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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Hartmut Grasemann, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Respirologist
Respiratory Medicine

Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics

Phone: 416-813-2196
e-mail: hartmut.grasemann@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Hartmut Grasemann graduated from University of Essen medical school in Germany in 1992. Following his initial training in paediatrics and a post doctoral training in biochemistry he came to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Harvard Medical School for a research fellowship in respiratory medicine. He returned to Germany in 2000 to complete his paediatric training at the Children’s Hospital in Essen, where he was appointed Assistant Professor in 2002 before joining the Division of Respiratory Medicine at SickKids.

Clinical Care Activities

Lung Transplantation
Staff Respirologist

Research Interests

- genetics of chronic airway diseases
- non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation
- nitric oxide metabolism
- lung disease in sickle cell patients

Future Research Interests

Recent work from our group has demonstrated alterations in nitric oxide metabolism with potential detrimental effects on multiple aspects of obstructive airway diseases. These involve increased activity of arginase, an enzyme competing with nitric oxide synthases for the common substrate L-arginine. Furthermore, we found evidence that L-arginine deficiency contributes to both decreased NO formation and airway obstruction in patients with cystic fibrosis. Future research will focus on identifying the underlying mechanisms resulting in increased arginase activity and L-arginine deficiency in airway obstruction.


2003 European Respiratory Society Annual Award for paediatric respiratory research in Europe.
2007 Adolf Windorfer German CF Foundation Biannual Award
2009 Zellers Senior Scientist Award, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundations


Scott JA, North ML, Rafii M, Huang H, Pencharz P, Subbarao P, Belik J, Grasemann H. Asymmetric dimethylarginine is increased in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;184:779-85.

Bendiak GN, Kritzinger F, Dipchand AI, Ng VL, Solomon M, Grasemann H. Flow-independent exhaled nitric oxide parameters in pediatric lung and cardiac transplant recipients. Transplantation. 2011 May 27;91:e75-7.

Grasemann H, Al-Saleh S, Scott JA, Shehnaz D, Mehl A, Amin R, Rafii M, Pencharz P, Belik J, Ratjen F. Asymmetric dimethylarginine contributes to airway nitric oxide deficiency in patients with cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;183:1363-8.

Belik J, Shehnaz D, Pan J, Grasemann H. Developmental changes in arginase expression and activity in the lung. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2008; 294:L498-504.

Grasemann C, Ratjen F, Reutershahn E, Vester U, Schnabel D, Grasemann H. Effect of growth hormone therapy on nitric oxide formation in patients with cystic fibrosis. Eur Respir J 2008; 4:815-821.

MacLean JE, Atenafu E, Kirby-Allen M, MacLusky IB, Stephens D, Grasemann H, Subbarao P. Longitudinal decline in lung volume in a population of children with sickle cell disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178:1055-1059.

Grasemann H, Kurtz F, Ratjen F. Inhaled L-arginine improves exhaled nitric oxide and pulmonary function in cystic fibrosis patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2006; 174:208-212.

Grasemann H, Schwiertz R, Matthiesen S, Racké K, Ratjen F. Increased arginase activity in cystic fibrosis airways. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005; 172: 1523-1528.

Ackerman KG, Huang H, Grasemann H, Puma C, Singer J, Hill AE, Lander E, Nadeau J, Churchill GA, Drazen J, Beier DR. Interacting genetic loci cause airway hyperresponsiveness. Physiol Genomics 2005; 21: 105-11.

Grasemann H, Storm van's Gravesande K, Büscher R, Drazen JM, Ratjen F. Effects of sex and of gene variants in constitutive nitric oxide synthases on exhaled nitric oxide. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003; 167:1113-1116.