Jean Claude Zenklusen was born 1964 in Visp, Switzerland. He earned an MS in biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires in 1990. He received his PhD in cancer biology and genetics from The University of Texas, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, in 1995. In 1996, he took a postdoctoral position at the National Genome Research Institute where, while participating in the Human Genome Project, he cloned two novel tumor suppressor genes. From 2003 until 2009, he was the senior staff scientist at the Neuro-Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute directing the Glioma Molecular Diagnostic Initiative and its companion data portal, Rembrandt. From 2009 until 2013, he served as the scientific program director of the Office of Cancer Genomics, where he oversaw a variety of large-scale projects. In August 2013, he was named director of The Cancer Genome Atlas, the largest-scale cancer genomics project to date.