
  5. Wong T, Matthay KK, Boscardin WJ, Hawkins RA, Brakeman PR, DuBois SG. Acute changes in blood pressure in patients with neuroblastoma treated with ¹³¹I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG). Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Sep; 60(9):1424-30. View in PubMed
  6. Yang Z, Zimmerman S, Brakeman PR, Beaudoin GM, Reichardt LF, Marciano DK. De novo lumen formation and elongation in the developing nephron: a central role for afadin in apical polarity. Development. 2013 Apr; 140(8):1774-84. View in PubMed
  7. Gálvez-Santisteban M, Rodriguez-Fraticelli AE, Bryant DM, Vergarajauregui S, Yasuda T, Bañón-Rodríguez I, Bernascone I, Datta A, Spivak N, Young K, Slim CL, Brakeman PR, Fukuda M, Mostov KE, Martín-Belmonte F. Synaptotagmin-like proteins control the formation of a single apical membrane domain in epithelial cells. Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Aug; 14(8):838-49. View in PubMed
  8. Hu JH, Yang L, Kammermeier PJ, Moore CG, Brakeman PR, Tu J, Yu S, Petralia RS, Li Z, Zhang PW, Park JM, Dong X, Xiao B, Worley PF. Preso1 dynamically regulates group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jun; 15(6):836-44. View in PubMed
  9. Marciano DK, Brakeman PR, Lee CZ, Spivak N, Eastburn DJ, Bryant DM, Beaudoin GM, Hofmann I, Mostov KE, Reichardt LF. p120 catenin is required for normal renal tubulogenesis and glomerulogenesis. Development. 2011 May; 138(10):2099-109. View in PubMed
  10. Brakeman PR, Liu KD, Shimizu K, Takai Y, Mostov KE. Nectin proteins are expressed at early stages of nephrogenesis and play a role in renal epithelial cell morphogenesis. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2009 Mar; 296(3):F564-74. View in PubMed
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