Benedikt graduated in biology from the University of Munich (1992) and obtained a PhD from the faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the same university (1996), studying activity-dependent gene expression in immature hippocampal neurons under supervision of the late Hans Thoenen at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.
He then joined the laboratory of Mu-ming Poo at the University of California San Diego as fellow of the Human Frontier Science Program to study rapid effects of nerve growth factors on synapses and neuronal growth cones.
After a brief stay at the Karolinska Institute with Jonas Frisén, he returned to Munich in 2000 to study neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. In 2003, he joined the laboratory of Magdalena Götz at the Helmholtz Center Munich, and in 2005 he became lecturer in Physiological Genomics at the University Munich. Together with Magdalena, he discovered the capacity of proneural factors Neurogenin-2 and Achaete-scute complex like-1 to reprogram astrocytes of the mouse cortex. In 2011, Benedikt was appointed Professor of Physiological Chemistry at the University Medical Center Mainz.
In 2018, Benedikt moved to the UK, where he established his laboratory at the Centre of Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London as Professor of Developmental Neurobiology.
In 2021 he established a satellite laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute. In collaboration with François Guillemot (Crick), Benedikt’s satellite lab at the Crick aims at deconstructing the molecular trajectories of glial cells undergoing conversion into induced neurons.
Benedikt holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and an ERC Advanced grant.