Willenbring Lab »  Lab Members »  Postdoctoral Fellows »  Alexander Laemmle, M.D., Ph.D.
Alexander Laemmle, M.D., Ph.D.

Alexander Laemmle, M.D., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

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  • University of Bern, Switzerland, School of Medicine, MD, 2004
  • University of Bern, Switzerland, Division of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, PhD, 2010
  • 2009 - 2013 Residency in Pediatrics, University Children`s Hospital Bern, Switzerland
  • 2013 - 2016 Fellowship, Division of Pediatric Metabolic Diseases, University Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2015 - 2016 Postdoctoral training, Division of Pediatric Metabolic Diseases, University Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship at University Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • Pediatrics
  • Rare diseases
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Urea cycle disorders
  • Acute liver failure
  • General pediatrics
  • Pediatric metabolic medicine
  • Acute liver failure
  • Hypoxia and HIF-1 signaling
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)
  • iPSC-derived hepatocytes
  • Sirtuins
  • Urea cycle disorders

Alexander Laemmle, M.D., Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the Willenbring lab at UCSF.

During his MD-PhD thesis, he focused on the regulation of hepatic cancer cell metabolism upon hypoxic conditions. At that time, he was mainly interested in the question how hepatic cancer cells adapt to hypoxic conditions, thereby promoting cell survival.

During his residency as a pediatrician, he encountered his first urea cycle disorder patients and based on this  experience, he became a specialist in pediatric metabolism. After completing his residency, he had the great opportunity to work as a clinical and research fellow in the Division of Metabolism at the Children`s University Hospital in Zurich between 2013 and 2016. 

  • Research Fellowship by the Fondazione Valeria e Ettore Rossi, University of California, San Francisco, 2017-2018
  • Research Fellowship by the Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research, University of California, San Francisco, 2016-2017
  • Research Grant by the Forschungszentrum für das Kind, Children`s University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, 2015-2016
  • Research Grant by the EMDO Foundation Zurich, Children`s University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, 2015
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship Award; Vancouver, Canada, University of Bern, Switzerland, 2008

His research interest is dedicated to patients with urea cycle disorders (UCDs). In a significant proportion of patients with UCDs, i.e. ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD), there is a severe impairment of liver function with concomitant coagulopathy during the course of the disease. In certain patients there is a strong correlation between metabolic state and liver affection (the higher the ammonia levels, the worse the liver impairment and coagulopathy). The aim is to better characterize and understand the pathophysiology underlying the (probably) ammonia-induced liver impairment. To do so, he is currently reprogramming UCD patient fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in order to differentiate them into iPSC-derived hepatocytes and to establish a liver disease model of acute liver failure in UCD patients.

  • 01/2015 – 12/2015 Research Grant on "Pathophysiology of Acute Liver Failure and Coagulopathy in Hyperammonemia" from the EMDO Foundation Zurich, Switzerland
  • 06/2015 – 02/2016 Research Grant on "Understanding Acute Liver Failure in Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency" from the Forschungszentrum Kind (FZK), University Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • 03/2016 – 12/2016 Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, on "Understanding Acute Liver Failure in Urea Cycle Disorders" from the Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research, Basel, Switzerland
  • 01/2017 - 02/2018 Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, on "Pathophysiology and treatment of acute liver failure in defects of ammonia detoxification" from the Ettore and Valeria Rossi Foundation, Bern, Switzerland
Most recent publications from a total of 11
  1. Laemmle A, Gallagher RC, Keogh A, Stricker T, Gautschi M, Nuoffer JM, Baumgartner MR, Häberle J. Frequency and Pathophysiology of Acute Liver Failure in Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency (OTCD). PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153358. View in PubMed
  2. Laemmle A, Stricker T, Häberle J. Switch from Sodium Phenylbutyrate to Glycerol Phenylbutyrate Improved Metabolic Stability in an Adolescent with Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency. JIMD Rep. 2016 Mar 22. View in PubMed
  3. Kölker S, Cazorla AG, Valayannopoulos V, Lund AM, Burlina AB, Sykut-Cegielska J, Wijburg FA, Teles EL, Zeman J, Dionisi-Vici C, Baric I, Karall D, Augoustides-Savvopoulou P, Aksglaede L, Arnoux JB, Avram P, Baumgartner MR, Blasco-Alonso J, Chabrol B, Chakrapani A, Chapman K, I Saladelafont EC, Couce ML, de Meirleir L, Dobbelaere D, Dvorakova V, Furlan F, Gleich F, Gradowska W, Grünewald S, Jalan A, Häberle J, Haege G, Lachmann R, Laemmle A, Langereis E, de Lonlay P, Martinelli D, Matsumoto S, Mühlhausen C, de Baulny HO, Ortez C, Peña-Quintana L, Ramadža DP, Rodrigues E, Scholl-Bürgi S, Sokal E, Staufner C, Summar ML, Thompson N, Vara R, Pinera IV, Walter JH, Williams M, Burgard P. Erratum to: The phenotypic spectrum of organic acidurias and urea cycle disorders. Part 1: the initial presentation. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2015 Nov; 38(6):1155-6. View in PubMed
  4. Kölker S, Cazorla AG, Valayannopoulos V, Lund AM, Burlina AB, Sykut-Cegielska J, Wijburg FA, Teles EL, Zeman J, Dionisi-Vici C, Baric I, Karall D, Augoustides-Savvopoulou P, Aksglaede L, Arnoux JB, Avram P, Baumgartner MR, Blasco-Alonso J, Chabrol B, Chakrapani A, Chapman K, I Saladelafont EC, Couce ML, de Meirleir L, Dobbelaere D, Dvorakova V, Furlan F, Gleich F, Gradowska W, Grünewald S, Jalan A, Häberle J, Haege G, Lachmann R, Laemmle A, Langereis E, de Lonlay P, Martinelli D, Matsumoto S, Mühlhausen C, de Baulny HO, Ortez C, Peña-Quintana L, Ramadža DP, Rodrigues E, Scholl-Bürgi S, Sokal E, Staufner C, Summar ML, Thompson N, Vara R, Pinera IV, Walter JH, Williams M, Burgard P. The phenotypic spectrum of organic acidurias and urea cycle disorders. Part 1: the initial presentation. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2015 Nov; 38(6):1041-57. View in PubMed
  5. Laemmle A, Hahn D, Hu L, Rüfenacht V, Gautschi M, Leibundgut K, Nuoffer JM, Häberle J. Fatal hyperammonemia and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) deficiency following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Mol Genet Metab. 2015 Mar; 114(3):438-44. View in PubMed
  6. Laemmle A, Balmer C, Doell C, Sass JO, Häberle J, Baumgartner MR. Propionic acidemia in a previously healthy adolescent with acute onset of dilated cardiomyopathy. Eur J Pediatr. 2014 Jul; 173(7):971-4. View in PubMed
  7. Portmann S, Fahrner R, Lechleiter A, Keogh A, Overney S, Laemmle A, Mikami K, Montani M, Tschan MP, Candinas D, Stroka D. Antitumor effect of SIRT1 inhibition in human HCC tumor models in vitro and in vivo. Mol Cancer Ther. 2013 Apr; 12(4):499-508. View in PubMed
  8. Laemmle A, Lechleiter A, Roh V, Schwarz C, Portmann S, Furer C, Keogh A, Tschan MP, Candinas D, Vorburger SA, Stroka D. Inhibition of SIRT1 impairs the accumulation and transcriptional activity of HIF-1a protein under hypoxic conditions. PLoS One. 2012; 7(3):e33433. View in PubMed
  9. Wagner M, Roh V, Strehlen M, Laemmle A, Stroka D, Egger B, Trochsler M, Hunt KK, Candinas D, Vorburger SA. Effective treatment of advanced colorectal cancer by rapamycin and 5-FU/oxaliplatin monitored by TIMP-1. J Gastrointest Surg. 2009 Oct; 13(10):1781-90. View in PubMed
  10. Wampfler J, Tschan MP, Shan D, Laemmle A, Leibundgut EO, Baerlocher GM, Stroka D, Fey MF, Britschgi C. SIRT1 is downregulated during neutrophil differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukaemia cells. Br J Haematol. 2009 Aug; 146(3):337-41. View in PubMed
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Please note: UCSF Profiles publications are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact CTSI for help.
  1. Poster: The role of hyperammonemia in acute liver failure in urea cycle disorders. 5th FZK/CRC Retreat, Zurich, Switzerland, October 2015.
  2. Poster: Clinical and Laboratory Investigation of the Pathophysiology of Acute Liver Failure in Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency (OTCD). SSIEM Annual Symposium, Lyon, France, September 2015.
  3. Oral presentation: Acute Liver Failure and Coagulopathy in Hyperammonemic Patients with Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency. Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Paediatrische Stoffwechselstoerungen, Fulda, Germany, March 2015.
  4. Poster: Fatal hyperammonemia and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) deficiency following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Paediatrische Stoffwechselstoerungen, Fulda, Germany, March 2015.
  5. Oral presentation: Propionic acidemia in a previously healthy adolescent with acute onset of dilated cardiomyopathy. Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Paediatrische Stoffwechselstoerungen, Fulda, Germany, March 2014.
  6. Poster: Fatal hyperammonemia following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. 3rd FZK/CRC Retreat, Zurich, Switzerland, October 2013.
  7. Poster: Interplay between hypoxia-inducible-factor 1a and SIRT1 protein deacetylase. 1stRare Diseases Summer School radiz- Rare Disease Initiative Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland, July 2013.
  8. Poster: Fatal hyperammonemia following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Pediatrics, Lucerne, Switzerland, May 2012.
  9. Oral presentation: Targeting SIRT1 for anti-tumor therapy: Inhibition of SIRT1 down regulates HIF-1α.Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Surgery, Basel, Switzerland, May 2008.
  10. Poster: Targeting SIRT1 for anti-tumor therapy: Inhibition of SIRT1 down-regulates HIF-1α. Keystone Symposium: Molecular, Cellular, Physiological, and Pathogenic Responses to Hypoxia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, January 2008.
  11. Poster: Targeting SIRT1 for anti-tumor therapy: Inhibition of SIRT1 down-regulates HIF-1α. Inaugural ILCA (International Liver Cancer Association) Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain, October 2007.
  12. Poster: Dual induction of PKR (dsRNA activated protein kinase) with E2F1 Gene therapy and Interferon alpha to enhance apoptosis in a hepatocellular carcinoma model. Roh V, Laemmle A et al. American Association of Cancer Research, Los Angeles, USA, April 2007.
  13. Oral presentation: Tumor monitoring in animal models by the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP-1). Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Surgery, Lugano, Switzerland, June 2006.
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