Professor Dr. med. Christian Scharfetter

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich

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We grieve the loss of Prof. Dr. Christian Scharfetter who passed away on November 25, 2012 after a short and severe illness.

Clinician, Teacher and Researcher

Prof. Dr. med. Christian Scharfetter practiced for over 30 years as a clinician, teacher and researcher at the Psychiatric University Hospital "Burghölzli" in Zurich, Switzerland, where Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) developed the concept of schizophrenia for a group of disorders, formerly considered to form a single disease entity with a generally unfavorable prognosis ("dementia praecox"). Scharfetter authored more than 20 standard text books, particularly in the field of psychopathology and schizophrenia research, and published over 300 scientific articles. Scharfetter's research focus lies on schizophrenia, the group of disorders that affect about one percent of the general population across ethnicities, causing the loss of the ability to work, to have close relationships, and to have a fulfilling life.

Research Topics

Dr. Scharfetter's research addresses the extent to which genetic vulnerability and resilience factors along with their interactions constitute multigenic inheritance of psychiatric disorders across ethnicities, thus implicating universal targets for treatment. The development of objective laboratory methods will enable a highly individualized treatment regimen, so that an unnecessarily long treatment duration or an unnecessary exposure to ineffective drugs and unwanted side effects can be avoided.

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