Ruth Brenk is a pharmacist by training. In 2003, she obtained her PhD from the University of Marburg (Germany). The research that led to her thesis was conducted under the guidance of Prof. Gerhard Klebe. Afterwards, she joined the group of Prof. Brian Shoichet at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as a postdoc. This research stay was funded by the Ernst Schering Foundation. In 2005, she became a Lecturer at the University of Dundee (UK). There, she headed the computational chemistry group of the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) and was a member of the decision-making core group of the unit. In addition, she also started her own research group in the area of structure-based drug design. In 2012, she became Junior professor at the Institute of Pharmacy at the Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany) and in 2015 she was appointed as full professor at the University of Bergen (Norway) where she is leading a research group in the area of structure-based drug design and molecular recognition. She is also heading the core facility for Biophysics, Structural Biology, and Screening (BiSS).
In 2013, she was awarded the Young Investigator Price of the German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG).