Following my biology studies in Erlangen and Freiburg (Germany), I completed my dissertation at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg under the supervision of Dr. Rolf Zeller and Prof. Thomas Graf. I then performed postdoctoral research in the laboratories of Prof. Gail Martin and Nobel Prize winner Prof. J. Michael Bishop at the University of California at San Francisco (USA) where my great interest in cancer research developed. During 2000 – 2008 I headed the “Genetics and Stem Cell Laboratory” at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Epalinges/Lausanne and was named Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2005.
Since mid-2008, I am heading the Division of “Stem Cells and Cancer” at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and since Fall 2008 the founding Director of HI-STEM. I am also coordinator of the “Stem Cells in Oncology” Program within the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and Co-Chair of the Collaborative Research Center, SFB 873 “Maintenance and Differentiation of Stem Cells in Development and Disease".