Professional Biography


Rob Hooft was educated as a structural chemist at Utrecht University under Professor Jan Kroon in the Bijvoet Laboratory. His major had the subject of Maximum Entropy in X-ray diffraction. Rob did his PhD studies in the same lab, on the subject of structure-activity relationships of sweet tasting compounds. For this study he developed several (statistical) methods to facilitate the simulation of sugar-like molecules. He spent 4 years at the EMBL in Heidelberg where he developed tools to verify the quality of protein structures in the group of Gert Vriend and Chris Sander. He joined the company Nonius in 1997 where he developed application software for a diffraction system with a CCD detector.

When Nonius and Bruker AXS merged in 2001, Rob led the team of developers for the company in Delft. This team developed components and systems for X-ray diffraction analysis. Rob treated management as a new scientific subject that he tried to master. Even as a manager, Rob never lost the attraction to solving X-ray structures and improvements of algorithms.

When Bruker AXS has stopped their R&D in the Netherlands, Rob moved back to the academic world and joined the Netherlands center for Bioinformatics, NBIC, as CTO for the service-directed program. Via a two year excursion to the Netherlands eScience Center from where he ran the data program of the Dutch Techcenter for Life Sciences (DTL) he is now working for DTL itself managing the Dutch tasks in the European ELIXIR infrastructure for life science data. As part of these roles, Rob has been building up a body of knowledge on FAIR research data stewardship since early 2014.