Graf Rolf

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. phil. R. Graf

Name of the Institution

Pancreatitis-Research Laboratory
Division of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery
University Hospital


Rämistrasse 100


8091 Zürich


+41-44-255 30 41


Group Members

Sabrina Sonda, PhD, Senior Research Associate, (
Theresia Reding Graf, dipl. phil., Research Associate (
Martha Bain, Technician (

Main Field(s) of Research, Abstract

The Pancreatitis Research Laboratory focuses on the pancreatic response to injury. We are studying models of acute and chronic inflammation with special attention to secretory stress proteins (SSP) that are part of the acute phase response. These proteins are synthesized and secreted by the pancreatic acinar cell along with zymogens e.g. trypsinogen and proelastase. In contrast to the zymogens the SSP are highly increased under stress and disease and are used as experimental markers of pancreatic lesions and/or inflammation.

We are also investigating inflammatory processes leading to the destruction of the pancreatic parenchyma and subsequent regeneration. Regenerative processes have been mainly studied in islets, while in the exocrine compartment regenerative mechanisms are largely unknown.

Main Fields of Research, Keywordsain Fields of Research, Keywords

Chronic pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis, inflammation, stress response

Special Techniques and Equipment

Cell culture techniques, microscopy, recombinant protein expression, ELISAs, immunohistochemistry.

Education and Training

We have training opportunities for research fellows Weekly Seminars: 1) Assistenten-Fortbildung with focus on clinical and research activities 2) Selected group meetings with various topics.

Selected Publications

Reding Th, Bimmler D, Perren A, Sun L-K, Fortunato F, Storni F, Graf R. (2006) A selective COX-2 inhibitor suppresses chronic pancreatitis in an animal model (WBN/Kob rats): significant reduction of macrophage infiltration and fibrosis Gut, 55, 1165-73

Fortunato F, Deng X, Gates LK, McClain CJ, Bimmler D, Graf R. and Whitcomb DC (2006) Pancreatic response to endotoxin after chronic alcohol exposure: switch from apoptosis to necrosis? American Journal of Physiology, 290, G232-41

Graf R, Schiesser M, Reding Th, Appenzeller Ph, Sun L.-K., Fortunato F., Perren A, Bimmler D (2006) Exocrine meets endocrine: pancreatic stone protein and Regenerating protein – two sides of the same coin J. Surgical Research, 133, 113-120

Graf R. and Bimmler D (2006) Biochemistry and Biology of SPINK Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, 35, 333-343

Sun LK, Reding T, Bain M, Heikenwalder M, Bimmler D, GRAF R. (2007) Prostaglandin E2 modulates TNFa-induced MCP-1 synthesis in pancreatic acinar cells in a PKA-dependent manner Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 293:G1196-204

Li L, Bachem MG, Zhou S, Sun Z, Chen J, Siech M, Bimmler D, Graf R (2009) PAP inhibits human pancreatic stellate cell MMP1 and 2 and TIMP1 and 2 secretion and RECK expression Pancreatology 9: 99-110 Impact factor: 2.522

Keel M, Härter L, Reding Th, Sun L.-K, Hersberger M, Seifert B, Bimmler D, Graf R (2009) Pancreatic stone protein is highly increased during post-traumatic sepsis and activates neutrophil granulocytes Critical Care Medicine 37:1642-8. Impact factor: 6.283

Reding Th, Sun L.-K, Hersberger M, Seifert B, Bimmler D, Graf R (2009) Inflammation-dependent expression of SPARC during development of chronic pancreatitis in WBN/Kob rats and a microarray gene expression analysis. Physiological Genomics 38; 196-204 Impact factor: 3.493


Swiss National Science Foundation, Private Foundations


Link to "Forschungsdatenbank" of the University

not yet available