Professor Joris Veltman was born in Heerlen, the Netherlands (NL), in 1971. He obtained his B.S. in Molecular Sciences from Wageningen University in 1995 and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Maastricht University in 1998, followed by two post-doctoral fellowships, the first in the Department of Cancer Genetics at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California in San Francisco (1999-2005) and the second in the Department of Human Genetics at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, NL. He was appointed Assistant Professor (2005-2008) then Associate Professor (2008-2013) in the Department of Medical Genetics at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in Nijmegen and is currently Professor of Translational Genomics in the Department of Medical Genetics at Radboud University and Professor in the Department of Clinical Genetics at Maastricht University. He is also Head of the Genome Research Division of the Department of Human Genetics at Radboud University.
Professor Veltman is a Member of the Scientific Program Committee for the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics and its Chairman from 2015-2020, Director of the Next Generation Sequencing course of the European Society of Human Genetics in partnership with the European School of Genetic Medicine, Bologna, Italy, and Associate Editor of the “American Journal of Human Genetics.” He also served as Chair of the Research Oversight Committee of the Genome Canada Project on Personalized Medicine and Genomics project on Epilepsy, Member of the Annual Review Committee of Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative in New York and Member of the review committee, Health Research Council, Academy of Finland, Helsinki.
Professor Veltman is a distinguished molecular geneticist who has been instrumental in the set-up, application and implementation of genomics approaches in medical genetics. Together with Professor Henry Bruner, he developed and experimentally validated the hypothesis that a major part of intellectual disability should be due to de novo gene mutations, given the severity, early onset and genetic heterogeneity of such form of disability. Professors Veltman and Bruner used a combination of genomic microarrays, exome and genomic sequencing approaches in their studies, and their de novo paradigm has since been validated in other neurocognitive phenotypes, autism, epileptic encephalopathies and schizophrenia. Their contribution thus represents one of the recent major breakthroughs in human genetics.
Professor Veltman’s innovative achievements have been recognized by research grants and awards from the Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Union.
Professors Brunner and Veltman were selected as winners in recognition of their prominent role in moving into clinical practice a novel method of analyzing DNA, referred to as next generation sequencing. This has greatly improved the way of identifying genes that cause disease in patients and families suspected of having an inherited disorder. They have also initiated strong international collaboration in both research and diagnostics. They have published widely in outstanding scientific journals and have been recognized by their peers as innovative scientists.