Sarah Kaufman, MD, PhD

Sarah Kaufman, Kampmann Lab

[email protected]
Neurology Resident
Joint position with the Seeley lab



    • Memory and Aging Center Research Fellow, UC San Francisco (2022-present)
    • Neurology Residency Program, University of California, San Francisco (2022)
    • M.D./Ph.D., Medical Scientist Training Program and Neuroscience Graduate Program, Washington University in St. Louis (2018)
    • B.A., Molecular and Cell Biology - Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley (2009)

    Select publications

    • Sanders, D.W.*, Kaufman, S.K.*, DeVos, S.L., Sharma, A.M., Mirbaha, H., Li, A., Barker, S.J., Foley, A.C., Thorpe, J.R., Serpell, L.C., Miller, T.M., Grinberg, L.T., Seeley, W.W., Diamond, M.I., Distinct Tau University of California, San Francisco Prion Strains Propagate in Cells and Mice and Define Different Tauopathies. Neuron. 2014; 1–18. *Equal contribution
    • Kaufman, S.K.*, Sanders, D.W.*, Thomas, T.L., Ruchinskas, A., Vaquer, J., Sharma, A.M., Miller, T.M., Diamond, M.I., Tau prion strains dictate patterns of cell pathology, progression rate, and regional vulnerability in vivo. Neuron. 2016; 92:796–812. *Equal contribution
    • Kaufman, S.K., Thomas, T.L., Del Tredici, K., Braak, H., Diamond, M. I., Characterization of tau prion seeding activity and strains from formaldehyde-fixed tissue. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2017; 5(1):41
    • Kaufman, S.K.*, Del Tredici, K.*, Thomas, T.L., Braak, H., Diamond, M. I., Tau seeding activity begins in the transentorhinal/entorhinal regions and anticipates phospho-tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease and PART. Acta Neuropathologica. 2018; 136(1): 57–67. *Equal contribution
    • Kaufman, S.K., Svirsky S., Cherry J.D., McKee A.C., Diamond M.I., Tau seeding in chronic traumatic encephalopathy parallels disease severity. Acta Neuropathologica. 2021;142(6):951-960.

    Selected Awards/Honors

    • UCSF Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Developmental Project Award (2024)
    • Larry L. Hillblom Foundation Fellowship Award (2022)
    • James L. O’Leary Prizes for Research in Neuroscience (2018)
    • Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Fellowship (2018)
    • Irwin Levy Prize in Neurology and Neurological Surgery (2017)

    Research interests

    I am a physician scientist that with a long-term interest in understanding the mechanisms that underlie protein aggregation and neuronal selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. Tauopathies feature the accumulation of aggregated tau protein in selectively vulnerable neurons that are preferentially lost early in the course of these diseases. Several disease-specific tau aggregate conformations or “strains” have also been identified that can induce different patterns of tau pathology in vivo. Tau strains are now hypothesized to underlie the different patterns of selective vulnerability and neuronal loss observed in human tauopathies. The overarching goal of my research in the Kampmann and Seeley laboratories is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie tau aggregation, distinct tau strains, and their connection to different patterns of selective vulnerability observed in tauopathies.

    Other interests

    • Ultimate frisbee, trivia, travel, and coffee