Johan received his is PhD-degree at Wageningen University in 1985. From 1985 until 2015, he worked in different roles at Wageningen University in the domain of animal breeding and genetics. In 1998, he was promoted to personal chair and in 2002 he became full professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics. In that period, he (co-) supervised around 90 PhD students and (co-)authored 350 papers in scientific journals. The emphasis in his career at Wageningen University changed from doing research himself, to training and coaching the new generation, to building and managing a team of professionals. In January 2016, he started as Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Hendrix Genetics a global multi-species animal genetics and technology company.