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Mariusz Karbowski, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Additional Title:

M.S., Ph. D.


20 N. Pine Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):




Education and Training

1989-1994                   M.Sc., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

1996-1997                   Research Student at Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan

1997-2001                   Ph.D., Cell Biology and Molecular Pathology, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan

2001-2006                   Postdoctoral position at the BSSNB, NINDS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD  


Dr. Karbowski received his M.S. degree in 1994 from the Department of Biochemistry of Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland). For his graduate studies he moved to Nagoya, Japan.  He received Ph.D. degree from the Department of Molecular Pathology, Nagoya University School of Medicine (Nagoya, Japan) in 2001, where, under mentorship of Dr. Takashi Wakabayashi, he studied mitochondrial function in alcohol- and drug-induced liver pathologies. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD, USA) under guidance of Dr. Richard J Youle. During his postdoctoral training, he studied regulation of mitochondrial-steps in apoptosis and the role of mitochondrial membrane dynamics in cell life and death. He joined the University of Maryland faculty in 2007 as a tenure-track assistant professor and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2014.

Dr. Karbowski’s major scientific expertise and research achievements are (1) revealing role of mitochondria in cellular homeostasis, (2) control of mitochondrial fusion and fission, (3) impact of ubiquitin and proteasome-dependent control of mitochondria, and (4) development of novel tools to study mitochondrial function in living cells. His current research centers on (1) role of ubiquitin-dependent signaling in control of mitochondrial function, (2) reciprocal regulation of mitochondrial fusion and fission, and (3) crosstalk between mitochondria and actin cytoskeleton. Dr. Karbowski is an author of ~70 publications, in peer-reviewed scientific journals, currently with ~6000 citations by others. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

mitochondria, apoptosis, ubiquitin, proteasome, cell stress

Highlighted Publications

Cherok E, Xu S, Li S, Das S, Meltzer WA, Zalzman M, Wang C, Karbowski M. Novel regulatory roles of Mff and Drp1 in E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCH5-dependent degradation of MiD49 and Mcl1 and control of mitochondrial dynamics; Mol. Biol. Cell. 2017; 28(3):396-410

Xu S, Cherok E, Das S, Li S, Roelofs BA, Ge SX, Polster BM, Boyman L, Lederer WJ, Wang C, Karbowski M. Mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCH5 controls mitochondrial fission and cell sensitivity to stress-induced apoptosis through regulation of MiD49 protein; Mol. Biol. Cell. 2016; 27(2):349-59

Li S, Xu S, Roelofs BA, Boyman L, Lederer WJ, Sesaki H, Karbowski M. Transient assembly of F-actin on the outer mitochondrial membrane contributes to mitochondrial fission; J. Cell Biol. 2015; 208:109-123. (“Actin is good at long division”, an editorial on the article was published in J. Cell Biol.2015 208:2) 

Roelofs B, Cleland MM, Karbowski M. Visualization and quantification of mitochondrial fusion. Methods Enzymol. 2014; 547:57-73.

Karbowski M and Youle RJ Regulating Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Proteins by Ubiquitination and Proteasomal Degradation. (Review)Current Opinions in Cell Biology. 2011 23(4): 476-82

Additional Publication Citations