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Ronald D Vale, PhD

Ronald D Vale, PhD

Vice President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Executive Director, HHMI Janelia Research Campus
VVP 2014: Institut Curie (host: Genevieve Almouzni)

Dr Vale’s research has focused on how cargoes are transported within cells using molecular motor proteins. He discovered the motor protein “kinesin,” and his laboratory was involved in elucidated its mechanism of movement using structural and single-molecule approaches. For the past fifteen years, Vale has investigated the mechanism of dynein, a much larger and more complex molecular motor.  His lab also discovered and studied proteins that sever, nucleate, and cap microtubules.  Currently, his laboratory studies T cell and macrophage signaling, RNA biology and phase separation, the role of the cytoskeleton in tissue organization, and the regulation of ciliary motility.  

Vale received his PhD in Neurosciences from Stanford University in 1985, was a Staff Fellow with the NIH stationed at the Marine Biological Laboratory in 1985-6 and began his faculty appointment in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco in 1987.

Vale is involved in several activities that benefit the scientific community. He founded iBiology, a non-profit organization that produces videos of scientific talks by leading scientists and makes them freely available. Vale founded XBio (The Explorer’s Guide to Biology), a new type of learning resource of undergraduate biology. He founded ASAPbio, a non-profit organization, to improve scientific publishing in the life sciences. He founded IndiaBioscience, a networking organization for the life sciences in India. Vale founded the annual Young Investigator Meeting for young Indian scientists.  He previously co-directed the MBL Physiology Course for five years and founded/directed the Bangalore Microscopy Course. Vale’s laboratory developed free, open- source software for light microscopy (MicroManager). He served as President of the American Society of Cell Biology and chaired an NIH study section. Vale co-founded the biotech companies Cytokinetics, Faze, and Myeloid Therapeutics.

Vale has received the Canada Gairdner International Award, the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences, the Massry Prize, the Wiley Prize, and the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry.  He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization, and the Indian National Science Academy. He is a Fellow and Foreign Member of the Royal Society.  

Vale Lab