Alexander Grabner, MD

Medical Instructor in the Department of Medicine
Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative
Office: 2 Genome Court Room 1015
Email address
Fax: 919-684-3011

 I am a medical doctor (MD) with more than 7 years of research experience studying cell biology and pathophysiology in the context of renal disease. The overall goal of my laboratory is to analyze molecular mechanisms that contribute to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the cardiorenal syndrome. We are interested in characterizing novel signaling pathways that are involved in the development of cardiac remodeling and heart failure, inflammation and that lead to progression of renal disease. Recently, we have demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 23 induces left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and that these pro-hypertrophic effects are mediated by FGF receptor (FGFR) 4. Furthermore, we have shown that FGF23 directly targets hepatocytes and thus contributes to systemic inflammation in animal models of CKD. With our ongoing work, we aim to determine, if FGF23 mediated activation of FGFR4 can contribute to other pathophysiologic alterations (e.g. progression of CKD, anemia, inflammation) as seen in CKD.

As a MD performing translational science, I’m highly interested in collaborations with basic as well as clinical scientists with a variety of scientific backgrounds. I firmly believe that collaborating with experts from different disciplines ultimately will help us advancing translational science, especially in order to understand complex molecular pathomechanisms, as found in CKD. Since I work as a basic scientist in a department of medicine, most of my research is and will be associated with relevant clinical problems and questions.

Education and Training

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, 2012 - 2016
  • Resident and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Experimental Nephrology, Munster University or University of Munster, 2009 - 2012
  • M.D., Graz University of Technology (Austria), 2009


Kogan, D, Grabner, A, Yanucil, C, Faul, C, and Ulaganathan, VK. "STAT3-enhancing germline mutations contribute to tumor-extrinsic immune evasion." The Journal of Clinical Investigation 128, no. 5 (May 2018): 1867-1872.

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Krick, S, Baumlin, N, Aller, SP, Aguiar, C, Grabner, A, Sailland, J, Mendes, E, Schmid, A, Qi, L, David, NV, Geraghty, P, King, G, Birket, SE, Rowe, SM, Faul, C, and Salathe, M. "Klotho Inhibits Interleukin-8 Secretion from Cystic Fibrosis Airway Epithelia." Scientific reports 7, no. 1 (October 30, 2017): 14388-.

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Grabner, A, Schramm, K, Silswal, N, Hendrix, M, Yanucil, C, Czaya, B, Singh, S, Wolf, M, Hermann, S, Stypmann, J, Di Marco, GS, Brand, M, Wacker, MJ, and Faul, C. "FGF23/FGFR4-mediated left ventricular hypertrophy is reversible." Scientific Reports 7, no. 1 (May 16, 2017): 1993-null.

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Czaya, B, Singh, S, Yanucil, C, Schramm, K, Faul, C, and Grabner, A. "Induction of an Inflammatory Response in Primary Hepatocyte Cultures from Mice." Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, no. 121 (March 10, 2017).

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Grabner, A, Amaral, A, Schramm, K, Singh, S, Sloan, A, Yanucil, C, Li, J, Shehadeh, L, Hare, J, David, V, Martin, A, Fornoni, A, Di Marco, G, Kentrup, D, Reuter, S, Mayer, A, Pavenstädt, H, Stypmann, J, Kuhn, C, Hille, S, Frey, N, Leifheit-Nestler, M, Richter, B, Haffner, D, Abraham, R, Bange, J, Sperl, B, Ullrich, A, Brand, M, Wolf, M, and Faul, C. "Activation of Cardiac Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 4 Causes Left Ventricular Hypertrophy." Cell Metabolism 22, no. 6 (December 2015): 1020-1032.

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