Nicole G. Coufal, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego

SFARI Investigator Website

Nicole G. Coufal is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. She received her M.D., Ph.D. from UCSD in 2011 and completed her pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric critical care at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital. She joined the faculty in 2017 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship with Fred Gage at the Salk Institute.

The goal of the Coufal laboratory is to understand how microglia, the resident innate immune cell of the brain, impact human brain development and maturation. By utilizing a combination of primary human microglia together with human stem cell-derived microglial models, the Coufal lab aims to delineate how microglial dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis of rare and common neurodevelopmental and pediatric neurodegenerative disorders.

To aid in these endeavors, the Coufal laboratory has collaborated extensively with Christopher K. Glass’s laboratory to define the transcriptomic and epigenetic landscape of human microglia and to identify microglial-specific enhancers translating these predictions to stem cell–derived microglial models of enhancer function in human microglia. The work of the Coufal laboratory has important implications for identifying novel therapeutic targets in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Read More

SFARI Funded Publications

CLP1 founder mutation links tRNA splicing and maturation to cerebellar development and neurodegeneration. Schaffer A.E., Eggens V.R., Caglayan A.O., Reuter M.S., Scott E., Coufal N. G., Silhavy J.L., Xue Y., Kayserili H., Yasuno K., Rosti R.O., Abdellateef M., Caglar C., Kasher P.R., Cazemier J.L., Weterman M.A., Cantagrel V., Cai N., Zweier C., Altunoglu U., Satkin N.B., Aktar F., Tuysuz B., Yalcinkaya C., Caksen H., Bilguvar K., Fu X.D., Trotta C.R., Gabriel S., Reis A., Gunel M., Baas F., Gleeson J.
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive SFARI funding announcements and news