Jason Burkhead

Jason Burkhead

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Office: CPISB 201M
Phone: (907) 786-4765
Email: jlburkhead@uaa.alaska.edu


  • 2003 Colorado State University, Ph.D. Biology
  • 2001 Colorado State University, M.S. Biology
  • 1995 Indiana University, B.S. Biology 

Career History

Alaska INBRE Faculty 

Research Interests

My research studies molecular mechanisms of copper homeostasis. Copper is an essential micronutrient and redox active metal. Cellular and organismal levels of copper must be tightly maintained and correctly targeted to avoid both deficiency and toxicity. My lab incorporates biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, and rodent models to gain mechanistic data on copper metabolism and its roles in health and disease. One key project investigates mechanisms and roles of the signal integrator Copper Metabolism Murr1 Domain 1 (COMMD1) protein in hepatocellular copper export, including interaction of the protein with signaling lipids. Work with rodent models takes a systems approach to study of copper toxicity in a Wilson’s Disease model and copper deficiency and its role in chronic liver disease.  


  • Jason L. Burkhead, Lawrence Gray, and Svetlana Lutsenko. Systems Biology Approach to Wilson’s Disease. Biometals. 2011 Jun;24(3):455-66 Epub March 5, (2011). [PMID 21380607]
  • Jason L. Burkhead, Martina Ralle, Phillip Wilmarth, Larry David and Svetlana Lutsenko. Elevated Copper Remodels Hepatic RNA Processing Machinery In The Mouse Model Of Wilson’s Disease. (2011) J Mol Biol. 2011, Feb 11; 406(1):44-58 [PMID: 21146535]
  • Martina Ralle*, Dominik Huster*, Stefan Vogt, Wiebke Schirrmeister, Jason L. Burkhead, Tony R. Capps, Lawrence Gray, Barry Lai, Edward Maryon, and Svetlana Lutsenko. Wilson's disease at a single cell level: intracellular copper trafficking activates compartment-specific responses in hepatocytes. (2010) J. Biol. Chem. Oct 1; 285(40): 30875-83 [PMID: 20647314]
  • Jason L. Burkhead, Kathryn A. Gogolin Reynolds, Salah E. Abdel-Ghany, Christopher M. Cohu, and Marinus Pilon Copper homeostasis in plant cells. (2009) Invited Tansley Review, New Phytologist. June.182, 4. 799-816.
  • Jason L. Burkhead*, Clinton T. Morgan*, Ujwal Shinde, Gabrielle Haddock, Svetlana Lutsenko. COMMD1 Forms Oligomeric Complexes Targeted to the Endocytic Membranes via Specific Interactions With Ptdins(4,5)P2.(*Authors contributed equally). (2009) Jan 2; 284(1): 696-707.
  • Svetlana Lutsenko, Arnab Gupta, Jason Burkhead and Vesna Zuzel. Cellular Multitasking: the dual role of human Cu-ATPases in cofactor delivery and intracellular copper balance. (2008) Archives of Biochem. Biophys. Aug 1;476(1):22-32.
  • Sergi Puig, Helena Mira, Eavan Dorcey, Vicente Sancenón, Nuria Andrés-Colás, Antoni Garcia-Molina, Jason L. Burkhead, Kathryn A. Gogolin, Salah E. Abdel-Ghany, Dennis J. Thiele, Joseph R. Ecker, Marinus Pilon and Lola Peñarrubia. Higher plants possess two different types of ATX1-like copper chaperones. (2007) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 354(2): 385-390.
  • Dominik Huster*, Tina D. Purnat*, Jason L. Burkhead, Martina Ralle, Oliver Fiehn, Franziska Stuckert, N. Erik Olson, Daniel Teupser, and Svetlana Lutsenko (*authors contributed equally). High Copper Selectively Alters Lipid Metabolism and Cell Cycle Machinery in the Mouse Model of Wilson Disease (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282(11): 8343-8355.
  • Dominik Huster, Milton J. Finegold, Clinton T. Morgan, Jason L. Burkhead, Randal Nixon, Scott M. Vanderwerf, Conrad T. Gilliam, and Svetlana Lutsenko. Consequences of copper accumulation in the livers of the ATP7B-/- (Wilson Disease gene) Knock-out mice. (2006) Am. J. Pathology; 168: 423-434
  • Abdel-Ghany SE, Burkhead JL, Gogolin KA, Andrés-Colás N, Bodecker JR, Puig S, Peñarrubia L, Pilon M. AtCCS is a functional homolog of the yeast copper chaperone Ccs1/Lys7. FEBS Lett. (2005) Apr 25;579(11):2307-12.
  • Wangeline, AL, Burkhead, JL, Hale, KL, Lindblom, SD, Terry, N, Pilon, M, Pilon-Smits, EAH Overexpression of ATP Sulfurylase in Brassica juncea: Effects on Tolerance and Accumulation of Twelve Metals. (2004) Journal of Environmental Quality, 33, 54-60.
  • Burkhead JL, Abdel-Ghany SE, Morrill JM, Pilon-Smits EA, Pilon M. The Arabidopsis thaliana CUTA gene encodes an evolutionarily conserved copper binding chloroplast protein. Plant J. (2003) Jun;34(6):856-67.
  • Bennett LE, Burkhead JL, Hale KL, Terry N, Pilon M, Pilon-Smits EAH Analysis of Transgenic Indian Mustard Plants for Phytoremediation of Metal-Contaminated Mine Tailings. (2003) Journal of Environmental Quality, 32: 432-440.
  • Pilon-Smits EAH, Garifullina GF, Abdel-Ghany SE, Kato S-I, Mihara H, Hale KL, Burkhead JL, Esaki N, Kurihara T, Pilon M Characterization of a NifS-like Chloroplast Protein from Arabidopsis thaliana – Implications for Its Role in Sulfur and Selenium Metabolism. (2002) Plant Physiol. 130: 1309-1318.