Bruce Conklin, MD
Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease

Other Professional Titles

Professor, University of California, Departments of Medical Genetics and Molecular Pharmacology

Phone

(415) 734-2712

Fax

(415) 355-0960

Assistant

Elana Lewis
(415) 734-2705

On The Web

Areas of Investigation

Dr. Conklin is focused on the genetic causes severe human disease such as cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia. His uses genome engineering methods to test the role of specific genetic changes in induced pluripotent cell (iPSC)-derived models of disease. These engineered human tissues are leading to safer drugs, and better drug therapies. He is also developing methods for therapeutic genome editing in select tissues.  Dr. Conklin began his research career by working for two years with Julius Axelrod, Ph.D., (Nobel Laureate) at the National Institutes of Health. He then completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Henry Bourne, M.D. at UCSF. In 1995 Dr. Conklin joined the Gladstone Institutes and the UCSF faculty where he has advanced to become a Senior Investigator at Gladstone, and a Professor at UCSF. Dr. Conklin is also the Gladstone Scientific Officer for Technology and Innovation. Dr. Conklin is the founder of several public stem cell and genomics projects including BayGenomics, GenMAPP, AltAnalyze and WikiPathways.  Dr. Conklin pioneered the field of using designer G protein coupled receptors (RASSLs) for tissue engineering. He was the founding director of the Gladstone Genomics Core and the Gladstone Stem Cell Core.  Dr. Conklin leads the Gladstone Stem Cell Training Program, is the principal investigator on multiple research grants from NIH and serves on multiple advisory boards. He is a member of several honorary societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and is a Fellow in the California Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Conklin’s research program has focused on human iPSC models of disease since the first demonstration that human iPSCs could be produced.  More recently genome engineering of iPSCs has allowed the Conklin lab to study precise, isogenic models of human genetic disease and potential applications for the treatment of genetic diseases.  Dr. Conklin’s expertise in the field of stem cell biology, genomics, regulatory signaling and bioinformatics is essential for the success of his research projects.

Lab Focus

Stem cell-derived models of human cardiovascular disease
Genome editing to study genetics, and to cure genetic diseases

Achievements

Developed a novel series of assay tools (G protein chimeras) that enable high-throughput drug discovery. This method is used by 80% of major pharmaceutical companies and has contributed to the development of several approved drugs.
Engineered G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) called RASSLs (receptors activated by small synthetic ligands) that are unresponsive to endogenous natural hormones but can still be activated via synthetic small-molecule drugs.
Developed or contributed to various powerful, open-source bioinformatics platforms (WikiPathways.org, GenMAPP.org, AltAnalyze.org, and Cytoscape.org) to analyze large-scale gene-expression studies (RNA-seq).
Organized large-scale gene trapping effort with BayGenomics, inactivating over half of all mouse genes. This effort that helped inspire the international Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP).
Stem Cell Disease Modeling. In close collaboration with Dr. Yamanaka Dr. Conklin’s laboratory was able to establish new iPS cell disease models, gain new insights into iPS cell biology, and develop new tissue engineering methods.
Genome Engineering and New Experimental Technologies. Dr. Conklin’s laboratory has developed new method genome engineering in human iPS cells using the TALENs and CRISPR system. Projects also address potential approaches to therapeutic genome editing, as well as epigenetic modifications to control gene expression.

Affiliations

  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • California Academy of Science
  • Fellow
  • Assay Depot
  • Advisory Board

Professional titles

Professor, University of California, Departments of Medical Genetics and Molecular Pharmacology

Education

1982
BA
  • University of California, Berkeley
1988
MD
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Honors and Awards

2011 California Academy of Sciences (Fellow)
2009 Stem Cell Image Prize, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
2008 Scientific American 50 Award
2003 American Society for Clinical Investigation (Elected)
1990 Medical Resident Research Award, NIH-NIDDKD
1988 Harry Resnick Award, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine