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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. 

  • Top Doctor, Marin Magazine, 2018
  • Designated Nephrotic Syndrome Expert, Nephcure Kidney International, 2018
  • Top Doctor, San Francisco Magazine, 2018
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators, 2016
  • 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.

Publications provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI.
  1. O'Brien FJ, Sirich TL, Taussig A, Fung E, Ganesan LL, Plummer NS, Brakeman P, Sutherland SM, Meyer TW. Plasma pseudouridine levels reflect body size in children on hemodialysis. Pediatr Nephrol. 2020 02; 35(2):305-312. View in PubMed
  2. Onder AM, Flynn JT, Billings AA, Deng F, DeFreitas M, Katsoufis C, Grinsell MM, Patterson L, Jetton J, Fathallah-Shaykh S, Ranch D, Aviles D, Copelovitch L, Ellis E, Chadha V, Elmaghrabi A, Lin JJ, Butani L, Haddad M, Marsenic O, Brakeman P, Quigley R, Shin HS, Garro R, Liu H, Rahimikollu J, Raina R, Langman CB, Wood E. Predictors of time to first cannulation for arteriovenous fistula in pediatric hemodialysis patients: Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium study. Pediatr Nephrol. 2020 02; 35(2):287-295. View in PubMed
  3. Yu W, Marshall WF, Metzger RJ, Brakeman PR, Morsut L, Lim W, Mostov KE. Simple Rules Determine Distinct Patterns of Branching Morphogenesis. Cell Syst. 2019 Sep 25; 9(3):221-227. View in PubMed
  4. Ferrell N, Sandoval RM, Molitoris BA, Brakeman P, Roy S, Fissell WH. Application of physiological shear stress to renal tubular epithelial cells. Methods Cell Biol. 2019; 153:43-67. View in PubMed
  5. Jayagopal A, Brakeman PR, Soler P, Ferrell N, Fissell W, Kroetz DL, Roy S. Apical Shear Stress Enhanced Organic Cation Transport in Human OCT2/MATE1-Transfected Madin-Darby Canine Kidney Cells Involves Ciliary Sensing. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 06; 369(3):523-530. View in PubMed
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