Prof. Riesner held the Chair of Biophysics at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany from 1980 to 2007. He has also held the positions of Dean of the Science Faculty and Vice-President of Research. In 2007 he became member of the university’s Board of Trustees. He worked as a research fellow at Princeton University and held a guest professorship at the department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. Prof. Riesner is a co-founder of Qiagen N.V., Netherlands, was a member and from 1999 to 2014 chairman of the Supervisory Board. He was also a member of the supervisory boards of NewLab Bioquality AG, Erkrath, Direvo AG, Köln, and Alantos AG, Heidelberg. Prof. Riesner was a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Friedrich-Löffler-Institut, Isle of Riems, and PrioNet and APRI, both Canada. He received the Max-Planck Forschungspreis for International Co-operation and the Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse from the Bundespresident of Germany.