Roland Pieters studied organic chemistry at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (MSc. 1990) where he worked with Prof. Ben Feringa and also as an exchange student at Trinity University in San Antonio (USA). He completed his Ph.D. at MIT with Prof. Julius Rebek Jr. in 1995 and was an NWO Talent post-doctoral at the ETH-Zürich with Prof. Francois Diederich. After another post doctoral stay (University of Groningen) he joined Utrecht University as an assistant professor in 1998 and obtained a fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and coordinated the EU project POLYCARB. He became an associate professor in 2005, obtained a VICI grant in 2008, and was promoted to full professor in 2010.
His current research interests at the department of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery are directed towards glycodrugs, by studying the interference with protein-carbohydrate interactions using multivalent systems of varying architectures including those with rigid spacers, for targets such as viral and bacterial adhesion proteins and toxins, galectins and glycosidases, Furthermore his group uses glyco- and peptide-microarrays in chemical biology and drug discovery e.g. on O-GlcNAcylation.