Nicolas Winssinger received his B.Sc. in chemistry from Tufts University. He then carried out his doctoral studies under the tutelage of professor KC Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). After his PhD, he remained at Scripps to work in the group of professor P.G. Schultz as an NIH postdoctoral fellow. In 2002, he moved to the Institut de Science et Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Strasbourg University (formerly Université Louis Pasteur) as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he was elected to the Insitut Universitaire de France (IUF). In 2012 he moved to the University of Geneva where he currently is a professor in the department of organic chemistry.
His current research aims to develop enabling methods in chemistry to further our understanding of complex biological networks. An important theme through this research is the use of unnatural nucleic acid (PNA) to program spatial organization and reactivity. A long-term objective is to extend these principles towards complex systems that can emulate some of the fundamental features of living systems. An integral part of these endeavors is the use of bioactive small molecules that can modulate protein function with a particular focus on biologically validated natural products.