Gabriele Bergers, PhD

Gabriele Bergers, PhD

Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center (BTRC) and Departments of Neurological Surgery and Anatomy, UCSF
Neill H. and Linda S. Brownstein Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research, UCSF

Phone: (415) 476-6786 (voice)
Box 0520, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94158-0520

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Research Summary

My overall research interest developed from the fundamental perception that cancers are heterogeneous entities in which tumor cell populations, as well as distinct host cell constituents, form a dynamic and interactive tumor community that is pivotal not only for the genesis and progression of a tumor but also for the tumor’s ability to resist therapeutic elimination. My specific interest lies in revealing the dialogue between the tumor cell compartment and the vascular niche with its diverse cell constituents, including innate immune cells in regulating neovascularization, stem cell maintenance and tumor invasion during tumor progression, and therapeutic resistance. Current studies are intended to gain new mechanistic insights into the interconnected regulation and function of angiogenesis and immunity in tumors and metastases with a focus to provide new targets that improve current treatment modalities, thwart therapeutic resistance, and prolong survival in cancer patients.
I have more than 20 years of expertise in studying the tumor microenvironment in transgenic and orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic, breast and brain tumors. Over the years, my work on the tumor microenvironment has become internationally recognized, a fact reflected in the quality of peer-reviewed publications from my laboratory, and invitations to national and international conferences. I have been serving on the NIH Tumor Microenvironment Study section since 2006 and was Chair from 2010-12. I am currently on the editorial board for Science and Cancer Research and on the external advisory board for the Max-Planck Institute in Muenster, Germany that focuses its research on vascular biology.


University of Munich, Germany, B.S., 1988, Biochemistry
Max Planck Institute (MPI), Martinsried, Germany, M.S., 1989, Biochemistry/Virology
Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP), University of Vienna, Austria, Ph.D., 1993, Molecular Biology/Genetics
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1994-1997, Cancer Biology

Professional Experience

  • 1999-2001
    Assistant Research Biochemist, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF
  • 2001-2005
    Assistant Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center and Departments of Neurosurgery, UCSF
  • 2005-2011
    Associate Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center and Departments of Neurosurgery and Anatomy, UCSF
  • 2011-present
    Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center and Departments of Neurosurgery and Anatomy, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 2002-2002
    American Cancer Society Award
  • 2003-2002
    V Foundation Scholar Award
  • 2002-2004
    Sydney Kimmel Scholar Award
  • 2004-2005
    Goldhirsh Foundation Award
  • 2005-2006
    Sandler Opportunity Award
  • 2005-Present
    Neill H. and Linda S. Brownstein Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research

Selected Publications

  1. Rivera LB, Bergers G. CANCER. Tumor angiogenesis, from foe to friend. Science. 2015 Aug 14; 349(6249):694-5.
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  2. Rivera LB, Meyronet D, Hervieu V, Frederick MJ, Bergsland E, Bergers G. Intratumoral myeloid cells regulate responsiveness and resistance to antiangiogenic therapy. Cell Rep. 2015 Apr 28; 11(4):577-91.
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  3. Rivera LB, Bergers G. Intertwined regulation of angiogenesis and immunity by myeloid cells. Trends Immunol. 2015 Apr; 36(4):240-9.
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  4. Wang AS, Lodi A, Rivera LB, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Firpo MA, Mulvihill SJ, Tempero MA, Bergers G, Ronen SM. HR-MAS MRS of the pancreas reveals reduced lipid and elevated lactate and taurine associated with early pancreatic cancer. NMR Biomed. 2014 Nov; 27(11):1361-70.
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  5. Rivera LB, Bergers G. Angiogenesis. Targeting vascular sprouts. Science. 2014 Jun 27; 344(6191):1449-50.
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  6. Hyvönen M, Enbäck J, Huhtala T, Lammi J, Sihto H, Weisell J, Joensuu H, Rosenthal-Aizman K, El-Andaloussi S, Langel U, Närvänen A, Bergers G, Laakkonen P. Novel target for peptide-based imaging and treatment of brain tumors. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Apr; 13(4):996-1007.
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  7. Rivera L, Pandika M, Bergers G. Escape mechanisms from antiangiogenic therapy: an immune cell's perspective. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 772:83-99.
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  8. Rivera LB, Bergers G. Location, location, location: macrophage positioning within tumors determines pro- or antitumor activity. Cancer Cell. 2013 Dec 9; 24(6):687-9.
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  9. Jahangiri A, De Lay M, Miller LM, Carbonell WS, Hu YL, Lu K, Tom MW, Paquette J, Tokuyasu TA, Tsao S, Marshall R, Perry A, Bjorgan KM, Chaumeil MM, Ronen SM, Bergers G, Aghi MK. Gene expression profile identifies tyrosine kinase c-Met as a targetable mediator of antiangiogenic therapy resistance. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Apr 1; 19(7):1773-83.
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  10. Lu KV, Bergers G. Mechanisms of evasive resistance to anti-VEGF therapy in glioblastoma. CNS Oncol. 2013 Jan; 2(1):49-65.
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  11. Lu KV, Chang JP, Parachoniak CA, Pandika MM, Aghi MK, Meyronet D, Isachenko N, Fouse SD, Phillips JJ, Cheresh DA, Park M, Bergers G. VEGF inhibits tumor cell invasion and mesenchymal transition through a MET/VEGFR2 complex. Cancer Cell. 2012 Jul 10; 22(1):21-35.
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  12. Sugiarto S, Persson AI, Munoz EG, Waldhuber M, Lamagna C, Andor N, Hanecker P, Ayers-Ringler J, Phillips J, Siu J, Lim DA, Vandenberg S, Stallcup W, Berger MS, Bergers G, Weiss WA, Petritsch C. Asymmetry-defective oligodendrocyte progenitors are glioma precursors. Cancer Cell. 2011 Sep 13; 20(3):328-40.
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  13. Dvorak HF, Weaver VM, Tlsty TD, Bergers G. Tumor microenvironment and progression. J Surg Oncol. 2011 May 1; 103(6):468-74.
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  14. 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 Dec 14; 18(6):669-82.
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  15. 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 Sep 1; 69(17):6889-98.
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  16. 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 Mar 3; 15(3):220-31.
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  17. Bergers G, Hanahan D. Modes of resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy. Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Aug; 8(8):592-603.
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  18. 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.
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  19. 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 Jun; 10(3):254-64.
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  20. 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 Mar; 13(3):206-20.
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