Over the last ten years, Patrick Cramer has given many internationally recognized contributions to the understanding of the mechanism of eukaryotic gene transcription using an integrated structural biology approach. The regulation of gene transcription underlies cell growth and differentiation, and its deregulation causes diseases such as cancers and metabolic diseases. As the director of the Gene Center at the University of Munich, he initiated numerous interdisciplinary approaches as well as many successful collaborations in academia and industry, and strongly contributed to the education and training of the next generation of life scientists. The work of Patrick Cramer was recognized with many prizes, awards, and honours. These include the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Award of the German Research Council (DFG), the highest research award in Germany.