John Newman, MD, PhD

Associate Adjunct Professor


Dr. Newman is a geriatrician, basic science researcher, and educator at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Newman hopes to translate what we are learning of the pathways that control fundamental mechanisms of aging into therapies that will improve the health and preserve the independence of older adults.

His research work as an Assistant Professor at the Buck Institute, in sunny Novato, focuses on how ketone bodies, small molecules that our bodies make for energy when we fast or exercise, also act as molecular signals to control inflammation and gene expression. The signaling functions of ketone bodies may be translational targets for protecting cognition and improving resilience in older adults. This is one example how environmental cues like diet and fasting signal through small metabolites in our cells to regulate the genes and pathways that in turn control aging. Dr. Newman is particularly interested in testing if harnessing these signals can protect older adults from the risks of hospitalization like delirium and functional decline.

Dr. Newman attends on the inpatient medicine service and the acute care of elders unit at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, with a clinical focus on delirium and functional decline. He teaches students, residents, and fellows about geriatric clinical problems, as well as about the biology of aging and emerging translational science in geriatrics. He works as a part of the national Geroscience Network to develop frameworks and resources for testing interventions that target fundamental mechanisms of aging in clinical trials. He seeks to bridge the community of basic scientists that study aging to geriatricians and other clinicians who study the clinical problems of aging in order to develop innovative translational therapies.

Dr. Newman completed an MD/PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, then residency training in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Geriatrics at UCSF before joining the faculty in 2014. He joined the faculty of the Buck Institute in 2018. Dr. Newman is a 2014 Beeson Scholar from the National Institute on Aging and the American Federation of Aging Research. His work has also been supported by generous funding from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

Assistant Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatrics at UCSF
Geriatrician, San Francisco VA Medical Center

Fellowship, 2011 - Geriatric Medicine, UCSF
Residency, 2010 - Internal Medicine, UCSF
MD/PhD, 2008 - Biochemistry, University of Washington
BS/MS, 2000 - Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
Honors and Awards
  • Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year, American Geriatrics Society, 2018
  • New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society, 2015
  • Beeson Scholar, National Institute on Aging and American Federation for Aging Research, 2014-2019
  • John S. Spice Award in Aging, Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, 2014
  • Award of Excellence in Scientific Leadership, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, 2013
  • Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, Paul F. Glenn Foundation, 2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, 2012-2015
  • Hartford Scholar, John A. Hartford Foundation, 2011-2013
  1. Bauer SR, Newman JC. Interpreting Geroscience-Guided Biomarker Studies. 2022. PMID: 35040910

  2. LaHue SC, Escueta DP, Guterman EL, Patel K, Harrison KL, Boscardin WJ, Douglas VC, Newman JC. COVID-19 severity and age increase the odds of delirium in hospitalized adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection: a cohort study. 2022. PMID: 35227231

  3. Bauer SR, Cawthon PM, Ensrud KE, Suskind AM, Newman JC, Fink HA, Lu K, Scherzer R, Hoffman AR, Covinsky K, Marshall LM, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group. Lower urinary tract symptoms and incident functional limitations among older community-dwelling men. 2021. PMID: 34951697

  4. Bauer SR, Walter LC, Ensrud KE, Suskind AM, Newman JC, Ricke WA, Liu TT, McVary KT, Covinsky K. Assessment of Frailty and Association With Progression of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Symptoms and Serious Adverse Events Among Men Using Drug Therapy. 2021. PMID: 34817584

  5. LaHue SC, Maselli J, Rogers S, Casatta J, Chao J, Croci R, Gonzales R, Holt B, Josephson SA, Lama S, Lau C, McCulloch C, Newman JC, Terrelonge M, Yeager J, Douglas VC. Outcomes Following Implementation of a Hospital-Wide, Multicomponent Delirium Care Pathway. Journal of hospital medicine 2021. PMID: 34197303

  6. Chen O, Blonquist TM, Mah E, Sanoshy K, Beckman D, Nieman KM, Winters BL, Anthony JC, Verdin E, Newman JC, Stubbs BJ. Tolerability and Safety of a Novel Ketogenic Ester, Bis-Hexanoyl (R)-1,3-Butanediol: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults. 2021. PMID: 34208742

  7. Stubbs BJ, Nikiforov AI, Rihner MO, Weston S, Higley N, Roy S, Dakoulas E, Verdin E, Newman JC. Genetic Toxicity Studies of the Ketogenic Ester Bis Hexanoyl (R)-1,3-Butanediol. International journal of toxicology 2021. PMID: 33611970

  8. Stubbs BJ, Nikiforov AI, Rihner MO, Weston SL, Higley N, Stump DG, Krane GA, Gadupudi G, Verdin E, Newman JC. Toxicological Evaluation of the ketogenic ester Bis Hexanoyl (R)-1,3-Butanediol: Subchronic Toxicity in Sprague Dawley Rats. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 2021. PMID: 33621607

  9. Yurista SR, Matsuura TR, Silljé HHW, Nijholt KT, McDaid KS, Shewale SV, Leone TC, Newman JC, Verdin E, van Veldhuisen DJ, de Boer RA, Kelly DP, Westenbrink BD. Ketone Ester Treatment Improves Cardiac Function and Reduces Pathologic Remodeling in Preclinical Models of Heart Failure. Circulation. Heart failure 2020. PMID: 33356362

  10. Gut P, Matilainen S, Meyer JG, Pällijeff P, Richard J, Carroll CJ, Euro L, Jackson CB, Isohanni P, Minassian BA, Alkhater RA, Østergaard E, Civiletto G, Parisi A, Thevenet J, Rardin MJ, He W, Nishida Y, Newman JC, Liu X, Christen S, Moco S, Locasale JW, Schilling B, Suomalainen A, Verdin E. SUCLA2 mutations cause global protein succinylation contributing to the pathomechanism of a hereditary mitochondrial disease. Nature communications 2020. PMID: 33230181

  11. Stubbs BJ, Blade T, Mills S, Thomas J, Yufei X, Nelson FR, Higley N, Nikiforov AI, Rhiner MO, Verdin E, Newman JC. In vitro stability and in vivo pharmacokinetics of the novel ketogenic ester, bis hexanoyl (R)-1,3-butanediol. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 2020. PMID: 33212214

  12. Stubbs BJ, Koutnik AP, Volek JS, Newman JC. From bedside to battlefield: intersection of ketone body mechanisms in geroscience with military resilience. GeroScience 2020. PMID: 33006708

  13. Stubbs BJ, Koutnik AP, Goldberg EL, Upadhyay V, Turnbaugh PJ, Verdin E, Newman JC. Investigating Ketone Bodies as Immunometabolic Countermeasures against Respiratory Viral Infections. Med (New York, N.Y.) 2020. PMID: 32838361

  14. Ang QY, Alexander M, Newman JC, Tian Y, Cai J, Upadhyay V, Turnbaugh JA, Verdin E, Hall KD, Leibel RL, Ravussin E, Rosenbaum M, Patterson AD, Turnbaugh PJ. Ketogenic Diets Alter the Gut Microbiome Resulting in Decreased Intestinal Th17 Cells. Cell 2020. PMID: 32437658

  15. LaHue SC, James TC, Newman JC, Esmaili AM, Ormseth CH, Ely EW. Collaborative Delirium Prevention in the Age of COVID-19. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2020. PMID: 32277467

  16. Stubbs BJ, Newman JC. Ketogenic diet and adipose tissue inflammation-a simple story? Fat chance! Nature metabolism 2020. PMID: 32694682

  17. Campisi J, Kapahi P, Lithgow GJ, Melov S, Newman JC, Verdin E. From discoveries in ageing research to therapeutics for healthy ageing. Nature 2019. PMID: 31292558

  18. Newman JC, Sokoloski JL, Robbins PD, Niedernhofer LJ, Reed MJ, Wei J, Austad SN, Barzilai N, Cohen HJ, Kuchel GA, Kirkland JL, Pignolo RJ. Creating the Next Generation of Translational Geroscientists. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2019. PMID: 31287934

  19. Hurria A, Carpenter CR, McFarland F, Lundebjerg NE, de Cabo R, Ferrucci L, Studenski SA, Barzilai N, Briggs JP, Ix JH, Kitzman DW, Kuchel GA, Musi N, Newman JC, Rando TA, Smith AK, Walston JD, Kirkland JL, Yung R. Models and Studies of Aging: Executive Summary of a Report from the U13 Conference Series. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2019. PMID: 30693953

  20. Tognini P, Murakami M, Liu Y, Eckel-Mahan KL, Newman JC, Verdin E, Baldi P, Sassone-Corsi P. Distinct Circadian Signatures in Liver and Gut Clocks Revealed by Ketogenic Diet. Cell metabolism 2017. PMID: 28877456

  21. Newman JC, Covarrubias AJ, Zhao M, Yu X, Gut P, Ng CP, Huang Y, Haldar S, Verdin E. Ketogenic Diet Reduces Midlife Mortality and Improves Memory in Aging Mice. Cell metabolism 2017. PMID: 28877458

  22. Newman JC, Verdin E. ß-Hydroxybutyrate: A Signaling Metabolite. Annual review of nutrition 2017. PMID: 28826372

  23. Justice J, Miller JD, Newman JC, Hashmi SK, Halter J, Austad SN, Barzilai N, Kirkland JL. Frameworks for Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trials of Interventions That Target Fundamental Aging Processes. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2016. PMID: 27535966

  24. Newman JC, Milman S, Hashmi SK, Austad SN, Kirkland JL, Halter JB, Barzilai N. Strategies and Challenges in Clinical Trials Targeting Human Aging. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2016. PMID: 27535968

  25. Shirakawa K, Wang L, Man N, Maksimoska J, Sorum AW, Lim HW, Lee IS, Shimazu T, Newman JC, Schröder S, Ott M, Marmorstein R, Meier J, Nimer S, Verdin E. Salicylate, diflunisal and their metabolites inhibit CBP/p300 and exhibit anticancer activity. eLife 2016. PMID: 27244239

  26. Newman JC, Steinman MA. Dextromethorphan-Quinidine for Agitation in Alzheimer Disease. JAMA 2016. PMID: 26978214

  27. Newman JC, Verdin E. ß-hydroxybutyrate: much more than a metabolite. Diabetes research and clinical practice 2014. PMID: 25193333

  28. Rardin MJ, He W, Nishida Y, Newman JC, Carrico C, Danielson SR, Guo A, Gut P, Sahu AK, Li B, Uppala R, Fitch M, Riiff T, Zhu L, Zhou J, Mulhern D, Stevens RD, Ilkayeva OR, Newgard CB, Jacobson MP, Hellerstein M, Goetzman ES, Gibson BW, Verdin E. SIRT5 regulates the mitochondrial lysine succinylome and metabolic networks. Cell metabolism 2013. PMID: 24315375

  29. Newman JC, Verdin E. Ketone bodies as signaling metabolites. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM 2013. PMID: 24140022

  30. Yee P, Newman J. Long-term outcomes in elderly survivors of cardiac arrest. The New England journal of medicine 2013. PMID: 23782194

  31. Rardin MJ, Newman JC, Held JM, Cusack MP, Sorensen DJ, Li B, Schilling B, Mooney SD, Kahn CR, Verdin E, Gibson BW. Label-free quantitative proteomics of the lysine acetylome in mitochondria identifies substrates of SIRT3 in metabolic pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013. PMID: 23576753

  32. Feldman R, Newman J. Copyright at the Bedside: Should We Stop the Spread? Stanford Technology Law Review 2013. PMID:

  33. Shimazu T, Hirschey MD, Newman J, He W, Shirakawa K, Le Moan N, Grueter CA, Lim H, Saunders LR, Stevens RD, Newgard CB, Farese RV, de Cabo R, Ulrich S, Akassoglou K, Verdin E. Suppression of oxidative stress by ß-hydroxybutyrate, an endogenous histone deacetylase inhibitor. Science (New York, N.Y.) 2012. PMID: 23223453

  34. Newman JC, He W, Verdin E. Mitochondrial protein acylation and intermediary metabolism: regulation by sirtuins and implications for metabolic disease. The Journal of biological chemistry 2012. PMID: 23086951

  35. He W, Newman JC, Wang MZ, Ho L, Verdin E. Mitochondrial sirtuins: regulators of protein acylation and metabolism. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM 2012. PMID: 22902903

  36. Newman JC, Feldman R. Copyright and open access at the bedside. The New England journal of medicine 2011. PMID: 22204721

  37. Frederick M, Newman J, Kohlwes J. Leriche syndrome. Journal of general internal medicine 2010. PMID: 20568019

  38. Newman JC, Bailey AD, Fan HY, Pavelitz T, Weiner AM. An abundant evolutionarily conserved CSB-PiggyBac fusion protein expressed in Cockayne syndrome. PLoS genetics 2008. PMID: 18369450

  39. Cahan P, Rovegno F, Mooney D, Newman JC, St Laurent G, McCaffrey TA. Meta-analysis of microarray results: challenges, opportunities, and recommendations for standardization. Gene 2007. PMID: 17651921

  40. Newman JC, Bailey AD, Weiner AM. Cockayne syndrome group B protein (CSB) plays a general role in chromatin maintenance and remodeling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006. PMID: 16772382

  41. Newman JC, Weiner AM. L2L: a simple tool for discovering the hidden significance in microarray expression data. Genome biology 2005. PMID: 16168088

  42. Newman JC, Weiner A. Measuring the immeasurable. Molecular cell 2002. PMID: 12408812

  43. Schutzman JL, Borland CZ, Newman JC, Robinson MK, Kokel M, Stern MJ. The Caenorhabditis elegans EGL-15 signaling pathway implicates a DOS-like multisubstrate adaptor protein in fibroblast growth factor signal transduction. Molecular and cellular biology 2001. PMID: 11689700