Otmar D. Wiestler was born in Freiburg (Breisgau, Germany) on 6 November 1956. After completing his medical studies at the University of Freiburg, he obtained his Doctorate in Medicine in 1984 (summa cum laude). Between 1984 and 1987 he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Pathology at the University of California, San Diego, USA. He then changed to the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, where he qualified as University Lecturer in Pathology. In 1992 the University of Bonn appointed him as Professor for Neuropathology and Director of the Institut für Neuropathologie where hehelped to establish a large neuroscientific research centre. Between January 2004 and August 2015 Professor Wiestler led, as Chairman of the Executive Board and Scientific Director, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg (DKFZ), which is one of the leading institutions in cancer Research in the world.