He graduated in Biology and Chemistry and received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Strasbourg in 1969. His post-doctoral training was at the Institut für Physiologische Chemie at Philipps-Universität in Marburg an der Lahn, Germany in 1973-1974.
He was Research Assistant at CNRS from 1964 to 1968, and became Research Associate in 1969. From 1974 he is Research Director of CNRS. Between 1978 and 2005 he was Director of the CNRS research Unit 9022 “Immune Response and Development in Insects”, and from 1993 to 2005 he was Director of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of CNRS in Strasbourg.
Jules Hoffmann has served on numerous French and International Committees, and is a member of several Academies, amongst which are the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the French National Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences.