Erwin Wagner obtained his PhD in 1978 from the Biochemistry Department of the Technical University of Graz, Austria. He studied gene regulation during bacterial virus T1 infection at the Max-Planck Institut for Genetics in Berlin and at the University in Innsbruck under the mentorship of Manfred Schweiger. From 1979 to 1983 he was a Max-Kade Fellow and Research Associate at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he worked with Beatrice Mintz on gene transfer and gene control in mouse development. He took up a position as a group leader at the EMBL in Heidelberg from 1983 to 1988, where he began to work on the role of the proto-oncogene c-Fos in cell differentiation. Since late 1988 he has been a Senior Scientist and more recently Deputy Director at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna. He has been awarded the EMBO medal for the development of gene transfer techniques into the mouse, a Max-Planck Research Prize and the prestigious Wittgenstein Prize from the Austrian Ministry of Science. His main research interests are the analysis of gene function in mice using modern tools of molecular genetics. One major emphasis is the genetic analysis of the AP-1 complex with regard to its role in normal and pathological development. He has made important contributions in defining the role of AP-1 proteins in developmental processes, in bone and liver biology and tumor formation. In addition to his research on AP-1, he has also applied the transgenic mouse model to study genomic instability and growth factor signaling in blood vessel formation and epithelial development.