Joachim Berger


  • +61 (3) 9902 9621


In 1998 I graduated in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Cologne, Germany, and worked in the field of plant development at the Max-Delbrück-Laboratory during my two diplomas. I received my PhD from the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where I analysed in the department of Peter Gruss the role of Pax6 in the development of the mouse brain. In 2003 I worked with Stephen Cohen at the EMBL for 6 month on drosophila, screening for growth deficient mutants. Since 2005 I am in the group of Peter Currie focusing on modeling Muscular Dystrophy in zebrafish, first at the Victor-Chang-Cardiac-Research-Institute in Sydney and since 2008 at the ARMI.

Research interests

  • Muscular Dystrophy

Featured Publications

Authors Title Published In

Berger J, Li M, Berger S, Meilak M, Rientjes J, Currie PD

Effect of Ataluren on dystrophin mutations

J Cell Mol Med. 2020; 00: 1– 10.

Dauer MVP, Currie PD, Berger J

Skeletal malformations of Meox1-deficient zebrafish resemble human Klippel–Feil syndrome

J. Anat., 233: 687-695. doi:10.1111/joa.12890

Dancevic CM, Gibert Y, Berger J, Smith AD, Liongue C, Stupka N, Ward AC, McCulloch DR.

The ADAMTS5 metzincin regulates zebrafish somite differentiation.

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar 7;19(3). pii: E766. doi: 10.3390/ijms19030766.

Berger J, Berger S, Li M, Jacoby AS, Arner A, Bavi N, Stewart AG, Currie PD.

In vivo function of the chaperonin TRiC in α-Actin folding during sarcomere assembly.

Cell Rep. 2018 Jan 9;22(2):313-322. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.069.

Berger J, Berger S, Li M, Currie PD.

Myo18b is essential for sarcomere assembly in fast skeletal muscle.

Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Mar 15;26(6):1146-1156. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx025.

Gurevich DB, Nguyen PD, Siegel AL, Ehrlich OV, Sonntag C, Phan JM, Berger S, Ratnayake D, Hersey L, Berger J, Verkade H, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Asymmetric division of clonal muscle stem cells coordinates muscle regeneration in vivo.

Science. 2016 May 19. pii: aad9969. [Epub ahead of print]

Tarakci H, Berger J.

The sarcoglycan complex in skeletal muscle.

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2016 Jan 1;21:744-56.

Berger J.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy from a Zebrafish’s Perspective.

Austin J Musculoskelet Disord. 2015 Jun 6;2(2):1019.

Berger J, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Novel transgenic lines to label sarcolemma and myofibrils of the musculature.

Zebrafish. 2015 Feb;12(1):124-5. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2014.1065. Epub 2015 Jan 2.

Berger J, Tarakci H, Berger S, Li M, Hall TE, Arner A, Currie PD.

Loss of Tropomodulin4 in the zebrafish mutant träge causes cytoplasmic rod formation and muscle weakness reminiscent of nemaline myopathy.

Dis Model Mech. 2014 Dec;7(12):1407-15. doi: 10.1242/dmm.017376. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Giacomotto J, Brouilly N, Walter L, Mariol MC, Berger J, Ségalat L, Becker TS, Currie PD, Gieseler K.

Chemical genetics unveils a key role of mitochondrial dynamics, cytochrome c release and IP3R activity in muscular dystrophy.

Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Nov 15;22(22):4562-78. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddt302. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Angelucci E, Moreno S, D’Amelio M, Nardacci R, Cecconi F, Mariottini P, Cervelli M.

A new transgenic mouse model for studying the neurotoxicity of spermine oxidase dosage in the response to excitotoxic injury.

Mol Neurodegener. 2013;8(Suppl 1):4. doi: 10.1186/1750-1326-8-S1-P4. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Berger J, Currie PD.

503unc, a small and muscle-specific zebrafish promoter.

Genesis. 2013 Jun;51(6):443-7. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22385. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Berger J, Currie PD.

Zebrafish models flex their muscles to shed light on muscular dystrophies.

Dis Model Mech. 2012 Nov;5(6):726-32. doi: 10.1242/dmm.010082.

Berger J, Sztal T, Currie PD.

Quantification of birefringence readily measures the level of muscle damage in zebrafish.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jul 13;423(4):785-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.06.040. Epub 2012 Jun 16.

Berger J, Berger S, Jacoby AS, Wilton SD, Currie PD.

Evaluation of exon-skipping strategies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy utilizing dystrophin-deficient zebrafish.

J Cell Mol Med. 2011 Dec;15(12):2643-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01260.x.

Berger J, Berger S, Hall TE, Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.

Dystrophin-deficient zebrafish feature aspects of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy pathology.

Neuromuscul Disord. 2010 Dec;20(12):826-32. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Jacoby AS, Busch-Nentwich E, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Hall TE, Berger J, Berger S, Sonntag C, Sachs C, Geisler R, Stemple DL, Currie PD.

The zebrafish dystrophic mutant softy maintains muscle fibre viability despite basement membrane rupture and muscle detachment.

Development. 2009 Oct;136(19):3367-76. doi: 10.1242/dev.034561.

Davis N, Yoffe C, Raviv S, Antes R, Berger J, Holzmann S, Stoykova A, Overbeek PA, Tamm ER, Ashery-Padan R.

Pax6 dosage requirements in iris and ciliary body differentiation.

Dev Biol. 2009 Sep 1;333(1):132-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.06.023. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

Berger J, Currie P.

The role of zebrafish in chemical genetics.

Curr Med Chem. 2007;14(22):2413-20.

Hall TE, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Berger S, Jacoby AS, Cole NJ, Hollway GE, Berger J, Currie PD.

The zebrafish candyfloss mutant implicates extracellular matrix adhesion failure in laminin alpha2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 24;104(17):7092-7. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

Berger J, Berger S, Cong Tuoc T, D’Amelio M, Cecconi F, Gorski J, Jones KR, Gruss P, Stoykova A.

Conditional activation of Pax6 in the mouse developing cortex of transgenic mice causes progenitor apoptosis.

Development 2007 134:1311-1322. doi: 10.1242/dev.02809.

Collombat P, Hecksher-Sørensen J, Krull J, Berger J, Riedel D, Herrera PL, Serup P, Mansouri A.

Embryonic endocrine pancreas and mature beta cells acquire alpha and PP cell phenotypes upon Arx misexpression.

J Clin Invest. 2007 Apr;117(4):961-70.

Nitsche M, Hermann RM, Christiansen H, Berger J, Pradier O.

Rationale for individualized therapy in Sinonasal Teratocarcinosarcoma (SNTC): case report.

Onkologie. 2005 Dec;28(12):653-6. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Müller M, Berger J, Gersdorff N, Cecconi F, Herken R, Quondamatteo F.

Localization of Apaf1 gene expression in the early development of the mouse by means of in situ reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

Dev Dyn. 2005 Sep;234(1):215-21.

Haubst N, Berger J, Radjendirane V, Graw J, Favor J, Saunders GF, Stoykova A, Götz M.

Molecular dissection of Pax6 function: the specific roles of the paired domain and homeodomain in brain development.

Development. 2004 Dec;131(24):6131-40. Epub 2004 Nov 17.

Berger J, Eckert S, Scardigli R, Guillemot F, Gruss P, Stoykova A.

E1-Ngn2/Cre is a new line for regional activation of Cre recombinase in the developing CNS.

Genesis. 2004 Dec;40(4):195-9.

Geisler M, Kolukisaoglu HU, Bouchard R, Billion K, Berger J, Saal B, Frangne N, Koncz-Kalman Z, Koncz C, Dudler R, Blakeslee JJ, Murphy AS, Martinoia E, Schulz B.

TWISTED DWARF1, a unique plasma membrane-anchored immunophilin-like protein, interacts with Arabidopsis multidrug resistance-like transporters AtPGP1 and AtPGP19.

Mol Biol Cell. 2003 Oct;14(10):4238-49. Epub 2003 Aug 7.