Chair, Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London
John Hardy received his degree in Biochemistry from Leeds in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Imperial College in Neuropharmacology in 1979. He did postdocs at the MRC Neuropathogenesis Unit and the Swedish Brain Bank, in Umea, where he started to work on Alzheimer’s disease. In 1985 he took the job of Lecturer in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College, where he began working on the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease. In 1991 he led the group which found the first mutation in the amyloid gene which caused Alzheimer’s disease. This finding led him and others to formulate the amyloid hypothesis for the disease. In 1992 he moved to the United States, to the University of South Florida. In 1996 he moved to the Mayo Clinic where he became Chair of the Department of Neuroscience in 2000. In 1998 he was part of the consortium which identified mutations in the tau gene in Pick’s disease. In 2001 he moved to the NIH to become the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics, where he was part of the group which found triplications in the synuclein gene caused Parkinson’s disease. He returned to the Department of Molecular Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology in 2007.
Dr. Hardy has won the Allied Signal, Potamkin, MetLife and Kaul Prizes, for his work on Alzheimer’s disease and the Anna Marie Opprecht Prize for his work on Parkinson’s disease. More recently he was awarded the 2011 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the IFRAD 2011 European Grand Prize for Alzheimer’s Research. In 2014 he was awarded The Dan David Prize endowed by the Dan David Foundation, headquartered at Tel Aviv University; the Thudichum Medal from the Biochemical Society and is the recipient of the 3rd Lord Brain Memorial Medal. Then he was awarded the Robert A. Pritzker Prize by the Michael J Fox Foundation. He has been elected a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has been awarded an honorary MD by the University of Umea, Sweden. He was made an FRS by the Royal Society in 2009 and in 2010 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Newcastle. During 2015 he was awarded the Piepenbrock-DZNE Award, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences followed in 2016 by the Helis Prize.
He has three adult children and three grandchildren who live in the US.