Irene Burghardt received her PhD in chemistry in 1992 from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems, Brussels, Belgium, in 1992–1995, followed by research fellowships at the Universities of Bonn and Heidelberg in 1996–1998. From 1999 to 2011, she held a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) research position at École normale supérieure, Paris, and was appointed CNRS research director in 2007. In 2011, she moved to Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, where she holds a full professorship in theoretical chemistry. Her research addresses quantum molecular dynamics and nonequilibrium phenomena, with a focus on materials and biological systems.