Paul  Brakema
Associate Professor
Medical Director, Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program
+1 415 476-9976


Dr. Brakeman is an Assistant Professor based at the the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital with a primary appointment in Pediatrics and a secondary apointment in the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine.

The primary focus of his 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.

Education and Training

M.D., 1997 School of Medicine, John Hopkins University
Residency, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco


Wang MK, Chuang KW, Li Y, Gaither T, Brakeman P, Gonzalez L, Brennan J, Baskin LS. Renal function outcomes in pediatric patients with symptomatic reflux into the transplanted kidney treated with redo ureteroneocystostomy. J Pediatr Urol. 2018 Mar 14.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yu W, Shewan AM, Brakeman P, Eastburn DJ, Datta A, Bryant DM, Fan QW, Weiss WA, Zegers MM, Mostov KE. Involvement of RhoA, ROCK I and myosin II in inverted orientation of epithelial polarity. EMBO Rep. 2008 Sep; 9(9):923-9.
Liu KD, Brakeman PR. Renal repair and recovery. Crit Care Med. 2008 Apr; 36(4 Suppl):S187-92.
Hirose R, Xu F, Dang K, Liu T, Behrends M, Brakeman PR, Wiener-Kronish J, Niemann CU. Transient hyperglycemia affects the extent of ischemia-reperfusion-induced renal injury in rats. Anesthesiology. 2008 Mar; 108(3):402-14.
Nguyen S, McCulloch C, Brakeman P, Portale A, Hsu CY. Being overweight modifies the association between cardiovascular risk factors and microalbuminuria in adolescents. Pediatrics. 2008 Jan; 121(1):37-45.
Brakeman P. Vesicoureteral reflux, reflux nephropathy, and end-stage renal disease. Adv Urol. 2008; 508949.
Liu KD, Datta A, Yu W, Brakeman PR, Jou TS, Matthay MA, Mostov KE. Rac1 is required for reorientation of polarity and lumen formation through a PI 3-kinase-dependent pathway. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Nov; 293(5):F1633-40.
Kim M, Datta A, Brakeman P, Yu W, Mostov KE. Polarity proteins PAR6 and aPKC regulate cell death through GSK-3beta in 3D epithelial morphogenesis. J Cell Sci. 2007 Jul 15; 120(Pt 14):2309-17.
Mostov K, Brakeman P, Datta A, Gassama A, Katz L, Kim M, Leroy P, Levin M, Liu K, Martin F, O'Brien LE, Verges M, Su T, Tang K, Tanimizu N, Yamaji T, Yu W. Formation of multicellular epithelial structures. Novartis Found Symp. 2005; 269:193-200; discussion 200-5, 223-30.
Foa L, Rajan I, Haas K, Wu GY, Brakeman P, Worley P, Cline H. The scaffold protein, Homer1b/c, regulates axon pathfinding in the central nervous system in vivo. Nat Neurosci. 2001 May; 4(5):499-506.
Tu JC, Xiao B, Naisbitt S, Yuan JP, Petralia RS, Brakeman P, Doan A, Aakalu VK, Lanahan AA, Sheng M, Worley PF. Coupling of mGluR/Homer and PSD-95 complexes by the Shank family of postsynaptic density proteins. Neuron. 1999 Jul; 23(3):583-92.