I have a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Rostock, an M.A. in Sociology, Biology and French from the University of Freiburg i.Br. and a licence in Sociology from the University René Descartes (Sorbonne) in Paris. After my education as a sociologist, I continued in 2001 as a PhD-Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock. There I got a formation in demography and concentrated for my dissertation on socioeconomic differences in health and mortality, especially among the elderly in Denmark and the USA. From 2004 to 2008, I was a research scientist at Rostock University, then I got a grant from the European Commission to participate in the postdoctoral Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2008-2009. From 2009 to 2015 I worked at the Department of Public Health at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Since 2013, I am project director of a project on the causal relation between health and socioeconomic status funded by a starting grant of the European Research Council (ERC) and hosted at the EUI, where I am a part-time professor. In November 2014, I got my habilitation on "International Comparative Research on Health" at the university of Rostock. 

My research interests are social inequalities and health inequalities in an international comparative perspective, demographic change, and health relevant aspects of social policy.