Ronald Vale to deliver 19th Fred Fay lecture on Nov. 16

UMass Medical School Communications

November 08, 2018
  Ronald D. Vale, PhD

Ronald D. Vale, PhD

Ronald D. Vale, PhD, will give the 19th Fredric S. Fay Memorial Lecture on Friday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m. in the Albert Sherman Center auditorium. Dr. Vale, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at University of California, San Francisco, will present the seminar Designer Receptors for T-Cells and Macrophages. The Fred Fay lecture is given in remembrance of the late UMass Medical School professor of physiology and his scientific contributions, particularly to the field of biomedical imaging.

Vale’s lab combines biophysical approaches with crystallography, cryotomography and various light microscopy methods to understand spatial organization, movement and signaling within cells. His lab has focused on understanding how cargo is transported within cells by motor proteins. This interest began during his graduate studies at Stanford University and intensified during postdoctoral studies when Vale was involved in the discovery of the motor protein kinesin and elucidating its mechanism of movement using structural and single molecule approaches.

At UCSF, Vale has continued investigating molecular motors and currently studies the mechanism of dynein, a molecular motor associated with microtubules that transports a diverse array of cargo. His lab also investigates the assembly of the mitotic spindle and the mechanism of T-cell signaling, the topic of this year’s Fay Lecture.

Vale was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002, the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2012, the National Academy of Medicine in 2014 and the Indian National Science Academy in 2015. He served as president of the American Society of Cell Biology in 2012. Vale has received numerous honors, most notably the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2012.

In addition to his extensive publication record, Vale has initiated several outreach projects that promote free access to scientific information, including iBiology, a series of online lectures presented by top scientists, and ASAPBio, a scientist-driven effort to make research publication more efficient and peer review more transparent. Lastly, the Vale lab created Micro-Manager, a widely used, free, open source software for light microscopy.

For additional information about the Fred Fay Lecutures, visit