Robert van Gorcom graduated in Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University (1981) and received his PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Amsterdam (1997) on the analysis of gene expression in filamentous fungi.
The first 20 years he worked at TNO (the Dutch Organization of Applied Scientific Research) as a project leader and department manager on microbial and plant biotechnology.
In 2000 he became managing director of the glasshouse horticulture research stations of Wageningen University & Research. In 2002 he joined RIKILT (the food safety research institute of Wageningen University & Research) where he was appointed general director from January 2010 onwards.
In 2019 RIKILT merged with the food & feed safety laboratory of the NVWA (the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) and the new institutute, part of WUR, was named Wageningen Food Safety Research. Van Gorcom was appointed as the new director of this institute. On 1-1-2023 he was succeeded by Dr Birgit Loos and became WUR internal advisor.