Born in Rauma, Finland, I grew up in little towns in Sweden and in Flensburg, Germany at the border to Denmark. Having lived only in small towns I was craving the excitement of a large city and therefore I moved to Berlin to study Biology at the Humboldt-University. During my first two years there, I developed three core scientific interests: genetics, neuroscience and computer science. It was clear from the beginning that I want to work on medically relevant topics and therefore I decided to conduct my diploma thesis (equivalent to Master’s thesis) on genetic markers of a rare disease. Since the disease is most common in South Africa, I spend three months with Prof. Michelle Ramsay at the Witswatersrand University in Johannisburg. After my diploma in Biology, I started my Ph.D. in Andreas Nieder’s group at the Hertie Institute in Tuebingen. Here, I got introduced to the importance of basic science (Grundlagenforschung) for advancing medical therapies. Only if we understand the working principles of the brain we will be able to detect faulty circuits and develop new therapies. In detail, I learnt how to do in vivo electrophysiology in awake behaving monkeys to study how neurons in prefrontal and parietal cortex encode cognitive categories, namely numerical values. After I completed my Ph.D. in 2008, I joined Karl Deisseroth’s (Optogenetics and Psychiatric Diseases) and Krishna’ Shenoy’s (Motor Control and Neuroprosthetics) labs at Stanford University as a post-doctoral fellow, thus combining my two scientific backgrounds in genetics and neuroscience. In the Deisseroth Lab, I learned to integrate optogenetics with behavior, electrophysiology, and imaging to study how genetically- and anatomically-targeted neurons can be modulated by light to alter behavior in rodents. In the Shenoy lab I got introduced to the dynamical systems theory in the motor system and neuroprosthetics. As a joint postdoc in both labs I combined the research fields and established optogenetics in non-human primates. It was during that time that I defined my scientific future: The combination of optogenetics and neuroprosthetics. In October 2011 I started my new lab at the Ernst Struengmann Institute (in Cooperation with Max Planck Society) where I investigate sensory-motor loops with optogenetic and electrophysiological tools to develop advanced neural prostheses. I am currently in the process of recruiting students, postdocs and lab technicians who share my passion for science and my understanding that serving the society by advancing our knowledge for curing diseases is worth long nights of work.