Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Maria Leptin, Developmental Biologist and President of the European Research Council (DE)

Maria Leptin is the President of the European Research Council.

Portrait Professor Dr. Dr. Maria Leptin

Professor Maria Leptin


Leptin is a developmental biologist and became a professor at the University of Cologne’s Institute of Genetics in 1994. She has always been interested in understanding how one single cell can develop into a complex multicellular organism. She studies these molecular mechanisms during embryonal development with the help of model organisms such as the fruit fly or the zebrafish. In late 2021, Leptin took office as the President of the European Research Council after having led the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) for twelve years, serving as EMBO’s first female director.

During her career, Maria Leptin has received numerous honours and awards (e.g. an Honorary Doctorate from the EPFL Lausanne, Foreign Member of the Royal Society) and supports excellent research also on scientific advisory boards.
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