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Brian Zuckerbraun, MD

  • Chief, Division of Trauma and General Surgery
  • Henry T. Bahnson Professor, Surgery

    Education & Training

  • Medical School – Northwestern University – MD
  • Residency – University of Pittsburgh – General Surgery
Research Grants

NIH Grants:  R01

Research Summary

Dr. Zuckerbraun's research interests are associated with his clinical interests in the biology of trauma and sepsis.  His laboratory focuses on mitochondrial and metabolic responses to these clinical conditions, and how these responses influence inflammation and immunity.   This includes changes in respiration as well as mitochondrial homeostatic responses such as autophagy and mitophagy.    One current project focuses on the role of succinate/succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) in the regulation of immune responses and macrophage phenotype.  Dr. Zuckerbraun's lab is examining the role of the endogenous SDH inhibitor itaconite, which is produced by immune responsive gene-1 (IRG-1). This pathway can be harnessed for therapeutic benefit using pharmacological inhibitors of SDH.  Another longstanding area of interest in the Zuckerbraun lab has been the role of heme and heme oxygenase enzymes in the regulation of inflammation.  A current ongoing study is evaluating the role of heme as an endogenous innate immune receptor antigen released from erythrocytes during sepsis.  The lab is investigating how this influences platelet and endothelial biology in the setting of sepsis.  Dr. Zuckerbraun is an expert in the biology of carbon monoxide, a by-product in the breakdown of heme by heme oxygenases.  Dr. Zuckerbraun's lab utilizes several murine models of trauma and sepsis, as well as porcine models of trauma.  The group works with the Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization to collect clinical samples from patients with trauma and sepsis to help translate basic science findings back to the clinical arena.  Dr. Zuckerbraun has actively been involved in the clinical and research training of surgery residents, medical students, and post-doctoral scientists.  He is committed to the training of the next generation of surgeon-scientists.

Representative Publications
  1. Reitz KM, Zuckerbraun BS. Treating the Patient With Appendicitis, Not Just the Appendicitis. JAMA Surg. 2018 Nov 14. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4300. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30427979.
  2. Barrett CD, Hsu AT, Ellson CD, Y Miyazawa B, Kong YW, Greenwood JD, Dhara S, Neal MD, Sperry JL, Park MS, Cohen MJ, Zuckerbraun BS, Yaffe MB. Blood clotting and traumatic injury with shock mediates complement-dependent neutrophil priming for extracellular ROS, ROS-dependent organ injury and coagulopathy. Clin Exp Immunol. 2018 Oct;194(1):103-117. doi: 10.1111/cei.13166. Epub 2018 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 30260475; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6156817.
  3. Plautz WE, Raval JS, Dyer MR, Rollins-Raval MA, Zuckerbraun BS, Neal MD. ADAMTS13: origins, applications, and prospects. Transfusion. 2018 Oct;58(10):2453-2462. doi: 10.1111/trf.14804. Epub 2018 Sep 12. Review. PubMed PMID: 30208220.
  4. Huston JM, Zuckerbraun BS, Moore LJ, Sanders JM, Duane TM. Antibiotics versus No Antibiotics for the Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Diverticulitis: Review of the Evidence and Future Directions. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2018 Oct;19(7):648-654. doi: 10.1089/sur.2018.115. Epub 2018 Sep 11. Review. PubMed PMID: 30204549.
  5. Sperry JL, Guyette FX, Brown JB, Yazer MH, Triulzi DJ, Early-Young BJ, Adams PW, Daley BJ, Miller RS, Harbrecht BG, Claridge JA, Phelan HA, Witham WR, Putnam AT, Duane TM, Alarcon LH, Callaway CW, Zuckerbraun BS, Neal MD, Rosengart MR, Forsythe RM, Billiar TR, Yealy DM, Peitzman AB, Zenati MS; PAMPer Study Group. Prehospital Plasma during Air Medical Transport in Trauma Patients at Risk for Hemorrhagic Shock. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jul 26;379(4):315-326. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1802345. PubMed PMID: 30044935.
  6. Anto VP, Brown JB, Peitzman AB, Zuckerbraun BS, Neal MD, Watson G, Forsythe R, Billiar TR, Sperry JL. Blunt cerebrovascular injury in elderly fall patients: are we screening enough? World J Emerg Surg. 2018 Jul 4;13:30. doi: 10.1186/s13017-018-0188-z. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29997683; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6031193.
  7. Waltz PK, Kautza B, Luciano J, Dyer M, Stolz DB, Loughran P, Neal MD, Sperry JL, Rosengart MR, Zuckerbraun BS. Heme Oxygenase-2 Localizes to Mitochondria and Regulates Hypoxic Responses in Hepatocytes. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Apr 12;2018:2021645. doi: 10.1155/2018/2021645. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29849867; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5925001.
  8. Lewis AJ, Zhang X, Griepentrog JE, Yuan D, Collage RD, Waltz PK, Angus DC, Zuckerbraun BS, Rosengart MR. Blue Light Enhances Bacterial Clearance and Reduces Organ Injury During Sepsis. Crit Care Med. 2018 Aug;46(8):e779-e787. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003190. PubMed PMID: 29727369; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6045458.