Christine Petit studied medicine at Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, and basic biological sciences, genetics and biochemistry at Orsay University, and gained her Ph.D at Institut Pasteur. In 2002 she was appointed Professor in Genetics and Cellular Physiology at College de France. She is now head of the Genetics and Physiology of Hearing Laboratory at Institut Pasteur.
Her early work included research on human sex chromosome inversion, smell and vision. In 1994 she began publishing work on hereditary deafness, leading to new experimental models with which she has revealed the roles of various genes in sound processing. In 2018, she oversaw the opening of the new Hearing Institute, Paris, for interdisciplinary neuroscience research around hearing.
Honours include the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine (2001), the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2006), and foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA, 2016).