Monika Ritsch-Marte did her PhD on non-classical light in New Zealand. Returning to Austria she carried on with Theoretical Quantum Optics, receiving her venia legendi at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Innsbruck. In 1998 she accepted a chair in Medical Physics in Innsbruck and started to build up the Biomedical Optics Lab. Her interests include holographic optical tweezers, phase contrast microscopy, and CARS microscopy. Monika's lab has suggested using spatial light modulators to customize contrast enhancement in microscopy and has developed a non-scanning version of CARS microscopy. She currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant and has received several scientific awards. 2007-2008 she presided over the Austrian Physical Society as the first female President, and recently she has been elected OSA Fellow.