Dr Ralf Hoffmann is Principal at Philips Research in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He holds a PhD in Protein Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and an MSc in Biology from the University of Constance, Germany. After his time as a Postdoc at the University of Constance and at the University Hospital in Ulm, Germany, he moved to Sandoz Pharma, Basel, Switzerland to analyse the function and regulation of phosphodiesterases in inflammatory processes associated with asthma. After the merger between Sandoz Pharma and Ciba Geigy, he was working on target discovery for therapeutic applications in the field of Neuroscience. In 1998, Ralf left Novartis to build and lead a team performing high-throughput discovery of therapeutic targets for neurological diseases at Biofrontera Pharmaceuticals, Leverkusen, a German biotech start-up. He became a Director of Technology development and took over responsibility to develop a high-throughput expression data analysis platform to automatically analyse large-scale qPCR data for quality aspects and disease-relevant gene expression signatures. In 2003, he joined Philips Research in Germany, as a Principal Scientist responsible for the development of opportunities in the area of Molecular Diagnostics and Molecular Imaging. In 2004, he moved to Philips Research in Eindhoven to establish a project aiming at the identification of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer diseases, in particular prostate cancer. As a PI of the prostate cancer biomarker activity at Philips, he was responsible for a number of external clinical and academic prostate cancer related collaborations on the European level. He was appointed honorary Senior Lecturer (Associated Professor) at Glasgow University in 2009 due to his substantial role in supervision of several Philips-BBSRC funded PhD students.