He obtained his PhD degree in 1998 and received the ‘Andries Miedema’ Award for best PhD-research in the field of condensed matter physics in the Netherlands. From 1998 to 1999 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, collaborating with Steven Boxer and Julie Theriot. He joined the MIT faculty in 2000. In 2001, he was named an Alfred Sloan Research Fellow, a Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and received the NSF CAREER award. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004, to full Professor in 2008 (MIT) and received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. From 2009 to 2012 he was the director of the NIH/NCI-funded Physical Sciences-Oncology centre at MIT. In 2012 he started as director of the Hubrecht Institute and was awarded an ERC Advanced grant and a NWO VICI award. In 2014 he became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.