Alan Hall PhD, FRS

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award, 2006
"For his discoveries related to understanding the cytoskeleton of the cell and the basis of cell mobility and its relevance to human disease."

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA


Prof Alan Hall has been a pioneer in showing how external signals control the cellular cytoskeleton, composed of proteins such as actin, which in turn organizes the shape and movement of cells. His research revealed a series of crucial molecular switches (called Rho GTPases), which acting together determine when and where the cell's outer membrane and actin cytoskeleton become rearranged to drive changes in cell migration. These are crucial features of cellular function in normal tissues, and critical for the aberrant behaviour of cancer cells. Dr. Hall's work has therefore transformed our understanding of the biology of human cells.

Dr. Hall was born in England and received his BA in Chemistry at Oxford. He obtained his PhD from Harvard University (1977). Following postdoctoral training in Edinburgh and Zurich, he became a group leader at the Chester Beatty Laboratories in London (1981), where he was promoted to Professor (1989). He was appointed as Professor at the University College London (1993) and became Director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Cell Biology Unit at the University College London (2001). In April 2006, he became Chair of the Cell Biology program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Prof. Hall holds many prominent editorial and advisory positions. He has won a number of prestigious awards including the Feldberg Foundation Prize, the Novartis Medal and the Louis-Jeantet Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization.