Marcel Mayor was born in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1965 and grew up at the lake of Thun (Switzerland).
He studied chemistry at the university of Berne (Switzerland) with diploma in 1991 and dissertation in 1995 on "Vitamin B12 Derivates with peripheral Ion receptors" under the direction of Prof. Dr. Rolf Scheffold and Prof. Dr. Lorenz Walder.
1995-1996 Postdoc fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation with Prof. Dr. Jean-Marie Lehn in the Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (France) working on the design and synthesis of reducible cryptatium compounds.
1996-1997 Scientist in the Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg investigating molecular wires.
1997-1998 Maître de Confèrence invité at the Collège de France in Paris and at the Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg.
Since 1998 research group leader at the Institute for Nanotechnology at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Karlsruhe.
In 2004 he got the Erwin Schrödinger award together with Frank Hennrich, Ralph Krupke and Heiko Weber for the common research on "Molecules for future Nanoelectronics".
2005-2011 associate professor for chemistry at the University of Basel.
Since 2011 he is full professor of chemistry at the University of Basel.
In 2011 he became a member of the research council of the Swiss National Research Foundation (Division II).
Since 2011 he is research dean of the faculty of natural sciences of the University of Basel.