Following my study of veterinary medicine at the Free University of Berlin (FU) from 1970-1975, my approbation in 1976 and a post-grad study at the Institute for Veterinary Physiology of the FU until August 1977 I started to work as scientific employee at the Robert von Ostertag-Institute of the Bundesgesundheitsamt (Federal Health Office - BGA). Until the end of 1982 I had carried out several research projects on the subject of animal welfare during stunning and slaughter (electrical stunning of poultry and pigs, captive bolt and concussion stunning of sheep) and submitted my doctoral thesis. 1983 I joined the Meat Hygiene Unit of the BGA where I dealt with meat hygiene legislation as well as general and specific hygiene problems during the harvesting of meat while continuing my experimental research on stunning and slaughter. In the late 1980ies I became interested in BSE which was considered by the BGA as a potentially emerging zoonosis. In the following years until the dissolution of the BGA in June 1994 BSE would play an important role within the frame of my task as communication assistant of the Robert-von-Ostertag institute.
In the BgVV, one of the successors of the BGA, I was transferred to the unit "Assistance with hygiene inspections in EU-approved establishments". Due to critique expressed towards the director of the BgVV, however, I was not officially appointed head of this unit until 1996. My main task was to organize EU-inspections in establishments harvesting, handling and processing foods of animal origin and to take care that the inspection teams would be accompanied by a competent BgVV veterinarian on behalf of the Federal Health Ministry. In July 1998 the Federal Health Ministry officially delegated this task to the BgVV. Besides taking part in numerous hygiene inspections in slaughter houses, cutting plants and meat processing plants I also accompanied the EU inspection teams that in September 1997 investigated the illegal export of British beef and in December 2000 checked on the handling of the recently implemented SRM measures. I also continued to work on welfare and hygiene aspects of stunning and slaughter and forwarded my experience in several seminars for Official Veterinarians mainly to the veterinary colleagues working in the field. Since September 2001 the assessment of TSE risks during harvesting and processing of foods re-emerged as a main subject within the frame of my professional duties.When the BgVV ceased to exist on 31st of October 2002 its employees that until then had exclusively carried out risk management tasks were moved into the newly founded Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) (Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety), while the others that had worked in the area of risk assessment and research remained in the institute renamed Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR) (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment). My objections against being transferred to the BVL - which would have meant the end of my scientific research - were finally successful. Following a three-month-excursion into the BVL to smoothen the transfer of the EC inspection tasks I returned to the BfR on the 01.02.2003. There I continued to draft TSE expertises and organised the scientific program of the 5th World Congress Foodborne Infections and Intoxications which took place from 7 - 11 June 2004 in the BfR. From May 2003 to the end of February 2005 I was also deputy of our Gender Equality Officer. In the wake of the reorganisation of the BfR I moved into the coordinating unit of the "Biological Safety" Department where I keep working on the subject of TSE. Since March 2005 I am Gender Equality Officer.