Professor Baumeister obtained his PhD from the University of Düsseldorf in 1973. During the academic year 1981/82 he completed a fellowship at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, as a Heisenberg Fellow. In 1982 he joined the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried as a group leader (C3). Since 1988 he has been a Scientific Member of the MPG and Director of the Department of Structural Biology. Currently he is a member of the Board of Managing Directors. In 2000 he was a Moore Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
Professor Baumeister’s main interest is the development of new tools and methods for the structural characterization of molecules and cells. He is particularly interested in the development of electron cryotomography for structural studies of molecular and supramolecular structures in situ, i. e. in their cellular environment. A major focus is the molecular machinery of protein quality control.
- Chair of the Council of ESFRI project INSTRUCT (since 2012)
- Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy (since 2005)
- Member of the Research Council of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland (2000-2009)
- Board Member of the Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board of the Medical Research Council (MRC), London (2000-2004)
- President of the Committee of European Microscopy Societies
(now: European Microscopy Society) (1992-1998)