Viola Priesemann is a physicist and neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the University of Göttingen. After research projects at the Ecole Normale Superieure Paris (France) and the Caltech (USA), she obtained her PhD at the MPI for Brain Research and the University of Frankfurt. As postdoc and Fellow at the Bernstein Center Göttingen she applied for an independent Max Planck Research Group, which started in 2017 at the MPI in Göttingen. Viola Priesemann studies self-organization and learning in living and artificial networks, illuminating the basic mechanisms that shape collective information processing. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she investigated the spread of SARS-CoV-2, quantified the effectiveness of interventions, and derived containment strategies. Viola Priesemann coordinated several position and overview papers on the COVID-19 pandemic and is member of the advisory board of the German government. Her work has been recognized by several awards, including the Communitas Award of the Max-Planck-Society, the “Niedersächsische Wissenschaftspreis”, the “Medaille für naturwissenschaftliche Publizistik” of the German Physical Society (DPG), the Dannie-Heineman-Award, the Arthur-Burkhardt-Preis and the Lise-Meitner-Lecture of the DPG & ÖPG. She is board member of the Campus Intitute for Data Science, member of the Cluster of Excellence “Multiscale Bioimaging”, of the the Max Planck – University of Toronto Centre for Neural Science and Technology, and of “Die Junge Akademie” of the National Academy Leopoldina and BBAW.