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Wolfgang Berger


Understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of human diseases as a prerequisite to develop novel therapeutic interventions.


  • Identification of new genes and mutations associated with human diseases,
  • Characterisation of gene function in normal physiology,
  • Analysis of the consequences of the respective mutations at the molecular level.

Short CV

07/2010 - present Director, Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics, University of Zurich, Switzerland
02/2009 – 06/2010  Director, Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Zurich, Switzerland
05/2002 – 06/2010  Head, Division of Medical Molecular Genetics and Gene Diagnostics, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland (appointed January 14th 2002)
05/202 - present Full Professor of Medical Molecular Genetics, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland
01/2001 – 04/2002  C3 position (Associate Professor), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Dept. Ropers, Berlin, Germany
08/1995 – 12/2000  Group leader position (Assistant Professor), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Dept. Ropers, Berlin, Germany
 09/1990 – 07/1995  Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Human Genetics, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  02/1987 – 08/1990  Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Medical Genetics, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany
09/1983 – 01/1987  Postgraduate student, Central Institute for Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences, Berlin-Buch, Germany


CV of Wolfgang Berger [pdf]

Scientifc Interest

  • Genetic basis of photoreceptor degenerations and dysfunctions
  • Ocular angiogenesis and neovascularization
  • Mouse models of human retinal diseases to study pathophysiology and for development of treatments


  • American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • European Vision Institute (EVI)
  • Foederatio Analyticorum Medicinalium Helveticorum (FAMH), Swiss Association of Directors in Laboratory Medicine
  • Swiss Society of Medical Genetics (SSMG)

Further Activities

  • Swiss Society of Medical Genetics, elected Board Member and Co-President
  • Scientific Board Member of SAPALDIA (Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults)
  • FAMH (Foederatio Analyticorum Medicinalium Helveticorum, Swiss Association of Directors in Laboratory Medicine), member of the committee of experts
  • Scientific and Medical Advisory Board Member, Retina Suisse
Wolfgang Berger
Wolfgang Berger

Research Group

Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics

[more information]


University of Zurich

Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics

Schorenstrasse 16
CH-8603 Schwerzenbach

Phone: +41 44 655 70 31
Fax: +41 44 655 72 13



Key Publications

  1. Berger W, Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Neidhardt J (2010)
    The molecular basis of human retinal and vitreoretinal diseases.
    Prog Retin Eye Res (Epub ahead of print)
  2. Brunner S, Skosyrski S, Kirschner-Schwabe R, Knobeloch KP, Neidhardt J, Feil S, Luhmann UFO, Rüther K, Berger W (2010)
    Cone versus rod disease in a mutant Rpgr mouse caused by different genetic backgrounds.
    Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 51:1106-1115
  3. Schäfer NF, Luhmann UF, Feil S, Berger W (2009)
    Differential gene expression in Ndph knockout mice in retinal development.
    Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 50:906-916
  4. Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Vandekerckhove K, Nurnberg G, Neidhardt J, Zeitz C, Nurnberg P, Schipper I, Berger W (2008)
    Mutation of the solute carrier SLC16A12 associates with a syndrome combining autosomal dominant juvenile cataract with microcornea and glucosuria.
    Am J Hum Genet 82:772-779
  5. Wycisk KA, Zeitz C, Feil S, Wittmer M, Forster U, Neidhardt J, Wissinger B, Zrenner E, Wilke R, Kohl S, Berger W (2006)
    Mutation in the auxiliary calcium-channel subunit CACNA2D4 causes autosomal recessive cone dystrophy.
    Am J Hum Genet 79:973-977
  6. Zeitz C, Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Forster U, Kohl S, Magyar I, Wissinger B, Matyas G, Borruat FX, Schorderet DF, Zrenner E, Munier FL, Berger W (2006)
    Mutations in CABP4, the gene encoding the Ca2+-binding protein 4, cause autosomal recessive night blindness.
    Am J Hum Genet 79:657-667
  7. Luhmann UF, Lin J, Acar N, Lammel S, Feil S, Grimm C, Seeliger MW, Hammes HP, Berger W (2005)
    Role of the Norrie disease pseudoglioma gene in sprouting angiogenesis during development of the retinal vasculature.
    Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 46:3372-3382
  8. Pusch CM, Zeitz C, Brandau O, Pesch K, Achatz H, Feil S, Scharfe C, Maurer J, Jacobi FK, Pinckers A, Andreasson S, Hardcastle A, Wissinger B, Berger W, Meindl A (2000)
    The complete form of X-linked congenital stationary night blindness is caused by mutations in a gene encoding a leucine-rich repeat protein.
    Nat Genet 26:324-327
  9. Schwahn U, Lenzner S, Dong J, Feil S, Hinzmann B, van Duijnhoven G, Kirschner R, Hemberger M, Bergen AA, Rosenberg T, Pinckers AJ, Fundele R, Rosenthal A, Cremers FP, Ropers HH, Berger W (1998)
    Positional cloning of the gene for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa 2.
    Nat Genet 19:327-332
  10. Berger W, Meindl A, van de Pol TJ, Cremers FP, Ropers HH, Doerner C, Monaco A, Bergen AA, Lebo R, Warburg M, Zergollern L, Lorenz B, Gal A, Bleeker-Wagemakers EM, Meitinger T (1992)
    Isolation of a candidate gene for Norrie disease by positional cloning.
    Nat Genet 1:199-203

Research Groups