Faculty Profile: Thomas Bartnikas, MD PhD

Thomas Bartnikas
Thomas Bartnikas, MD PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Bio Med Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Work: +1 401-863-3478
We study the role of metals in human health and disease. While metals are essential for many biological processes, they are toxic when present in excess. Metal deficiency and toxicity can be caused by specific genetic mutations or result from dietary imbalances or environmental exposures. Using multiple experimental approaches, our laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which metals are acquired by the body, distributed to various tissues and recycled or eliminated once no longer needed.

Biography

Tom Bartnikas, M.D. Ph.D. is assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University where he studies the role of metals in human health and disease. He obtained a B.A. from Cornell University then an M.D. Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis (Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology with Dr. Jonathan Gitlin). He did his postdoctoral studies with Drs. Nancy Andrews and Mark Fleming at Boston Children's Hospital. His work is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Research Description

We study the role of metals in human health and disease. While metals are essential for many biological processes, they are toxic when present in excess. Metal deficiency and toxicity can be caused by specific genetic mutations or result from dietary imbalances or environmental exposures. Our laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which metals are acquired by the body, distributed to various tissues and recycled or eliminated once no longer needed. We use both mouse models of human disease and tissue culture models in our studies. We currently focus on the regulation of iron metabolism in diseases of iron overload and the interrelationships between metabolism of iron and other metals such as manganese.

Affiliations

International BioIron Society
American Society of Hematology

Funded Research

2006-08 Serum regulators of hepcidin expression
Cooley's Anemia Foundation
Principal Investigator
The major goal of the study was to identify serum molecules that modulate hepcidin mRNA levels in hepatocytes and to test candidate hepcidin regulatory proteins in vitro.

2009-15 Regulation of iron homeostasis by iron and transferrin
NIDDK K99/R00 DK084122
Principal Investigator
The major goals of the study were to determine the effect of metal-free, diferric and total transferrin levels on hepcidin levels in vivo, to determine if perturbations in cellular manganese homeostasis alter cellular iron homeostasis and to identify novel factors required for cellular manganese and iron homeostasis.