Meet the 2021 Laureates: Alexander S. Kauffman, PhD

Kauffman headshot

Richard E. Weitzman Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award

Alexander S. Kauffman, PhD


Alexander (Sasha) Kauffman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in researching the regulation of the neuroendocrine reproductive axis in development and adulthood, as well as the hormonal and neural mechanisms underlying sex differences in puberty and reproductive physiology. Kauffman has demonstrated a productive and successful track record of reproductive neuroendocrinology research, with more than 68 peer-reviewed publications, including 48 articles since joining the faculty at U.C. San Diego in 2009.

Kauffman’s lab uses an array of physiological and transgenic mouse models and a combination of in vivo, physiological, molecular, and histological methods to study the role of kisspeptin and related neuropeptides (e.g., neurokinin B, GnRH, RFRP-3, dynorphin) in controlling puberty, reproductive hormone release, and fertility. He is also a leading expert on the development and function of sex differences in the brain and a world-recognized expert in single- and double-label histological analyses of mRNA and protein expression in the brain and how such neural expression changes under different developmental or hormonal conditions.

In recent years his lab is among the first to measure changes in endogenous LH pulses in awake, freely moving mice. Kauffman has won several young investigator research awards, including the 2012 FABBS Early Career Investigator Award. He is an associate editor for the journal Neuroendocrinology and is on the editorial boards for Endocrinology and Journal of Neuroendocrinology.

He has authored multiple reviews on kisspeptin and reproductive neuroendocrinology and edited the field’s first and only kisspeptin textbook, which was downloaded (single chapters or in full) over 26,000 times in the first year of publication. He is consistently well-funded, with grants from both the NIH and NSF. He has also been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings, including conferences in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Spain, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Canada, and Sweden.


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