Petra Dersch studied Biology at the University Ulm and Konstanz 1984-1991. She did her PhD in Microbiology at the Max Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology and the University Konstanz in the lab of Erhard Bremer 1995 and her Postdoc in the lab of Ralph Isberg at the Tufts Medical School, Boston 1995-1998. Back in Germany, she established her own research group at the Free University Berlin (1998-2002) and became an independent junior group leader at the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin (2003-2005). In 2005, she habilitated in Microbiology. In 2005 she was appointed as Associate Professor (W2) at the Institute of Microbiology at the Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig and in 2008 as Department Head for Molecular Infection Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and as Full Professor (W3) at the Technical University in Braunschweig. Since 2019, she is Director of the Institute of Infectiology (W3) at the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE) at the Medical Faculty of the University Münster.