Hans Widmer graduated in chemistry and obtained a PhD in structural biology (NMR spectroscopy) under the supervision of Kurt Wüthrich at the ETH Zurich. In his postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco, he applied in vivo NMR to investigate brain ischemia in rats. In 1989 he joined Sandoz in Basel (now: Novartis) as a research scientist and assumed leadership positions in analytical sciences, protein structure, and applications to lead finding and structure-based drug discovery. He also developed approaches to strengthen the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary project teams through internal and external collaborations. In his current role as Program Director, Industry-Academia Liaison, he fosters scientific interactions between industry and academia.