I received my MSc in Theoretical Physics from Utrecht University in 1981, where I also earned my PhD in 1986 with a thesis entitled "On the Theory of Hard Convex Particle Fluids" supervised by Daan Frenkel and Theo W. Ruijgrok. After a brief stay at the Institute for Physical- and Colloid Chemistry in the group of Henk Lekkerkerker, I moved to the NCRPS "Demokritos" in Athens for an extended postdoc in the Department of Materials Science working on the theory of disordered magnets. In 1992, I returned to the Netherlands to become project leader "Theory of Complex Fluids" at AMOLF. In 1997, I received tenure there and rechristened my group "Theory of Biomolecular Matter" to reflect my gradual shift of interest towards biological physics. Since 2001, I also hold the adjunct chair in Theoretical Cell Physics at Wageningen University, which is associated with the laboratory of Cell Biology in the Department of Plant Sciences.