Karin Moelling is currently a retired professor, still affiliated with the University of Zürich and the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Genetics, Berlin, and the Heinrich–Pette Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg.
K Moelling was trained as nuclear physicist with emphasis on elementary particles in astrophysics. She turned to molecular biology during a fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, supported by an elite scholarship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. She received her PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Virology at Tübingen. She did two research postdocs at the Robert-Koch-Institute, Berlin (1973-1975), and at the Institute of Virology, University of Giessen. In 1977 she received her Habilitation at the University of Giessen in Biophysics on “Replication of Retroviruses” with emphasis on the RNase H.
From 1976 till 1981 she was the Head of an Independent Research Group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, on oncogenes, protooncogenes, cancer and HIV with support, among others, by a Core Grant of the M Scheel-Foundation on Cancer. After being a Heisenberg Fellow and permanent Senior Researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, she became the Director of the Institute of Medical Virology (IMV) and Full Professor of the Medical Faculty at the University of Zürich in Switzerland in 1993. She held this position till the regular retirement in 2008. Between 2008 and 2009 she was Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Berllin, and from 2008 till 2011 a Group Leader on Viruses and Cancer at the University of Zurich. During 2011 she was at the Institute of Advaced Study in Princeton, USA.
Her research focuses on retroviruses and cancer from molecular mechanisms to target identification and drug design. She is co-founder of several Biotech Co. in Germany and the USA. She is a selected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. She received several awards e.g Swiss Award in 2007, and four prices: Czerny Price, Richtzenhain Price, Meyenburg Price and Ansman Price. She was selected member of the Biotechnology Council of Chancellor H. Kohl and Innovation Fond of the City of Berlin, and for many years Head of the Schrödinger Award Committee on Interdisciplinary Research of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft. She was selected as Heisenberg Fellow of the German Science Foundation. She published over 230 scientific papers, several journalistic articles and two books.