Wolfgang F. Graier

Univ.-Prof. Mag.pharm. Dr.rer.nat. Wolfgang F. Graier

Gottfried Schatz Research Center for Cell Signaling, Metabolism and Aging
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Medical University of Graz
Neue Stiftingtalstrasse 6/IV
8010 Graz, Austria

tel.: +43 (0)316 385 71963


Projects within the DK-MCD

Development and testing of UCP2-based anticancer and senolytic peptides Olaf Bachkoenig

Application of structured illumination microscopy (SIM) in studying
mitochondrial structure and function

Benjamin Gottschalk

Investigating spatial heterogeneity of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake to ensure proper cardiomyocyte function

Martin Hirtl

Functional characterization of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake routes

Claire Jean-Quartier

Mitochondrial function with the specialization on β-cell metabolism and the
molecular mechanisms of cancer

Christiane Klec

The contribution of mitochondria to cancer maintenance and prosperity

Zhanat Koshenov

Impact of aging-related processes on mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling

Corina Madreiter-Sokolowski

The contribution of annexin V to mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake

Furkan Enes Oflaz

Development, characterization and application of a genetically encoded
fluorescent sensor for quantifying ATP dynamics within the endoplasmic

Neelanjan Vishnu

Research interest

Traditionally, our main focus is to elaborate key processes behind the versatility and specificity of Ca2+ as the cell's most powerful second messenger with special focus on mechanisms of spatiotemporal Ca2+ signaling as molecular basis of the regulation of Ca2+-dependent signal transduction and implication for endothelial cell functions under pathological conditions (e.g. lipotoxicity, diabetes mellitus). Recently, we focused on the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling and their contribution to spatial Ca2+ signaling, regulation of mitochondria function and vascular aging. This work is associated with installations of numerous new methodical approaches in order to allow the identification of the actual proteins involved in mitochondrial Ca2+ sequestration (e.g. intermolecular FRET, visualization of processes of aging-associated modification of mitochondrial proteins) and the key processes regulating the proximity to the endoplasmic reticulum.

In course of our work, we sought to overcome existing technical boundaries by the design of special instrumental devices and the development of new fluorescent sensors for life-time visualization of signal transduction processes, like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ content and Ca2+-dependent protein folding, the mitochondrial Ca2+ content and organelle ATP levels and AMPK activity.

Accordingly, we will further investigate the mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake machinery and the molecular mechanisms of metabolic flexibility. In course of the DK-MCD we intend to teach and practically instruct students in the development of new fluorescent sensors for signal transduction, their utilization and new approaches for exploring mitochondrial ion homeostasis and energy metabolism. Moreover, the technical understanding of the scholars on microscopy techniques and assessments of energy metabolism and its flexibility will be strengthened.


Curriculum vitae

  1981 - 1988 Study of Pharmacy, University of Graz
  1988 - 1991 PhD Thesis in Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Graz
  1991 - 1993 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Graz
  1993 - 1994 Postdoctoral fellow training in Physiology and Membrane Biophysics at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA
  1994 - 1995 Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Graz
  1995 Habilitation in Biochemical Pharmacology, Medical Faculty, University of Graz
  1995 - 2009 Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Medical Molecular Biology, University of Graz
  2001 Habilitation in Physiology, Medical Faculty, University of Graz
  2006 - Head of the Research Unit for Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the Medical University of Graz
  2009 - Full Professor of Molecular Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz
  2009 - Chair of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz
  2015 - Head, Nikon Center of Excellens for Super-Resolution Microscopy: cells & Organelles, BioTechMed Graz
  2015 - CEO, Next Generation Fluorescence Imaging (NGFI;
  2018 - Head, Gottfried Schatz Research Center for Cell Signal Signaling, Metabolism and Aging