Margit Burmeister, Ph.D.

Research Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Professor, Department of Human Genetics
Associate Chair and Professor, Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics
Co-Director, Bioinformatics Graduate Program

5061 BSRB
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200


Areas of Interest

The Burmeister lab works to identify the genes involved in brain disorders and the roles they play in disease processes. They have discovered numerous genes involved in neurological disorders including deafness, and are currently focused on describing some of the more than 100 genes that drive inherited ataxias (which cause involuntary muscle movement or the inability to control movement). 

Their studies of ataxias and other rare neurological disorders involve gathering genetic information from families with these disorders and performing analyses that combine genetic linkages, genome-wide gene association studies (GWAS) and next generation sequencing (NGS).

These same novel technologies are being employed in the Burmeister lab to untangle the extraordinarily complex interaction between genetic risk factors, human behavior and environmental factors such as stress in the development of psychiatric illnesses such as depression and alcoholism.

This multidisciplinary approach involves the collaboration of not only geneticists, but clinicians, psychologists, epidemiologists, statisticians and bioinformaticians both here and in China, where Burmeister spends several months each year teaching and conducting research.

Honors & Awards

Distinguished Professor, Bio-X Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Michael Weston Visiting Professorship, Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Fellow of the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes" (German Phi Beta Kappa Equivalent).

Postdoctoral Fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Committee (DAAD).

NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award 2008 and many earlier NARSAD awards

Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences.

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Sabbatical in Berlin, Germany.

EBS-MBNI Teaching Award 2016  

Published Articles or Reviews

When Genetics Meets Religion: What Scientists and Religious Leaders Can Learn from Each Other.
Modell SM, Citrin T, Burmeister M, Kardia SLR, Beil A, Raisky J; Genetics and Faith Dialogue Group. Public Health Genomics. 2019;22(5-6):174-188. doi: 10.1159/000504261. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Genomic prediction of depression risk and resilience under stress.
Fang Y, Scott L, Song P, Burmeister M, Sen S. Nat Hum Behav. 2020 Jan;4(1):111-118. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0759-3. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Heterozygous Variants in the Mechanosensitive Ion Channel TMEM63A Result in Transient Hypomyelination during Infancy.
Yan H, Helman G, Murthy SE, Ji H, Crawford J, Kubisiak T, Bent SJ, Xiao J, Taft RJ, Coombs A, Wu Y, Pop A, Li D, de Vries LS, Jiang Y, Salomons GS, van der Knaap MS, Patapoutian A, Simons C, Burmeister M, Wang J, Wolf NI. Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Nov 7;105(5):996-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.09.011. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Heroin delay discounting and impulsivity: Modulation by DRD1 genetic variation.
Moses TEH, Burmeister M, Greenwald MK. Addict Biol. 2020 May;25(3):e12777. doi: 10.1111/adb.12777. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

For a complete list, visit