«I was always very fortunate with my mentors.»

Anne Müller

Prof. Dr. Anne Müller

Biologist, Molecular Cancer Research. Anne Müller was born in Germany. She is married with two children.


1990–1996 Degree in Biology, Julius Maximilian University,
Würzburg, Germany
1996 Master’s degree in Biology, Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg, Germany
1996–2000 Ph.D. in Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for
Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
2000–2001 Postdoctoral studies, Max Planck Institute for
Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
2001–2006 Postdoctoral studies, Stanford University, USA
2006-2012 Assistant professor in Molecular Cancer Research, UZH
since 2012 Associate professor in Molecular Cancer Rearch, UZH

Prof. Dr. Anne Müller

Why did you decide to become an academic?
Why do some germs make people ill and not others, even if they are closely related? Even as a student I was fascinated by this question. But I didn’t initially envisage an academic career. What swayed me was the amount of freedom available to researchers and the constant intellectual challenge. 

What do you like about your work?
I find practical work in the lab hugely enjoyable. I am able to recruit my doctoral students from among the top young research scientists in Europe. It’s amazing to be able to interact with these highly motivated young researchers with their thirst for knowledge.

Who has given you the most support during your career? And what about in your personal life?
I was very fortunate with my mentors, who gave me a great deal of freedom. I’m particularly grateful for the trust placed in me by our institute director in Zurich. I wouldn’t be able to handle all my professional and family commitments without my husband, who is always willing to roll up his sleeves and help out at home.

How do you make sure you have a good work-life balance?
My work is a positive part of my life. As an academic with two young children I have to accomplish the same as my colleagues who don’t have family commitments, even though I spend less time at work. I do this with a lot of focus and optimum time management and by finishing off work in the evenings.

What advice would you give to ambitious young female researchers?
The most important thing is to be passionate about your subject. You should publish your first paper as soon as possible and have a real ambition to be the best. It is possible to combine family with an academic career as long as you have the right partner.

Department of Molecular Cancer Research
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich
Tel. +41 44 635 34 74
mueller (at) imcr.uzh.ch