John Newman, MD, PhD

Assistant Adjuct 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