Jan van Ruitenbeek received his Ph.D. in physics from the Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 1985. He performed his postdoctoral research work with the Max-Planck Institute at the High Field Magnet Laboratory in Grenoble, France. Since 1988 he has held an appointment with the Leiden Institute of Physics at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and in 2003 he became full professor. In 1994 he spent his sabbatical with the Quantronics group at the CEA in Saclay, France. He pioneered the break junction technique for atomic and molecular wires. His current research interests are in the field of low-temperature experimental physics with a focus on electron transport in nanostructures.