Wouter de Laat (Hubrecht Institute & Oncode Institute, Prof. in Biomedical Genomics at UMC Utrecht) obtained his PhD (1998) in molecular biology at the Rotterdam Erasmus University. Here he started his own research group in 2000 to work on gene regulation and epigenetics, which he moved to the Hubrecht Institute in 2008. He pioneers the use and development of novel 3C technologies to understand long-range gene regulation in the 3D genome. Research highlights include first demonstration of chromatin loops between genes and enhancers, the discovery of CTCF as the key DNA architectural protein, the development of widely used 4C technology and multi-contact 4C. Additionally, they were the first to demonstrate the power of these methods for the detection of DNA rearrangements and for haplotyping, enabling clinical applications such as non-invasive prenatal diagnosis for monogenic diseases and translocation detection in cancers. Wouter de Laat is founder of the biotech company Cergentis, received national (VIDI, VICI) and international (ERC) career grants and is an elected EMBO member.