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Schizophrenia Research Forum: Researcher Profile - Margit Burmeister
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Researcher Profile - Margit Burmeister

First Name:Margit
Last Name:Burmeister
Affiliation:University of Michigan
Department:Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute
Street Address 1:205 Zina Pitcher Pl.
City:Ann Arbor
Zip/Postal Code:48109-0720
Phone:734 647 2186
Email Address:
(view policy) 
Member reports no financial or other potential conflicts of interest. [Last Modified: 9 January 2006]
View all comments by Margit Burmeister
Clinical Interests:
Anxiety disorders , Drug abuse, Psychology, Bipolar disorder , Depression
Work Sector(s):
University, Research institute
Web Sites:
Reasearcher Bio
Margit Burmeister, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute
Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry
Professor of Human Genetics

Dr. Burmeister received her Diplom (equiv. to Master) in Biochemistry from the Free University Berlin in conjunction with her thesis work at the Weizman Institute, Rehovot, Israel, and her Ph.D. from University of Heidelberg for a thesis at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory on the genetics of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. After postdoctoral work at the University of California in San Francisco on the map of chromosome 21 and Alzheimer’s disease, she joined the faculty of the Mental Health Research Institute, now renamed Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Human Genetics of U of M in 1991. She is also affiliated with the Neuroscience and the Bioinformatics interdisciplinary graduate programs. Her laboratory investigates how genes influence behavior and risk for neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has recently identified a novel ataxia gene encoding an unknown protein through a mouse model. In contrast to such rare Mendelian single gene defects, human behavior and risk for psychiatric illness such as depression and alcoholism are determined by a complex interaction of environmental and multiple genetic risk factors. With the Human Genome sequenced, unprecedented numbers of genetic variants identified, and novel technologies that allow the study of genetic variants, untangling these risk factors is now possible. Several genetic risk factors for depression were recently identified in her laboratory by using a personality trait as a proxy for depression risk.
Top Papers
Burmeister M, Lehrach H: Long-range restriction map around the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene. Nature 324(6097):582-5, 1986.

Cox DR, Burmeister M, Price ER, Kim S, Myers RM: Radiation hybrid mapping: a somatic cell genetic method for constructing high-resolution maps of mammalian chromosomes. Science 250(4978):245-50, 1990.

Burmeister M, Novak J, Liang M-Y, Basu S, Ploder L, Hawes NL, Vidgen D, Hoover F, Goldman D, Kalnins VI, Roderick TH, Taylor BA, Hankin MH, McInnes RR: Ocular retardation mouse caused by Chx10 homeobox null allele: impaired retinal progenitor proliferation and bipolar cell differention. Nat Genet 42(4):376-384, 1996. This article is also discussed in “News and Views” in the same issue.

Kantheti P, Qiao X, Diaz M, Peden AA, Meyer GE, Carskadon SL, Kapfhamer D, Sufalko D, Robinson MS, Noebels NL, Burmeister M: Mutation in AP-3 δ in the mocha mouse links endosomal transport to storage deficiency in platelets, melanosomes, and synaptic vesicles. Neuron 21:111-122, 1998.

Bespalova, IN, Van Camp G, Bom S, Brown DJ, Cryns K, DeWan AT, Erson AE, Flothmann K, Kunst H, Kurnool P, Sivakumaran TA, Cremers CWER, Leal SM, Burmeister M, and Lesperance MM: Mutations in the Wolfram syndrome 1 gene (WFS1) are a common cause of low frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Hum. Mol. Genet. 10: 2501-2508, 2001.

Sen S, Nesse RM, Stoltenberg SF, Li S, Gleiberman L, Chakravarti A, Weder AB & Burmeister M: A BDNF Coding Variant is Associated with the NEO Personality Inventory Domain Neuroticism, a Risk Factor for Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology 28: 397-401, 2003.

Bomar JM, Benke PJ, Slattery EL, Puttagunta R, Taylor LP, Seong E, Nystuen A, Chen W, Albin RL, Patel PD, Kittles RA, Sheffield VC, Burmeister M: Mutations in a novel CRAL-TRIO domain encoding gene cause human Cayman Ataxia and ataxia/dystonia in the jittery mouse. Nature Genetics 35: 264-269, 2003.

Sen S, Villafuerte S, Nesse R, Stoltenberg SF, Hopcian J, Gleiberman L, Weder AB and Burmeister M: Serotonin Transporter and GABA(A) α6 Receptor Variants are Associated with Neuroticism. Biol. Psych. 55(3): 244-249, 2004.

Sen S, Burmeister M, Ghosh D: Meta-Analysis of the Association Between a Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and Anxiety-Related Personality Traits. Amer. J. Med. Genet. (Neuropsychiatric Genetics): 127B1: 85-89, 2004.

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