Ann Ehrenhofer-Murray, who is both a Swiss and British national, was born in 1966. She studied biochemistry at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and received her PhD there in 1994. For her doctoral thesis, she worked on multidrug resistance genes in yeasts. For her postdoctoral studies, she moved to the lab of Professor Jasper Rine at the University of California, Berkeley, to study gene silencing and DNA replication in yeast. In 1997 she started her own research group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, and obtained the habilitation from the Humboldt University Berlin in 2003. After a brief stint at the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen in 2004 and 2005, she obtained a full professorship for genetics at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Epigenetics is a cross-cutting topic, involving the fields of genetics, molecular biology, and systems biology. In Berlin, Prof. Ehrenhofer-Murray plans to cooperate closely with the structural and systems biologists. Future medical applications of her research are also a possibility, for instance in cancer or anti-aging therapies. "This new Einstein professorship strengthens the life sciences in Berlin", Prof. Martin Grötschel states. He is chairman of the executive board of the Einstein Foundation Berlin. (© Einstein Foundation Berlin, AcademiaNet)