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Ron Vale

Science Talent Search – 1976

About Ron Vale

Biochemist and cell biologist Ron Vale knew he wanted to be a scientist by age 8. After competing in the 1976 STS with a project investigating the circadian rhythm of plants, Vale obtained a doctoral degree in neuroscience from Stanford University. He studies spatial organization, movement and signaling within cells, with a focus on the motor proteins kinesin and dynein. Vale is passionate about making scientific communication available to all and has founded multiple nonprofit organizations including iBiology, which produces open-access videos by leading biologists to support science education. In 2019, Vale was named executive director of Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Science Talent Search 1976

Images from Vale’s STS project about the effects of light and temperature on circadian rhythms in plants.

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Alumni Conversations

Vale speaks with Society President and CEO Maya Ajmera about how his parents, who were artists, sparked his interest in science in this interview from STS in 2021.

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Speaking of his experience competing in STS, Vale recalled, “While I did not win a medal, I did meet other high school students who shared my interest in science, which was eye-opening and encouraging.”

Notable Alumni - Ron Vale
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