Katharina Franke obtained her Master´s degree from PennState University, and her PhD from Freie Universität Berlin. After postdoctoral stays at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and Freie Universtität Berlin, she became a junior professor and later on a professor for experimental physics at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Her group studies physical and chemical properties of single molecules and nanostructures at surfaces by scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy at low temperatures. One of the major goals is to understand the interplay of magnetic adsorbates with superconducting substrates.