Peter Gerhard "Christoph" Zechner, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of the Division of Endocrinology.

Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Zechner earned his medical degree and his doctorate in biomedical sciences at Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, where he graduated summa cum laude

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Endocrinology, Dr. Zechner joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Zechner is a member of the Endocrine Grand Rounds Speaker Selection Committee.

Dr. Zechner is a member of several professional societies, including the Dallas County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, the International Academy of Life Sciences, the Endocrine Society, and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Personal Note

In his spare time, Dr. Zechner enjoys biking in the Texas heat, playing and watching soccer, and taking advantage of the great cultural opportunities that Dallas offers, especially the symphony.


Medical School
Albert Ludwigs Universitat (2003)
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2011), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2014), Endocrinology & Metabolism

Research Interest

  • Energy Metabolism
  • Gut Hormones
  • Phosphate Metabolism


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The Hormone FGF21 Stimulates Water Drinking in Response to Ketogenic Diet and Alcohol.
Song P, Zechner C, Hernandez G, Cánovas J, Xie Y, Sondhi V, Wagner M, Stadlbauer V, Horvath A, Leber B, Hu MC, Moe OW, Mangelsdorf DJ, Kliewer SA Cell Metab. 2018 Apr
Structural insights into gene repression by the orphan nuclear receptor SHP.
Zhi X, Zhou XE, He Y, Zechner C, Suino-Powell KM, Kliewer SA, Melcher K, Mangelsdorf DJ, Xu HE Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Jan 111 2 839-44
Uncoupling protein downregulation in doxorubicin-induced heart failure improves mitochondrial coupling but increases reactive oxygen species generation.
Bugger H, Guzman C, Zechner C, Palmeri M, Russell KS, Russell RR Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 2011 Jun 67 6 1381-8
Total skeletal muscle PGC-1 deficiency uncouples mitochondrial derangements from fiber type determination and insulin sensitivity.
Zechner C, Lai L, Zechner JF, Geng T, Yan Z, Rumsey JW, Collia D, Chen Z, Wozniak DF, Leone TC, Kelly DP Cell Metab. 2010 Dec 12 6 633-42
Functional protein expression of multiple sodium channel alpha- and beta-subunit isoforms in neonatal cardiomyocytes.
Kaufmann SG, Westenbroek RE, Zechner C, Maass AH, Bischoff S, Muck J, Wischmeyer E, Scheuer T, Maier SK J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 2010 Jan 48 1 261-9
Transcriptional coactivators PGC-1alpha and PGC-lbeta control overlapping programs required for perinatal maturation of the heart.
Lai L, Leone TC, Zechner C, Schaeffer PJ, Kelly SM, Flanagan DP, Medeiros DM, Kovacs A, Kelly DP Genes Dev. 2008 Jul 22 14 1948-61
A role for the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1alpha in muscle refueling.
Wende AR, Schaeffer PJ, Parker GJ, Zechner C, Han DH, Chen MM, Hancock CR, Lehman JJ, Huss JM, McClain DA, Holloszy JO, Kelly DP J. Biol. Chem. 2007 Dec 282 50 36642-51
Hyperglycemia during cardiopulmonary bypass is an independent risk factor for mortality in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
Doenst T, Wijeysundera D, Karkouti K, Zechner C, Maganti M, Rao V, Borger MA J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 2005 Oct 130 4 1144
Discrepancy between GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake after ischemia.
Zaha V, Nitschke R, Göbel H, Fischer-Rasokat U, Zechner C, Doenst T Mol. Cell. Biochem. 2005 Oct 278 1-2 129-37
AMP-activated protein kinase mediates ischemic glucose uptake and prevents postischemic cardiac dysfunction, apoptosis, and injury.
Russell RR, Li J, Coven DL, Pypaert M, Zechner C, Palmeri M, Giordano FJ, Mu J, Birnbaum MJ, Young LH J. Clin. Invest. 2004 Aug 114 4 495-503


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Research Productivity and Accomplishment Award
    UT Southwestern, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology (2014)
  • Best Presentation by an Endocrinology Fellow
    UT Southwestern, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology (2013)
  • Research Scholarship
    German Research Foundation (2006-2008)
  • Scholarship for Participation in the Biomedical Sciences Exchange Program (BMEP)
    German Academic Exchange Service (2000-2001)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Diabetes Association (2011)
  • American Medical Association (2010)
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (2013)
  • Endocrine Society (2011)
  • Texas Medical Association (2009)