Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine

Bruce S. Levison, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatricsl
Pediatric Pharmacology Laboratory
Office: (419) 383-4897
Laboratory: (419) 383-4493
Fax: (419) 383-2780


1981 - BS, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
1986 - PhD, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Post Doctoral Training:

1987 - 1988: American Heart Association, Northeast Ohio Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship.


  • 1988 - 1991: Manager, Molecular Biology Core Laboratory, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • 1991 - 1996: Senior Research Analytical Chemist, Abbott Labs, Pharmaceutical Products Research Division, North Chicago, IL
  • 1996 - 1999: Operations Specialist II, Retroviral Rare Reagents Operating Team, Peptide Production Suite Co-Manager, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Diagnostics Division, Abbott Park, IL
  • 1999 - 2002: Manager: Center for Biomedical and Environmental Research, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
  • 2002 - 2003: Project Scientist, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Dept. Ophthalmic Research, Cleveland, OH
  • 2003 - 2015: Project Staff, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Med., Cleveland, OH
  • 2010 - 2015: Cleveland Clinic Mass Spectrometry Core Manager, HDL Structure and Its Function in Atherosclerosis, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • 2015: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Toledo, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH

Awards and Commendations

  • 1977: Honors Scholarship, University of Toledo
  • 1978: Honors Scholarship Merit renewal, University of Toledo
  • 1979: Phi Eta Sigma, Sophomore Men’s Honorary Society, University of Toledo
  • 1979: Alpha Epsilon Delta, Premedical Honorary Society, University of Toledo
  • 1980: Summer Research Fellowship, University of Chicago, Department of Chemistry
  • 1980: Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematical Honorary Society, University of Toledo
  • 1980: Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society, University of Toledo
  • 1980: Nelson W. Hovey Scholarship, University of Toledo, Department of Chemistry
  • 1981: American Institute of Chemists Student Awardee University of Toledo, Department of Chemistry
  • 1981: Morley Scholarship Award, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Chemistry
  • 1982: Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Chemistry
  • 1983: B.F. Goodrich Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Chemistry
  • 1987: American Heart Association, Northeast Ohio Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1988: American Heart Association, Northeast Ohio Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship renewal
  • 2006: Research Star Award, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • 2008: Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2012: Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2012: ILPS Phospholipid Best Paper Award, American Oil Chemists’ Society

Research Interests:

Pediatric dosing of pharmaceutical agents is rarely studied during any phase of clinical trials of new drugs for ethical and moral reasons. Many drug companies also fear the liability issues they may be vulnerable to during a pediatric drug study. Nevertheless, the pediatric population makes up about 23% of the total population in the United States and up to 45% of the population of developing countries, and this vulnerable population has critical unmet needs related to the pharmacokinetics of pharmaceutical drugs and their related metabolites. To overcome these shortcomings the US federal government has created Pediatric Research Consortia through the NIH to promote the study of pediatric health, especially as it relates to the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs in this population. The Pediatric Pharmacology laboratory at the University of Toledo is a member of several of these NIH consortia and is actively involved in studies related to pediatric dosing and pharmacology. As an analytical organic chemist, my goal is to promote and support these basic medical studies through the utilization of high end analytical instrumentation such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. I have over 30 years of experience operating and maintaining various automated chromatographic systems as well as more than 20 years of hands-on experience at operating and generating data from different types of mass spectrometers. These analytical instruments provide the necessary resolution, sensitivity and specificity for the identification and quantitation of the drugs of interest and their metabolites, as well as of disease pertinent bio-markers. Several ongoing studies in the lab include the pharmacokinetics of antibiotic drugs in pediatric patients including bedaquiline,rifabutin and solithromycin.

I also maintain an interest in how gut microbiota can influence disease states and to research how gut microbiota can affect pediatric dosing and diseases as well as how the human gut microbiome changes with age. My other interests relate to cardiovascular disease and diagnosis as well as the involvement of gut flora in the development of human disease states. I maintain active projects and collaborations within the Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine which focus on characterization of novel metabolites and therapeutic drug targets for cardiovascular disease using high-throughput tandem MS approaches.


Below is a list of publications by Dr. Levison in the last five years. Find a complete list of publications by Dr. Levison.

Wang, Zeneng, Roberts, Adam B., Buffa, Jennifer A., Levison, Bruce S., Zhu, Weifei, Org, Elin, Gu, Xiaodong, Huang, Ying, Zamanian-Daryoush, Maryam, Culley, Miranda K., DiDonato, Anthony J.,  Fu, Xiaoming,  Hazen, Jennie E., Krajcik, Daniel,  DiDonato, Joseph A., Lusis, Aldons J. and Hazen, Stanley L. "Non-lethal Inhibition of Gut Microbial Trimethylamine Production for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis" Cell 2015 Dec 17;163(7):1585-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.055. PMID: 26687352

Gu X, Huang Y, Levison BS, Gerstenecker G, DiDonato AJ, Hazen LB, Lee J, Gogonea V, DiDonato JA, Hazen SL "Identification of critical paraoxonase 1 residues involved in high density lipoprotein interaction" Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015 Nov 13. pii: jbc.M115.678334. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26567339

Tang, WH Wilson; Wang, Zeneng; Kennedy, David J; Wu, Yuping; Buffa, Jennifer; Agatisa-Boyle, Brendan; Li, Xinmin S; Levison, Bruce S; Hazen, Stanley L "Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease" Circulation Research 2015 Jan 30;116(3):448-55. PMCID: PMC4312512

Gregory, Jill C.; Buffa, Jennifer A. Org, Elin; Wang, Zeneng; Levison, Bruce S.; Zhu, Weifei; Wagner, Matthew A.; Bennett, Brian J.; Li, Lin; DiDonato, Joseph A; Lusis, Aldons J.; Hazen, Stanley L. "Transmission of Atherosclerosis Susceptibility with Gut Microbial Transplantation." Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015 Feb 27;290(9):5647-60. PMCID: PMC4342477

Tang, WH Wilson ; Wang, Zeneng; Fan, Yiying; Levison, Bruce; Hazen, Jennie E.; Donahue, Lillian M.; Wu, Yuping; Hazen, Stanley L. "Prognostic Value of Elevated Levels of Intestinal Microbe-Generated Metabolite Trimethylamine-N-Oxide in Patients With Heart Failure : Refining the Gut Hypothesis."  Journal of the American College of Cardiology 11/2014; 64(18):1908–1914. PMCID: PMC4254529

Koeth, Robert A.;  Levison, Bruce; Culley, Miranda K. ; Buffa, Jennifer A.;  Wang, Zeneng; Gregory, Jill C.; Org, Elin; Wu, Yuping; Li, Lin; Smith, Jonathan D.;  Tang, W.H. Wilson; DiDonato, Joseph A.; Lusis, Aldons J.; Hazen, Stanley L.  "γ-Butyrobetaine Is a Proatherogenic Intermediate in Gut Microbial Metabolism of L-Carnitine to TMAO" Cell Metabolism 11/2014; 20(5):799–812. PMCID: PMC425547

Hale, James S.; Otvos, Balint; Sinyuk, Maksim; Alvarado, Alvaro G.; Hitomi, Masahiro; Stoltz, Kevin; Wu, Qiulian; Flavahan, William; Levison, Bruce; Johansen, Mette L.; Schmitt, David; Neltner, Janna M.; Huang, Ping; Ren, Bin; Sloan, Andrew E.;  Silverstein, Roy L.; Gladson, Candece L.; DiDonato, Joseph A.; Brown, J. Mark; McIntyre, Thomas; Hazen, Stanley L.; Horbinski, Craig; Rich, Jeremy N.; Lathia, Justin D. "Cancer stem cell-specific scavenger receptor 36 drives glioblastoma progression." Stem Cells 2014 Jul;32(7):1746-58. PMCID: PMC4063873

Wang, Zeneng; Levison, Bruce S.; Hazen, Jennie E.; Donahue, Lillian; Li, Xin-Min; Hazen, Stanley L. "Measurement of trimethylamine-N-oxide by stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry" Analytical Biochemistry 2014 Jun 15;455:35-40 PMCID: PMC4167037

Wang, Zeneng; Tang, W H Wilson; Buffa, Jennifer A; Fu, Xiaoming; Britt, Earl B; Koeth, Robert A; Levison, Bruce S; Fan, Yiying; Wu, Yuping; Hazen, Stanley L "Prognostic value of choline and betaine depends on intestinal microbiota-generated metabolite trimethylamine-N-oxide." European Heart Journal 2014 Apr;35(14):904-10. PMCID: PMC3977137

Huang, Ying; DiDonato, Joseph A; Levison, Bruce S; Schmitt, Dave; Li, Lin; Wu, Yuping; Buffa, Jennifer; Kim, Timothy; Gerstenecker, Gary S; Gu, Xiaodong; Kadiyala, Chandra S; Wang, Zeneng; Culley,       Miranda K; Hazen, Jennie E; DiDonato, Anthony J; Fu, Xiaoming; Berisha, Stela Z; Peng, Daoquan; Nguyen, Truc T; Liang, Shaohong; Chuang, Chia-Chi; Cho, Leslie; Plow, Edward F; Fox, Paul L; Gogonea, Valentin; Tang, W H Wilson; Parks, John S;  Fisher, Edward A; Smith, Jonathan D; Hazen, Stanley L "An abundant dysfunctional apolipoprotein A1 in human atheroma." Nature Medicine 2014 Feb;20(2):193-203 PMCID: PMC3923163

Huang, Ying; Wu, Zhiping; Riwanto, Meliana; Gao, Shengqian; Levison, Bruce S.; Gu, Xiaodong; Fu, Xiaoming; Wagner, Matthew A.; Besler, Christian; Gerstenecker, Gary; Zhang, Renliang; Li, Xin-Min; Didonato, Anthony J.; Gogonea,Valentin; Tang, W.H. Wilson; Smith, Jonathan D.; Plow, Edward F.; Fox, Paul L.; Shih, Diana M.; Lusis, Aldons J.; Fisher, Edward A.; Didonato, Joseph A.; Landmesser, Ulf; Hazen, Stanley L. "Myeloperoxidase, paraoxonase-1, and HDL form a functional ternary complex." Journal of Clinical Investigation (2013) September 3;123(9):3815–3828 PMCID: PMC3754253

Tang, W. H. Wilson., Wang, Zeneng, Levison, Bruce S., Koeth, Robert A., Britt, Earl B., Fu, Xiaoming, Wu, Yuping, Hazen, Stanley L., "Intestinal Microbial Metabolism of Phosphatidylcholine and Cardiac Risk." New England Journal of Medicine 2013 April 25; 368:1575-1584 PMCID: PMC3701945

Koeth, Robert; Wang, Zeneng; Levison, Bruce S.; Buffa, Jennifer A.; Org, Elin; Sheehy, Brendan T.; Britt, Earl B.; Fu, Xiaoming; Wu, Yuping; Li, Lin; Smith, Jonathan D.; DiDonato, Joseph A.; Chen, Jun; Li, Hongzhe; Wu, Gary D.; Lewis, James D.; Warrier, Manya; Brown, J. Mark; Krauss, Ronald M.; Tang, W. H. Wilson; Bushman, Frederic D.; Lusis, Aldons J.;  and Hazen, Stanley L.  "Intestinal microbiota metabolism of l-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis." Nature Medicine 2013 April 7; 19(5):576-585 PMCID: PMC3650111

Levison, Bruce S., Zhang, Renliang, Wang, Zeneng, Fu Xiaoming, DiDonato, Joseph A., Hazen, Stanley L., "Quantification of Fatty Acid Oxidation Products Using On-line High Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry" Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2013 JUN; 59:2-13 PMCID: PMC3772641

Wang, Zeneng; Klipfell, Elizabeth; Bennett, Brian J.;  Koeth, Robert; Levison, Bruce S.; DuGar, Brandon; Feldstein, Ariel E.; Britt, Earl B.; Fu, Xiaoming; Chung, Yoon-Mi; Wu, Yuping; Schauer, Phil; Smith, Jonathan D.; Allayee,Hooman; Tang, W. H. Wilson; DiDonato, Joseph A.; Lusis, Aldons J.;  and Hazen, Stanley L.  "Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease." Nature 472:57-63, 2011 April 07. PMCID: PMC3086762


Last Updated: 10/17/18