Christian was born in Heidenheim/Brenz, Germany. He studied biochemistry at Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, and at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, obtaining his diploma in 2003. He then joined Stefan Jentsch's department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, as a PhD student. He graduated summa cum laude in 2008 with a dissertation on the regulation of cytokinesis in mammalian cells. With a Human Frontier Science Program's post-doctoral fellowship he started pursuing quantitative developmental biology in the laboratory of Zhirong Bao at the Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York. Here, he discovered mechanisms of axial patterning and gastrulation in the invertebrate model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Since his recruitment as an IBC2/Buchmann Institute junior group leader in 2011, research in his lab aims at deciphering molecular mechanisms of cell division, morphogenesis and organismal stress response.