Dario Alessi, PhD, obtained a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom in 1988. He received a PhD in 1991 for work on the synthesis and use of spin-labeled ATP analogues to study muscle contraction under the joint supervision of Ian Trayer (University of Birmingham) and David Trentham, FRS (NIMR, Mill Hill, London). He then carried out postdoctoral research with Sir Philip Cohen, FRS, in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at Dundee from 1991 to 1997, where he became fascinated by protein kinases and how they are regulated by insulin, growth factors and other extracellular signals that control almost all aspects of cell biology. In 1998 Dr. Alessi became a program leader in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, where he has worked ever since. He was appointed director of the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in 2012.
A key focus of his current research is to understand the regulation and physiological roles of key protein kinases that are implicated in human disease and to exploit findings emerging from these studies to develop novel treatments for disease. Dr. Alessi is becoming increasingly interested in employing his expertise and experience gained in dissecting signal transduction pathways to understand how these networks function in controlling neurodegeneration. Dr. Alessi has received several awards for his work, including the Colworth Medal of the British Biochemical Society (1999), the Eppendorf Young European Investigator Award (2000), the EMBO Gold Medal (2005) and the Francis Crick Prize Lecture of the Royal Society (2006). He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2002), the Royal Society (2008) and the Medical Academy of Sciences (2012), and is a member of EMBO (2005).