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Branko Stefanovic Ph.D.

Branko Stefanovic Ph.D.

(850) 644-7600
Main Campus

Job Description

Dr. Stefanovic is a tenure track scientist who conducts research in the area of molecular mechanisms of liver fibrosis. He also teaches and facilitates small groups in pharmacology, biochemistry and physiology.


Dr. Stefanovic joined the faculty of the FSU College of Medicine in August 2002 after serving for eight years as a research assistant professor in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. After earning his doctorate in molecular biophysics at FSU in 1991, he did post-doctoral training at the University of Bern in Switzerland.


B.S., Medical Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Croatia, 1978

Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla., 1991

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Developmental Biology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 1992-1994
Major Study: Molecular assembly and function of RNA-protein complexes


FSU University Service

Member, Animal Care and Use Committee (2011–present).

Member, acuc (2004–2006).

FSU Department Service

Committee Chairperson, Equipment and Facility Committee (2010–present).

Committee member, Department Chair Search Committee (2009–present).

Committee member, Faculty Developement Committee (2006–2008).

Committee member, Rodgers Chair Search Committee (2006–2008).

Committee member, Faculty Developement Committee (2005–2006).

Committee member, Graduate Program Committee (2005–2006).

Committee member, Faculty Search Committee (2002–2003).

The Profession

Editorial Board Membership(s)

World Journal of Gastroenterology (2010–present).

World Journal of Hepatology (2010–present).

Reviewer or Panelist for Grant Applications

Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation, R & D Excellence Funding Program (2012).

NC3R Grants, Great Britain (2012).

KAUST Global Collaborative Research Grants, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (2011).

NIH Hepatobiliary Patho physiology study section (HBPP) (2010).

Special Emphasis Panel/ Scientific Review Group (2007–2008).

Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation, R & D Excellence Funding Program (2005–present).


Stefanovic, B. (2014–2015). GAP grant. Funded by Florida State University. Stefanovic B. (2013-2014) Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program, Florida Department of Health Controlling Fibrosis to Prevent Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Stefanovic, B. (2012–2013). GAP grant. Funded by Florida State University. Stefanovic, B. (2012–2013). Transitional Grant. Funded by Florida State University, College of Medicine. Manojlovic, Z., & Stefanovic, B. (2011–2014). 1 F31 AA01984501A1. Translation Regulation of Type I Collagen in Liver Fibrosis as Target for New Drug Development. Funded by NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
NIHR01, NIH (2011).

Oustanding Senior Faculty Researcher, College of Medicine Council Award (2010).

Scleroderma research foundation (2008).

Research Industry Scholar Award, American Digestive Health Foundation (2005).

Fellowship Award, Swiss National Science Foundation (1992).

Pilot Feasibility Grant. Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Principal Investigator. 1996.

American Digestive Health Foundation, Research Industry Schoolar Award. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Principal Investigator. 1998 to 2001.

RO1-NIH 7GM41804. Role of TNF? in the impaired wound healing of cachexia. Co-Investigator. 00 to 04.

NIH 1R01DK59466-01A1. Regulation of type I collagen in hepatic fibrosis. Principal Investigator. Funding 2002-2007.

FYAP award. Florida State University, Division of sponsored research. 2003 to 2004


American Association for Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), since 1995.
Experimental Biology and Medicine, since 2008.
LARP Society

Research Focus

Liver fibrosis is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, and there is no therapy. It is characterized by an excessive production of collagens type I and III by the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). To understand the posttranscriptional regulation of collagen gene expression in fibrosis with the long-term goal of developing novel therapies, Dr. Stefanoic's future work will focus on elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate collagen mRNA stability and translation, cloning of the specific RNA binding proteins and discovery of novel genes involved in activation of hepatic stellate cells.


Zhang Y, Stefanovic B. Akt mediated phosphorylation of LARP6: critical step on biosynthesis of type I collagen. Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 2;6:22597 Stefanovic L, Longo L, Zhang Y, Stefanovic B. Characterization of binding of LARP6 to the 5' stem-loop of collagen mRNAs: implications for synthesis of type I collagen. RNA Biol. 2014;11(11):1386-401. Seet LF, Toh LZ, Finger SN, Chu SW, Stefanovic B, Wong TT. Valproic acid suppresses collagen by selective regulation of Smads in conjunctival fibrosis. J Mol Med (Berl). 2016 Mar;94(3):321-34. doi: 10.1007/s00109-015-1358-z. Epub 2015 Oct 27. Wang H., Stefanovic B. Role of LARP6 and nonmuscle myosin in partitioning of collagen mRNAs to the ER membrane. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 1;9(10):e108870. Manojlovic Z., Earwood R., Kato A., Stefanovic B., Kato Y. RFX7 is required for the formation of cilia in the neural tube. Mech. Dev. 2014, Feb. Blackstock C., Higashi Y., Sukhanov S., Shai SV., Stefanovic B., Tabony FM., Yoshida T., Delafontain P. Insulin-like growth factor 1 increases synthesis of collagen type I via induction of the mRNA binding protein LARP6 and binding to the 5’ stem-loop of col1A1 and col1A2 mRNA. J. Biol. Chem. 2014, Jan. Vukmirovic M, Manojlovic Z, Stefanovic B. Serine-threonine kinase receptor associated protein (STRAP) regulates translation of type I collagen mRNAs. Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Oct; 33 (19):3896-3906. Manojlovic Z, Blackmon J, Stefanovic B. Tacrolimus (FK506) prevents early stages of ethanol induced hepatic fibrosis by targeting LARP6 dependent mechanism of collagen synthesis. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e65897. Manojlovic, Z., & Stefanovic, B. (2012). A novel role of RNA helicase A in regulation of translation of type I collagen mRNAs. RNA, 18(2), 321-34.

Challa, A., & Stefanovic, B. (2011). A novel role of vementin filaments: binding and stabilization of collagen mRNAs. Mol Cell Biol, 31(18), 3773-89.

Challa, A. A., & Stefanovic, B. (2011). A novel role of vimentin filaments; binding and stabilization of collagen mRNAs. Mol Cell Biol, 31(18), 3773-89.

Fritz, D., Cai, L., Stefanovic, L., & Stefanovic, B. (2011). Progress towards discovery of antifibrotic drugs targeting synthesis of type I collagen. Curr Med Chem, 18 (22), 3410-6.

Parsons, C. J., Stefanovic, B., Seki, E., Aoyama, T., Latour, A. M., Marzluff, W. F., Rippe, R. A., & Brenner, D. A. (2011). Mutation of the 5 '-Untranslated Region Stem-Loop Structure Inhibits alpha 1(I) Collagen Expression in Vivo. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(10), 8609-8619.

Cai, L., Fritz, D., Stefanovic, L., & Stefanovic, B. (2010). Binding of LARP6 to the Conserved 5 ' Stem-Loop Regulates Translation of mRNAs Encoding Type I Collagen. J Mol Biol, 395(2), 309-326.

Cai, L., Fritz, D., Stefanovic, L., & Stefanovic, B. (2010). Nonmuscle Myosin-Dependent Synthesis of Type I Collagen. J Mol Biol, 401(4), 564-578.

Sakano, D., Kato, A., Parikh, N., McKnight, K., Terry, D., Stefanovic, B., & Kato, Y. (2010). BCL6 Canalizes Notch-Dependent Transcription, Excluding Mastermind-like1 from Selected Target Genes during Left-Right Patterning. Dev Cell, 18(3), 450-462

Fritz D, Stefanovic B. RNA binding protein RBMS3 is expressed in activated hepatic stellate cells and liver fibrosis and increases expression of transcription factor Prx1. J.Mol.Biol. 2007; 17;371(3):585-95.

Jiang F, Stefanovic B. Homeobox Gene Prx1 Is Expressed in Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells and Transactivates Collagen {alpha}1(I) Promoter. Exp Biol Med. 2008: 233(3):286-96.

Cai L, Fritz D, Stefanovic L, Stefanovic B. Coming together: liver fibrosis, collagen mRNAs and the RNA binding protein. Expert Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 3(1), 2009