Following her Biology studies in Frankfurt and the biochemistry in Tubingen, from 1985 to 2014 she led the Tubingen Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology. In 1995 with Eric Wieschaus and Edward Lewis, Nüsslein-Volhard was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for the discovery of the genes that control the development of humans and animals and the discovery of the morphogenetic gradient in fruit flies for which she had and has been awarded other prizes too. In 2004 she established the Christiane-Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation for young women with children. She leads a research group at the Tubingen Max Planck Institute on colour patterns in fish.
In cooperation with the Goethe Institut