Javier Benítez obtained his PhD in Biology (Human Genetics) from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1982. He completed postdoctoral studies at the Department of Physiopathology, University of Ulm (Germany), 1985; and then at the Department of Human Genetics, University of Munster (Germany), 1990; as well as at the Department of Ophtalmogenetics, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He was appointed as Honorary Consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London (UK), 2004, and as visiting scientist at Columbia University in New York, 2009.
Benítez spent several years working on the cytogenetics of human tumours at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, and from 1995 his group focused specifically on hereditary breast cancer and the characterisation of genes responsible for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2) and the search for new genes (BRCAX).
In 1997 he was appointed as Head of the Human Genetics Service at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz. He joined the CNIO in the year 2000 as Director of the Human Genetics Department and in 2005 was appointed Director of the Human Cancer Genetics Programme.
Over the past few years his research has focused on familial cancer in general as well as the search for low penetrance genes associated with cancer using high throughput technologies.
Benítez has been President of the Spanish Society of Human Genetics and is currently an active member of various scientific societies and reviewer for various scientific publications and funding agencies. He has been Professor of Human Genetics at the Universidad Francisco de Victoria in Madrid, and is Honorary Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is also Director of the Spanish National Genotyping Centre (CEGEN, Madrid) since 2004.