Pascal Fries studied medicine from 1991 to 1993 at the University of Saarland and from 1993 to 1998 at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. For his doctoral thesis, he worked from 1993 to 1998 in the department of Prof. Wolf Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt and completed his dissertation in 2000 at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. From 1999 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Desimone in the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda in the USA. From 2001 to 2009 he was Principal Investigator at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging of the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, where he also holds a professorship since 2008. In the same year he became a scientific member of the Max Planck Society and moved to Frankfurt in 2009 as founding director of the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in cooperation with the Max Planck Society in Frankfurt.