Patrick Cramer studied chemistry at Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Bristol and Cambridge. After his doctorate at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble he joined Roger Kornberg as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. In 2001, he obtained a tenure-track professorship at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and became a full professor of biochemistry there in 2004. He served as director of the Gene Center Munich (2004-2013) and as Chair of EMBL Council (2016-2019). Since 2014 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen.