Katja Petzold was born in Dresden, Eastern Germany, in 1981. She obtained her Biochemistry/Biotechnology degree in protein folding from the Martin-Luther University Halle, Germany in 2005. Thereafter, she received her Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from Umeå University,Sweden in 2009 working with Prof. J. Schleucher, where she started her work on NMR method development for nucleic acids as well as for phospholipids. She then spent a short time as researcher at the University of KwaZulu/Natal, Durban, South Africa learning about small molecule drug design while establishing advanced small molecule NMR. After that she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with H.M. Al-Hashimi at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studying RNA dynamics and the structure of RNA excited states, resulting in two Nature publications. In 2014, she moved to the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, where she is currently an Associate Professor of Biophysics. She has received a number of prizes, e.g. the Ampere prize of the NMR society and the Wallenberg Academy Fellow and secured prestigious funding. Her group’s research focuses on the study of RNA dynamics of disease related systems, such as ribosomes or microRNA (latest Nature publication), including viruses. The group works both on method development for NMR and RNA biophysics as well as identifying regulatory mechanism in RNA based on structural changes, so called excited states.