Ron Vale is Professor and Chair of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has been on faculty since 1987. He also has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1995.
Vale received a B.A. degree in biology and chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1980), and a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from Stanford University (1985). His graduate and postdoctoral studies at the Marine Biological Laboratory led to the discovery of kinesin, a microtubule-based motor protein.
Dr. Vale’s honors include the Pfizer Award in enzyme chemistry, the Young Investigator Award from the Biophysical Society, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Vale shared the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. Besides studying the mechanism of motor proteins (the subject of this lecture), Vale’s laboratory using RNAi and high resolution microscopy to study mitosis and cell shape, examines signal transduction by single molecule microscopy, and biochemistry/cell biology of microtubule plus end binding proteins.