Short CV/Education and training

  • 1969 – 1973
    Diplom degree and doctoral work in the laboratory of Dr Heinz Schaller

  • 1972 – 1974
    Research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Virology, Tübingen, Germany

  • 1975 – 1976
    Postdoctoral long-term fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), in the laboratory of Prof. Walter Gehring, Biocenter of Basel, Switzerland

  • 1977
    German Research Foundation (DFG) research fellowship, in the laboratory of Prof. Dr Klaus Sander, Institute for Biology I (Zoology), University of Freiburg, Germany

  • 1978 – 1980
    Group Leader at the European Laboratory for Molecular Biology (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany

  • 1981 – 1985
    Leader of an independent working group at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society, Tübingen

  • Since 1985
    Scientific member of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen

  • Since 1989
    Honorary professor, University of Tübingen

Selected publications

  • Driever, W., Nüsslein-Volhard, C.: A gradient of bicoid protein in the Drosophila embryo. In: Cell 54, 1988. S. 83-94.

  • St.Johnston, D., Nüsslein-Volhard, C.: The Origin of Pattern and Polarity in the Drosophila Embryo. In: Cell 68, 1992. S. 201-219.

  • Nüsslein-Volhard, C.: The identification of Genes controlling Development in Flies and Fishes. Les Prix Nobel, Stockholm, 1996.

  • Knaut, H., Werz, C., Geisler, R. and Nüsslein-Volhard, C., The Tübingen 2000 screen Consortium: A zebrafish homologue of the chemokine receptor Cxcr4 is a germ-cell guidance receptor. In: Nature 421(6920), 2003. S. 279-282.

  • Gilmour D. et al: Towing of sensory axons by their migrating target cells in vivo. In: Nature Neurosci. 7(5), 2004. S. 491-492.

  • Wann ist der Mensch ein Mensch? Juristische Studiengesellschaft Karlsruhe, C. F. Müller-Verlag 2003.

  • Von Genen und Embryonen, Reclam-Verlag 2004.

  • Das Werden des Lebens: wie Gene die Entwicklung steuern, Verlag C.H. Beck 2004.

  • Coming to life: how genes drive development, Kales Press 2006.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Neural crest development

  • Pigment pattern formation

  • Muscle stem cells

  • Dermis development

  • Fin growth control

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Secretary General of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), Heidelberg, Germany

  • Scientific advisory board of the Developmental Biology Programme, University of Sheffield, UK

  • Advisory council of the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany

  • Scientific advisory board, CRG – Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain

  • Scientific council of the European Research Council (ERC)

  • Executive director of the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory at the Max Planck Society (MPG), Tübingen, Germany

  • Commission for the selection of leaders of independent junior research groups in the MPG

  • Chair of the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation for Women in the Sciences,

  • President of the Society of German Researchers and Physicians (GDNÄ)

  • National Ethics Council of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001 – 2007

  • Senate of the Max Planck Society, to 2007


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  1. Women are simply less visible

    Why are so few women awarded a Nobel Prize? The reasons are manifold and hinder female researchers at all stages of their careers. Countermeasures are only slowly taking effect.

  2. ERC-Grants for 11 AcademiaNet members

    277 senior researchers received an ERC Advanced Grant, among them are Susanne Albers, Gabriela Constantin, Rachel Griffith, Martina Havenith, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Mercedes Maroto-Valer (photo), Eva Schinnerer, Christa Schleper, Dr. Maria Sibilia, Ingrid Van Keilegom, and Hanna Vehkamäki. Congratulations!

  3. Nobel Laureate Is Honoured

    Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard was elected as chair of the highest German order of merit for science and art, established in 1842.

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