Ralf-Peter Jansen obtained his Diploma in Biology in 1989 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. He then became interested in molecular cell biology and moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg to study ribosome biogenesis and the function of nucleolar proteins. He obtained his PhD in 1993 at the University of Heidelberg. He then moved to the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, where he first worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Kim Nasmyth on mating-type switching in yeast and later as staff scientist on mRNA localization. In 1998 he established his own laboratory at the Center for Molecular Biology Heidelberg (ZMBH), and his group has been studying the molecular mechanisms and biology of mRNA transport processes since then. In late 2002 he was appointed as associate professor for biochemistry (C3) at the Gene Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. Since 2008 he holds a full professorship at the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen.