Gabriele Bergers PhD
Professor of Neurological Surgery
Neill H. and Linda S. Brownstein Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research
Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Research Center
Faculty Member, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (http://www.ucsf.edu/bms/)
Dr. Bergers studies the functional importance of angiogenesis in tumor development and progression. She has utilized a transgenic mouse model of pancreatic islet cell carcinogenesis to elucidate mechanisms and impact of angiogenesis during tumor formation. She identified that the angiogenic factor VEGF is critical for the angiogenic switch and is regulated posttranscriptionally, via proteolytic release from the extracellular matrix by the metalloproteinase MMP-9 that is expressed by inflammatory cells. This work was published in Nature Cell Biology in 2000. She furthermore translated the studies into experimental therapeutic approaches and designed preclinical trials at three distinct stages of disease progression aimed at preventing the angiogenic switch in premalignant lesions, intervening in the rapid expansion of small tumors, or inducing the regression of large end-stage cancers.
Dr. Bergers was the first to publish that angiogenesis inhibitors have different efficacies depending on the stage of carcinogenesis being targeted (Science 1999). She is currently investigating the underlying mechanisms that lead to stage-specific regulation of angiogenesis. Dr. Bergers' laboratory has expanded its studies to elucidate crucial factors that are implicated in the formation of new blood vessels during gliogenesis and to investigate the functional importance of these factors for the development and progression of glioblastomas utilizing mouse models of glioblastoma. In 2002, Dr. Bergers received the Kimmel Scholar Award, a substantial financial award given to selected promising scientists engaged in cancer research who are at an early stage of their career.
Education, Training, and Previous Positions
- 1988: BS, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany
1989: Diploma Thesis, University of Munich and Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
1993: PhD, Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and University of Vienna, Austria
1994: Postdoctoral Fellow: Hormone Research Institute, UCSF
1997: Postgraduate Researcher: Hormone Research Institute, UCSF
1999-2001: Assistant Research Biochemist: Hormone Research Institute, UCSF
Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments
- American Association for Cancer Research
UCSF Cancer Center
UCSF Program for Mouse Models of Human Cancer
Selected Honors and Awards
- 1989-1989: Max-Planck diploma student fellowship
1989-1993: Ph.D. student fellowship of the IMP
1994-1995: DAAD - NATO fellowship
1995-1996: Postdoctoral Fellowship: "Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst"
2002-2004: Sydney Kimmel Scholar Award
2003-2005: V Foundation Scholar Award
Selected Recent Publications
Dvorak HF, Weaver VM, Tlsty TD, Bergers G. Tumor microenvironment and progression. J Surg Oncol 2011;103(6):468-74.
Persson AI, Petritsch C, Swartling FJ, Itsara M, Sim FJ, Auvergne R, Goldenberg DD, Vandenberg SR, Nguyen KN, Yakovenko S, Ayers-Ringler J, Nishiyama A, Stallcup WB, Berger MS, Bergers G, McKnight TR, Goldman SA, Weiss WA. Non-stem cell origin for oligodendroglioma. Cancer Cell 2010;18(6):669-82.
Lu KV, Zhu S, Cvrljevic A, Huang TT, Sarkaria S, Ahkavan D, Dang J, Dinca EB, Plaisier SB, Oderberg I, Lee Y, Chen Z, Caldwell JS, Xie Y, Loo JA, Seligson D, Chakravari A, Lee FY, Weinmann R, Cloughesy TF, Nelson SF, Bergers G, Graeber T, Furnari FB, James CD, Cavenee WK, Johns TG, Mischel PS. Fyn and SRC are effectors of oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in glioblastoma patients. Cancer Res 2009;69(17):6889-98.
Pàez-Ribes M, Allen E, Hudock J, Takeda T, Okuyama H, Viñals F, Inoue M, Bergers G, Hanahan D, Casanovas O. Antiangiogenic therapy elicits malignant progression of tumors to increased local invasion and distant metastasis. Cancer Cell 2009;15(3):220-31.
Lu K, Lamagna C, Bergers G. Chapter 3. Bone marrow-derived vascular progenitors and proangiogenic monocytes in tumors Methods Enzymol 2008;445:53-82.
Bergers G, Hanahan D. Modes of resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy [Review]. Nat Rev Cancer 2008;8(8):592-603.
Silber J, Lim DA, Petritsch C, Persson AI, Maunakea AK, Yu M, Vandenberg SR, Ginzinger DG, James CD, Costello JF, Bergers G, Weiss WA, Alvarez-Buylla A, Hodgson JG. miR-124 and miR-137 inhibit proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme cells and induce differentiation of brain tumor stem cells. BMC Med 2008;6:14.
Du R, Lu KV, Petritsch C, Liu P, Ganss R, Passegué E, Song H, Vandenberg S, Johnson RS, Werb Z, Bergers G. HIF1alpha induces the recruitment of bone marrow-derived vascular modulatory cells to regulate tumor angiogenesis and invasion. Cancer Cell 2008;13(3):206-20.
Du R, Petritsch C, Lu K, Liu P, Haller A, Ganss R, Song H, Vandenberg S, Bergers G. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 regulates vascular patterning and growth affecting tumor cell survival and invasion in GBM. Neuro Oncol 2008;10(3):254-64.
Pietras K, Pahler J, Bergers G, Hanahan D. Functions of paracrine PDGF signaling in the proangiogenic tumor stroma revealed by pharmacological targeting. PLoS Med 2008;5(1):e19.
Chesler L, Goldenberg DD, Seales IT, Satchi-Fainaro R, Grimmer M, Collins R, Struett C, Nguyen KN, Kim G, Tihan T, Bao Y, Brekken RA, Bergers G, Folkman J, Weiss WA. Malignant progression and blockade of angiogenesis in a murine transgenic model of neuroblastoma. Cancer Res 2007;67(19):9435-42.
Blouw B, Haase VH, Song H, Bergers G, Johnson RS. Loss of vascular endothelial growth factor expression reduces vascularization, but not growth, of tumors lacking the Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene. Oncogene 2007;26(31):4531-40.
Kawaguchi T, Yamashita Y, Kanamori M, Endersby R, Bankiewicz KS, Baker SJ, Bergers G, Pieper RO. The PTEN/Akt pathway dictates the direct alphaVbeta3-dependent growth-inhibitory action of an active fragment of tumstatin in glioma cells in vitro and in vivo. Cancer Res 2006;66(23):11331-40.
Lamagna C, Bergers G. The bone marrow constitutes a reservoir of pericyte progenitors. J Leukoc Biol. 2006;80(4):677-81.
Holash J, Thurston G, Rudge JS, Yancopoulos GD, Adjei AA, Bergers G, Pytowski B, Pegram M, Gordon MS. Inhibitors of growth factor receptors, signaling pathways and angiogenesis as therapeutic molecular agents. Cancer Metastasis Rev 2006;25(2):243-52.
Casanovas O, Hicklin DJ, Bergers G, Hanahan D. Drug resistance by evasion of antiangiogenic targeting of VEGF signaling in late-stage pancreatic islet tumors. Cancer Cell 2005;8(4):299-309.
Bergers G, Song S. The role of pericytes in blood-vessel formation and maintenance [Review]. Neuro Oncol 2005;7(4):452-64.
Song S, Ewald AJ, Stallcup W, Werb Z, Bergers G. PDGFRbeta+ perivascular progenitor cells in tumours regulate pericyte differentiation and vascular survival. Nat Cell Biol 2005;7(9):870-9.
Berger M, Bergers G, Arnold B, Hämmerling GJ, Ganss R. Regulator of G-protein signaling-5 induction in pericytes coincides with active vessel remodeling during neovascularization. Blood 2005;105(3):1094-101.