Studied chemistry and physics at the University of Cologne, diploma in solid state chemistry (1989), doctorate in physical chemistry (1994). Postdoctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart (Germany) and the CNRS in Nantes (France), assistant professor (C1) at the University of Mainz in 1996; full professor there in 2003 (C4). Scientific Member and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden.
Research foci are the design, synthesis, and physical characterization of new quantum materials, in particular, Heusler compounds, and topological materials for energy conversion and spintronics.
2001 Order of Merit (Landesverdienstorden) of the state Rheinland Pfalz for the foundation of the first NAT-LAB for school students at the University Mainz with a focus in female school students
fellow of the IEEE Magnetic Society,American Physical Society, Institute of Physics, London, CIFAR Canada and the Materials Research Society of India
2018 member of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, and acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering
2011 (and again in 2017) ERC Advanced grants
2019 APS James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials together with Bernevig (Princeton) and Dai (Hongkong)
2020 elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
2021 elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
2022 Max Born Prize and Medal of DPG (German Physical Society) and IOP (Institute of Physics), and the Wilhelm-Ostwald-Medal of the Saxon Academy of Science.