Ron Vale is the Executive Director of the Janelia Research Campus and Vice-President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He previously served on the faculty of the University of California San Francisco. Vale, a cell biologist and biochemist, discovered the motor protein 'kinesin' and pursued a mechanistic understanding of how it, as well as another class of motor proteins called dyneins, transport membrane cargos along microtubules, polymeric tracks that traverse the cell. He also discovered and studied other proteins that regulate the formation and dynamics of microtubules.
Vale has initiated several projects that benefit open education (iBiology, the Explorer's Guide to Biology), open microscopy (MicroManager), scientific publishing (ASAPbio, Review Commons), and the life science community in India (IndiaBioscience and the Young Investigator Meetings).
Vale received the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, Canada Gairdner International Award for Biomedical Research, and Shaw Prize in Life Sciences. He is also a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Medicine, European Molecular Biology Organization, and Indian National Science Academy.