Hans Acha-Orbea studied biochemistry at the ETH in Zurich and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1984 with H. Hengartner, H. Zuber and R. Zinkernagel. After a postdoctoral fellowship with H. O. MacDevitt at Stanford University in California, USA he came to the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch as an Assistant Member and START fellow in 1989. Since 1994 he had a joint appointment as an Associate Member at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry. Since 2008 he was Full Professor at the Department of Immunobiology (formerly Biochemistry). The main focus of his laboratory was research on dendritic cells with special interests in pathogen-host interaction, immune response and immune tolerance.