Born on 20th October, 1942, in Magdeburg. Study of biology, physics and chemistry in Frankfurt/Main, degree in biochemistry Tübingen (1969), doctorate Tübingen Univ. (1973), postdoc in Basel and Freiburg, group leader EMBL (1978-1981), head of a junior research group at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society in Tübingen (1981-1984), Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology (since 1985).
For the discovery of genes that control development in animals and humans, and the demonstration of morphogen gradients in the fly embryo Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has received a number of awards and honors, among others the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, New York (USA), the Prix Louis Jeantet de Médecine, Geneva (Switzerland), the Ernst Schering Price, Berlin (Germany), and the Nobel Price for Medicine or Physiology in 1995. She is recipient of honorary degrees of the Universities Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Rockefeller (USA), Utrecht (the Netherlands), UC London, Oxford and Sheffield (UK), Freiburg and Munich (Germany). Memberships: foreign member of the Royal Society, London (UK), and the National Academy, Washington (USA); member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the Leopoldina, Halle, the Berlin/Brandenburg Academy, the Order Pour Le Mérite, Berlin, and the Académie des Sciences, Paris. She was secretary general of the EMBO until 2009 and president of the Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte until 2008. She has been a member of the Senate of the Max Planck Society, the National Ethics Council of Germany and several advisory boards and committees. Since 2005 she is member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC). In 2010 she was elected to be vice chancellor of the Order Pour Le Mérite. In 2004 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has founded the CNV-Foundation to support women in Science with children.