Born 1968 in Sindelfingen near Stuttgart. Study of physics and philosophy in Stuttgart and Göttingen. PhD at Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry/University Braunschweig (1993), postdoctoral fellow at MPI for Biophysical Chemistry (1996-1997), postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (1997-1999), Junior Group Leader at MPI for Biophysical Chemistry (1999-2002), Full Professor of Biophysics at Dresden University of Technology (2002-2012). Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (since 2011).
Petra Schwille has been honored with numerous awards for her research including the Philip Morris Research Prize (2004) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG (2010).