Larry Fisher, PhD

Larry Fisher, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator
Matrix Biochemistry Section

Building 30 Room 223
30 Convent Dr MSC 4320
Bethesda, MD 20892-4320
United States

(301) 496-5769
Research Interests

Extracellular matrices are the scaffoldings that give organs and bodies structure. Skeletal cells control the addition of highly ordered calcium phosphate crystals (hydroxyapatite) into the matrices of hard tissues (bone, dentin, enamel), while other fibroblasts (skin, cartilage, tendons, etc.) keep their similar matrices soft.  Research is focused on the disordered, calcium-binding protein family called SIBLINGs (Small Integrin-Binding LIgands, N-linked Glycoproteins), which are uniquely abundant in mineralized matrices. Recent work shows that mutations in one SIBLING gene, DSPP (dentin sialophosphoprotein), causes all known cases of nonsyndromic Dentinogenesis Imperfecta, and the milder Dentin Dysplasia, by retaining the DSPP proteins within the first cellular compartment (endoplasmic reticulum) of secreted protein synthesis. These results expand the knowledge of transmembrane proteins called cargo receptors, which are essential for trafficking secreted proteins out of the cell before they can reassemble into damaging complexes within the cell.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Larry W. Fisher received his BS in Biology/Biochemistry from Cornell University, and then worked as a research assistant studying the reconstitution of both Ca2+ and Na+/K+ ion pumps in the laboratory of Dr. Efraim Racker Dr. Fisher received his PhD from Pennsylvania State University, where he studied the  timing of sulfated matrix proteins made in the highly synchronous, estrogen-induced medullary bone in birds. These proteins later became known as biglycan, decorin, and bone sialoprotein.  After a brief postdoctoral fellowship at Case Western University, he began his career at NIDCR; first with a Kroc Fellowship, and then with a Shriner’s Fellowship, before becoming a NIH Fellow.  Dr. Fisher is now chief of the matrix biochemistry section of what is now the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch.


Selected Publications
Last Reviewed on
February 2018