Erich Nigg received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1980 from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Biochemistry).
Subsequently he carried out research at the University of California in San Diego, the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC). From 1995 he was Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva before he was appointed, in 1999, to a Directorship at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. Since 2009 Erich Nigg is Professor of Cell Biology and Director of the Biozentrum at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
1991: Elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (European Molecular Biology Organization)
1998: Elected Member of the Academia Europaea
2009: Elected member of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences.
Married Elena Sonia Martignoni. Children: Natalia, Simon Emmanuel.