Meet the PI

Dr. Courtney Karner

Courtney Karner, Ph.D.

Courtney Karner was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and grew up in Altus, Oklahoma.  He received his B.S. in Biology at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He earned his Ph.D. degree at UT Southwestern, focusing on the role of WNT9b on renal tubule induction and morphogenesis with Dr. Thomas J. Carroll.

He performed his postgraduate research at Washington University School of Medicine with Dr. Fanxin Long.  He identified glucose and glutamine metabolism as important regulatory nodes influenced by WNT signaling during osteoblast differentiation and bone formation.

Dr. Karner began his lab in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology at Duke University in 2015 and was promoted to Associated Professor in 2020.  The Karner Lab moved to the Department of Internal Medicine and the Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research at UT Southwestern in 2020.

The Karner Lab studies the signals and processes that regulate cell fate specification and differentiation in the context of bone development.  His group is particularly interested in the role of cellular metabolism focusing on glutamine and proline primarily. He is interested in many questions: how cellular metabolism regulates cell fate choices; what nutrients are important in skeletal stem cells and bone cells; how these important nutrients are obtained and utilized during differentiation; what are the growth factors or other signals that regulate metabolism.  His ultimate goal is to devise new methods to modulate cellular metabolism to promote osteoblast specification, differentiation, and ultimately bone-forming activity.