Horst Domdey is one of the defining personalities of the German start-up and life science scene. After studying biology and chemistry in Erlangen, his scientific career took him to the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried for his PhD, as a post-doctoral fellow at ISREC in Epalinges/Lausanne, at the University of California/San Diego and at the Caltech in Pasadena. He was a group leader at the Gene Center and has been Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Munich since 1994. In 1998, he became Managing Director of BioM AG and in this capacity made the Munich region a center for company start-ups in the life sciences. From 1998 to 2008 he was also Scientific Managing Director of the Innovation and Start-up Centre for Biotechnology (IZB) in Martinsried near Munich. Horst Domdey is co-founder of several biotechnology companies. He is a member of numerous advisory and coordination committees in Germany and internationally. His scientific interests lie in the field of RNA biology, but more generally in the field of translation, i.e. the transfer of findings from basic research into biomedical applications. Horst Domdey was awarded the Bavarian State Medal for special services to the Bavarian economy and the Order Pro meritis scientiae et litterarum.