Prinicipal Investigator

Pathophysiology of Vision

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Eberhart Zrenner

First nameEberhart
Present position and titleProf. Dr. med. Dr.h.c.mult., CIN Senior Professor of Ophthalmology

Business address

Werner Reichardt Centrum für Integrative Neurowissenschaften (CIN)
Institute for Ophthalmic Research
Centre for Ophthalmology,
University of Tübingen
Elfriede-Aulhorn-Strasse 7
D-72076 Tübingen,

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-84786
Fax: +49 (0)7071 29-5038
E-mail: ezrenner[at]

Academic Education

1967-72Medicine and Electronic Engineering, University of Erlangen and Munich
1973MD, Medicine (Information transfer in the eye) (summa cum laude)
1973 - 1974Post Doc, Sensory physiology, Max-Planck-Institute for Physiol. and Clin. Research
1977 - 1978Fogarty fellowship, Neurophysiology, National Inst. of Health, USA
1981Habilitation, Cell physiology, University of Giessen
1985Ophthalmological board exam, University of Munich

Professional experience

1973 Internship in Surgery and Internal Medicine, Munich
1974-1976 Research fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research, Bad Nauheim, Dept. of Experimental Ophthalmology, and Eye Hospital of Frankfurt University
1977-1978 Fogarty International Fellow, National Eye Institute, NIH, Bethesda USA, Laboratory of Vision Research
1979-1984 Experimental Ophthalmology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research, Bad Nauheim and and University Eye Hospital Munich
1985-1989 Associate Professor and Head of a Research Unit of the Max-Planck-Society at the University Eye Hospital, Munich (Prof. Lund) ; Honorary Prof., Univ. of Giessen
1989 Full professor of Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Germany
1989 to present Chairman of the Department "Pathophysiology of Vision and Neuro-Ophthalmology" and Head of the Division of Experimental Ophthalmology at the University of Tuebingen, now Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology
1991- 2007 Executive Director of the University Eye Hospital Tübingen
1992 Offer of Prof. at Aston-University, Birmingham, England (declined)
1993 Offer of Head of Dept. Ophthal., McGill Univ. Montreal Canada (declined)
1994 – 1995 Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Tuebingen
1995 to present Coordination of the Consortium " Subretinal Implants"
1998 - 2000 Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University Tuebingen
2007 – 2011 Director of the Centre for Ophthalmology, together with Prof. K.U. Bartz-Schmidt
2007 – 2011 Director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tuebingen
2007 – 2011 Head of the strategy committee of the Medical Faculty, Tuebingen
Since 2011 Speaker of the Board of the Center for Neurosensory Systems (ZfN), University of Tuebingen

Awards, Honors & Functions:

1973 Dissertation award for an experimental study on the optic qualities of the eye
1979 Franceschetti-Liebrecht-Award of the German Ophthalmological Society
1995 Alcon Research Award (100.000$)
1998 Election as Member of the "Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften"
1999 Election as Member of the Leopoldina - German Academy of Sciences
2000 von Graefe-Award of the German Ophthalmological Society
2006 "Bartimaeus Award" of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology awarded at the World Congress of Artificial Vision 2006
2007 Emiko Adachi-Award of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV)
2009 Pfizer-Award, Visiting Professorship, SUNY, New York
2009 Karl-Heinz Beckurts Award 2009
2009 Claere-Jung-Preis of the EURETINA
2010 Retina International: Special Recognition Award
2011 Edridge Green Award
2011 EURETINA Innovation Award
2011 Honorary doctorate, Naresuan University, Thailand
2012 Honorary doctorate, University of Lublin, Poland
2013 Hector Preis - Hector Stiftung, Weinheim
2014 Reinhard-von-Koenig-Preis
2015 Gold Medal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society

Scientific functions

1991- 2000 President of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision
1991- 1998 Speaker to the DFG core program "Hereditary Retinal Degeneration"
1993- 2007 Section Editor of "Vision Research" and "Neuro-Ophthalmology"
1997- 2004 Speaker of a center core grant "SFB 430" Editorial Board member for "Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science"
1999- 2007 Senator of the Max-Planck-Society, Germany
Since 1975 Advisor for the German Research Council in several projects (SFB 73, SFB 325, SFB 200, SFB 307, SFB 539, Forschergruppen)
Since 2002 Head of a Senate Commission "Medical Engineering" of the HelmholtzGemeinschaft
2003- 2009 Member of the "Wissenschaftsrat"
Since 2006 Speaker of the DFG Clinical Research Group "Hereditary Retinal Degenerations"
Since 2011 Speaker of the Board of the Center for Neurosensory Systems (ZfN), University of Tuebingen
2015 Coordinator of the “Nachwuchs-Akademie” on Neusosensory Systems of the German Research Council


66 Patents on ophthalmological devices

Citations and h-index

For more information about the citations and h-index of see the Google Schoolar page of Eberhart Zrenner

Lectures and Interviews

Portrait Eberhart Zrenner - Hector Fellow Academy [Vimeo, February 10, 2018]

Eberhart Zrenner: "Blinde wieder sehend machen - geht das?"
a Caesar (center of advanced european studies and research) lecture, February 19, 2015


Interview with Deutsche Welle (DW)

Prof. Eberhart Zrenner talks with "Projekt Zukunft" about new ophthalmic implants and prostheses - February 6, 2012

planet wissen

Blinde wieder sehen lassen - Interview mit Prof. Eberhart Zrenner - (in German), March, 27, 2014

Key Publications

Over 480 original peer reviewed publications - the 5 most important recent publications:

  • Zrenner E., Fighting Blindness with Microelectronics. Science Transl. Med. 5, 210ps16 (2013)
    Reprint | Full Text
  • Stingl K., Bartz-Schmidt K.U., Besch D., Braun A., Bruckmann A., Gekeler F., Greppmaier U., Hipp S., Hörtdörfer G., Kernstock C., Koitschev A., Kusnyerik A., Sachs H., Schatz A., Stingl K.T., Peters T., Wilhelm B. and Zrenner E. (2013) Artificial vision with wirelessly powered subretinal electronic implant alpha-IMS. Proc Roy Soc B - Biol Sci  280(1757):20130077 (2013)
  • Zrenner E., Artificial vision: Solar cells for the blind.  Nature Photonics 6:344–345 (2012).
  • Zrenner E., Bartz-Schmidt KU., Benav H., Besch D., Bruckmann A., Gabel V-P., Gekeler F., Greppmaier U., Harscher A., Kibbel S., Koch J., Kusnyerik A., Peters T., Stingl K., Sachs H., Stett A., Szurman P., Wilhelm B., Wilke R. Subretinal electronic chips allow blind patients to read letters and combine them to words. Proc Roy Soc B – Biol Sci 278:1489-1497 (2011)
  • Wilke R., Gabel V-P., Sachs H.  Bartz-Schmidt K.U.,  Gekeler F., Besch D.,  Szurman P., Stett A.,  Wilhelm B.,  Peters T., Harscher A., Greppmaier U. Kibbel S., Benav H.,  Bruckmann A., Stingl K., Kusnyerik A., Zrenner E. Spatial Resolution and Perception of Patterns Mediated by a Subretinal 16-Electrode Array in Patients Blinded by Hereditary Retinal Dystrophies. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 8: 5995-6003 (2011)