Silvère van der Maarel was trained as a Human Geneticist at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands where he was involved in the positional cloning of X-linked disease genes. He continued this work at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biology in Berlin, Germany, for one year. The identification of genetic rearrangements at long distances from disease genes during his training sparked his interest in long-range gene regulation. In 1997, he joined the Department of Human Genetics in Leiden (LUMC, the Netherlands) to continue the ongoing studies of the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD). In 2006, he was appointed as a Professor of Medical Epigenetics and since 2012 he has served as the chair of the Department of Human Genetics at the LUMC.