Dirk Trauner was born and grew up in Linz, Austria. After studying biology and then biochemistry at the University of Vienna, he joined Professor Johann Mulzer’s group at the Free University of Berlin to pursue natural product synthesis. In the late 1990s, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 2000, Dirk joined the University of California, Berkeley, where he rose through the ranks to become an Associate Professor of chemistry. In summer of 2008, he moved to the University of Munich, where he currently resides as a Professor for Chemical Biology and Genetics. His research interests range from organic synthesis and natural products to chemical neurobiology and optochemical genetics.