Bernd Gutte studied chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University. After postdoctoral work with Prof. R. B. Merrifield at Rockefeller University in New York, he worked as an Associate Professor at the Institute for Genetics of the University of Cologne and at the Max Planck Department for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. In 1980 he joined the Institute of Biochemistry of the University of Zurich, where he became Full Professor in 1989.
In 1969 Bernd Gutte and R. B. Merrifield reported the first chemical synthesis of an enzyme. Since that time, his research interests have focused on the design of novel functional peptides and proteins for basic research as well as biotechnical and medical applications, for example dioxin-, DDT- and HIV-enhancer binding peptides and peptides for the isolation of recombinant human interferon.