Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurst


Developmental Genetics

Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Wurst’s research is focused on generating and analyzing genetic mouse models and human cellular models of neuropsychiatric diseases (neurodegeneration and depression). These models provide fundamental insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of such diseases, and these in turn serve as the basis for the development of new and innovative therapeutic approaches. Among other things, Professor Wurst is also currently investigating the possibility of applying new “Genome Editing” Technologies (e.g. CRISPR/Cas System) for the treatment of these diseases.

Professor Wurst (b. 1955) studied biology and chemistry at the University of Freiburg and completed his doctoral studies in 1988 at the University of Göttingen, where he subsequently spent a further year working as a postdoctoral researcher. After several years of postdoctoral work at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada, he moved to Munich in 1994, working first at the GSF Research Center for Environment and Health before taking up a position as head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in 1997. Since 2002, Professor Wurst has both held the Chair of Developmental Genetics at TUM and been Director of the Institute of Developmental Genetics at the Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich. Since 1999 he has led the research group “Genome Engineering” at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Munich. Professor Wurst is furthermore involved in numerous international research projects (e.g. EUCOMM/EUCOMMtools) and committees, and holds a number of patents.


  • Program speaker for the Genes and Environment in Common Diseases (GenCoDe) Program (Program-Oriented Funding, Helmholtz Association, Munich) (Since 2012)
  • President of the International Mouse Mutagenesis Consortium (IKMC) (2010-2011)
  • Member of the International Mouse Mutagenesis Consortium (IKMC) (Since 2008)

Dedic N, et al.: "Cross-disorder risk gene CACNA1C differentially modulates susceptibility to psychiatric disorders during development and adulthood". Mol Psychiatry. 2018; 23(3): 533-543.


Meehan TF, et al.: "Disease model discovery from 3,328 gene knockouts by The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium". Nat Genet. 2017; 49(8): 1231-1238.


Beckervordersandforth R, et al.: "Role of Mitochondrial Metabolism in the Control of Early Lineage Progression and Aging Phenotypes in Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis". Neuron. 2017; 93(3): 560-573.


Truong DJ, Kühner K, Kühn R, Werfel S, Engelhardt S, Wurst W, Ortiz O: "Development of an intein-mediated split-Cas9 system for gene therapy". NucleicAcids Res. 2015; 43(13): 6450-6458.


Arloth J, et al.: "Genetic Differences in the Immediate Transcriptome Response to Stress Predict Risk-Related Brain Function and Psychiatric Disorders". Neuron. 2015; 86(5): 1189-1202.