San Diego County

3020 Children's Way
MC 5065
San Diego, CA 92123


Critical Care


UC San Diego Health

Medical Group / IPA

UC San Diego Health

Medical School

University of California - San Diego


UC San Diego


UC San Diego


UC San Diego

Board Certifications





Dr. Nicole Coufal is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric intensivist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and an assistant professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

She received her medical and doctoral degree in neurosciences at UC San Diego. Thereafter Dr. Coufal continued her training in pediatrics and pediatric critical care at UC San Diego as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Coufal lab's primary research interests are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and regulation of microglia, the brain's resident macrophage. Current projects focus on understanding how microglia are affected by their environment and how they become dysregulated in the setting of neuroinflammatory disease. To understand and model microglial biology, Dr. Coufal utilizes induced pluripotent stem cells and genome-wide approaches to identify transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. By improving modeling of genetic and idiopathic neuroinflammatory disease she hopes to ultimately improve the understanding and treatment of critical pediatric neuroinflammatory disease.

Dr. Coufal is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the Society for Critical Care Medicine and a member of the Society for Neuroscience.


Novel variants in TECRL leading to catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.
Jones D, Hartung J, Lasalle E, Borquez A, Murillo V, Guidugli L, James KN, Kingsmore SF, Coufal NG

Emerging Role of Plasma Microbial Cell-free DNA in the Diagnosis of Pediatric Mucormycosis.
Gracia M, Hadley E, Ramchandar N, Coufal NG

The inactive X chromosome drives sex differences in microglial inflammatory activity in human glioblastoma.
Tharp ME, Han CZ, Balak CD, Fitzpatrick C, O'Connor C, Preissl S, Buchanan J, Nott A, Escoubet L, Mavrommatis K, Gupta M, Schwartz MS, Hoi Sang U, Jones PS, Levy ML, Gonda DD, Ben-Haim S, Ciacci J, Barba D, Khalessi A, Coufal NG, Chen CC, Glass CK, Page DC

Microglial lipid droplet accumulation in tauopathy brain is regulated by neuronal AMPK.
Li Y, Munoz-Mayorga D, Nie Y, Kang N, Tao Y, Lagerwall J, Pernaci C, Curtin G, Coufal NG, Mertens J, Shi L, Chen X

Intra-tumoral T cells in pediatric brain tumors display clonal expansion and effector properties.
Upadhye A, Meza Landeros KE, Ramírez-Suástegui C, Schmiedel BJ, Woo E, Chee SJ, Malicki D, Coufal NG, Gonda D, Levy ML, Greenbaum JA, Seumois G, Crawford J, Roberts WD, Schoenberger SP, Cheroutre H, Ottensmeier CH, Vijayanand P, Ganesan AP

Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing and Clinical Management in the PICU: A Multicenter Cohort, 2016-2023.
Rodriguez KM, Vaught J, Salz L, Foley J, Boulil Z, Van Dongen-Trimmer HM, Whalen D, Oluchukwu O, Liu KC, Burton J, Syngal P, Vargas-Shiraishi O, Kingsmore SF, Sanford Kobayashi E, Coufal NG

Utilizing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and surfactant in the management of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome due to hydrocarbon pneumonitis.
Rufener CR, Friedman NA, Vaught JE, Harvey HA, Coufal NG

Gene editing improves endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial contacts and unfolded protein response in Friedreich's ataxia iPSC-derived neurons.
Mishra P, Sivakumar A, Johnson A, Pernaci C, Warden AS, El-Hachem LR, Hansen E, Badell-Grau RA, Khare V, Ramirez G, Gillette S, Solis AB, Guo P, Coufal N, Cherqui S

Application of cell-free plasma next-generation sequencing technology in the diagnosis and management of pediatric meningitis.
Duster N, Ramchandar N, Foley J, Farnaes L, Coufal NG

Gaps in diagnosing suspected infection in immunocompromised children with cancer: A systematic review.
Park SY, Coufal NG, Dominguez SR, Farnaes L, Messacar K, Goldman FD

A maelstrom of migrating monocytes drives neurodegeneration.
Coufal NG, Hermiston ML

Circular extrachromosomal DNA promotes tumor heterogeneity in high-risk medulloblastoma.
Chapman OS, Luebeck J, Sridhar S, Wong IT, Dixit D, Wang S, Prasad G, Rajkumar U, Pagadala MS, Larson JD, He BJ, Hung KL, Lange JT, Dehkordi SR, Chandran S, Adam M, Morgan L, Wani S, Tiwari A, Guccione C, Lin Y, Dutta A, Lo YY, Juarez E, Robinson JT, Korshunov A, Michaels JA, Cho YJ, Malicki DM, Coufal NG, Levy ML, Hobbs C, Scheuermann RH, Crawford JR, Pomeroy SL, Rich JN, Zhang X, Chang HY, Dixon JR, Bagchi A, Deshpande AJ, Carter H, Fraenkel E, Mischel PS, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Bafna V, Mesirov JP, Chavez L

Nicole G. Coufal.
Coufal NG

Human microglia maturation is underpinned by specific gene regulatory networks.
Han CZ, Li RZ, Hansen E, Trescott S, Fixsen BR, Nguyen CT, Mora CM, Spann NJ, Bennett HR, Poirion O, Buchanan J, Warden AS, Xia B, Schlachetzki JCM, Pasillas MP, Preissl S, Wang A, O'Connor C, Shriram S, Kim R, Schafer D, Ramirez G, Challacombe J, Anavim SA, Johnson A, Gupta M, Glass IA, Birth Defects Research Laboratory, Levy ML, Haim SB, Gonda DD, Laurent L, Hughes JF, Page DC, Blurton-Jones M, Glass CK, Coufal NG

SALL1 enforces microglia-specific DNA binding and function of SMADs to establish microglia identity.
Fixsen BR, Han CZ, Zhou Y, Spann NJ, Saisan P, Shen Z, Balak C, Sakai M, Cobo I, Holtman IR, Warden AS, Ramirez G, Collier JG, Pasillas MP, Yu M, Hu R, Li B, Belhocine S, Gosselin D, Coufal NG, Ren B, Glass CK

Predictors of successful discontinuation of continuous kidney replacement therapy in a pediatric cohort.
Wei EY, Vuong KT, Lee E, Liu L, Ingulli E, Coufal NG

Human microglial models to study host-virus interactions.
McMillan RE, Wang E, Carlin AF, Coufal NG

3D genome mapping identifies subgroup-specific chromosome conformations and tumor-dependency genes in ependymoma.
Okonechnikov K, Camgöz A, Chapman O, Wani S, Park DE, Hübner JM, Chakraborty A, Pagadala M, Bump R, Chandran S, Kraft K, Acuna-Hidalgo R, Reid D, Sikkink K, Mauermann M, Juarez EF, Jenseit A, Robinson JT, Pajtler KW, Milde T, Jäger N, Fiesel P, Morgan L, Sridhar S, Coufal NG, Levy M, Malicki D, Hobbs C, Kingsmore S, Nahas S, Snuderl M, Crawford J, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Davidson TB, Cotter J, Michaiel G, Fleischhack G, Mundlos S, Schmitt A, Carter H, Michealraj KA, Kumar SA, Taylor MD, Rich J, Buchholz F, Mesirov JP, Pfister SM, Ay F, Dixon JR, Kool M, Chavez L

Genomic sequencing has a high diagnostic yield in children with congenital anomalies of the heart and urinary system.
Allred ET, Perens EA, Coufal NG, Sanford Kobayashi E, Kingsmore SF, Dimmock DP

Dynamic activity in cis-regulatory elements of leukocytes identifies transcription factor activation and stratifies COVID-19 severity in ICU patients.
Lam MTY, Duttke SH, Odish MF, Le HD, Hansen EA, Nguyen CT, Trescott S, Kim R, Deota S, Chang MW, Patel A, Hepokoski M, Alotaibi M, Rolfsen M, Perofsky K, Warden AS, Foley J, Ramirez SI, Dan JM, Abbott RK, Crotty S, Crotty Alexander LE, Malhotra A, Panda S, Benner CW, Coufal NG

Plasma enzymatic activity, proteomics and peptidomics in COVID-19-induced sepsis: A novel approach for the analysis of hemostasis.
Dos Santos F, Li JB, Juocys N, Mazor R, Beretta L, Coufal NG, Lam MTY, Odish MF, Irigoyen MC, O'Donoghue AJ, Aletti F, Kistler EB

Tools for studying human microglia: In vitro and in vivo strategies.
Warden AS, Han C, Hansen E, Trescott S, Nguyen C, Kim R, Schafer D, Johnson A, Wright M, Ramirez G, Lopez-Sanchez M, Coufal NG

Rapid genome sequencing identifies novel variants in complement factor I.
Rodriguez KM, Vaught J, Dilley M, Ellsworth K, Heinen A, Abud EM, Zhang Y, Smith RJH, Sheets R, Geng B, Hoffman HM, Worthen HM, Dimmock D, Coufal NG

Plasma cell free next-generation sequencing detects an unusual pneumonia pathogen in an immunocompetent adolescent with acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Rodriguez KM, Ramchandar N, Coufal NG

An automated 13.5 hour system for scalable diagnosis and acute management guidance for genetic diseases.
Owen MJ, Lefebvre S, Hansen C, Kunard CM, Dimmock DP, Smith LD, Scharer G, Mardach R, Willis MJ, Feigenbaum A, Niemi AK, Ding Y, Van Der Kraan L, Ellsworth K, Guidugli L, Lajoie BR, McPhail TK, Mehtalia SS, Chau KK, Kwon YH, Zhu Z, Batalov S, Chowdhury S, Rego S, Perry J, Speziale M, Nespeca M, Wright MS, Reese MG, De La Vega FM, Azure J, Frise E, Rigby CS, White S, Hobbs CA, Gilmer S, Knight G, Oriol A, Lenberg J, Nahas SA, Perofsky K, Kim K, Carroll J, Coufal NG, Sanford E, Wigby K, Weir J, Thomson VS, Fraser L, Lazare SS, Shin YH, Grunenwald H, Lee R, Jones D, Tran D, Gross A, Daigle P, Case A, Lue M, Richardson JA, Reynders J, Defay T, Hall KP, Veeraraghavan N, Kingsmore SF

See the full listing of this physician's publications on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

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