Urs A. Meyer is Professor (active emeritus) at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. He received B.A.(1961) and M.D.(1967) degrees from the Universities of Geneva and Zürich, with additional laboratory training in
bio- chemistry and metabolic diseases at the University Hospital in Zurich. He continued his training in Internal Medicine (internship and residency) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology with Kenneth L. Melmon and a fellowship in hepatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas with Harvey Marver and Ronald Estabrook. In 1971 he was recruited as Assistant Professor in Clinical Pharmacology at the Department of Medicine, UCSF. Urs Meyer returned to Switzerland in 1975 as Associate Professor and the first Chief of a new Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Zürich Medical School. Urs A. Meyer joined the Biozentrum in 1983 as Professor of Pharmacology , he also served as chairman of the Biozentrum (1993 to 1995).
Urs A. Meyer’s research has focused on “pharmacological individuality” or person-to-person variation of drug response throughout his career. In his postdoctoral work, he described the molecular defect in heme synthesis that causes drug-induced attacks of acute intermittent porphyria. He and his coworkers later made the first transgenic mouse model of this disease and elucidated the drug sensitivity of patients with porphyria. His laboratory is best known for the discovery of the molecular mechanisms of several common genetic polymorphisms of drug disposition. His team identified the genes and mutations in these genes causing variation in drug response and developed the first pharmacogenetic DNA tests, initially for the genes of cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 and N-acetyltransferase NAT2. His laboratory also made important contributions to the regulation of drug disposition by environmental and host factors.These predictable variations in drug response are important components of individualized drug therapy or personalized medicine.