studied medicine in Cologne and at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He completed his doctoral degree in neurophysiology. Since 2005, he has been director of the Neuroscience Research Center of the Charité and Professor for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. Schmitz is spokesperson of the DZNE Berlin, the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin. In 2011, he became the first Einstein Professor. He has received several awards for his teaching and research.