Frederick W. Alt is an American geneticist. He is a member of the Immunology section of the National Academy of Sciences and a Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics, and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Boston Children's Hospital. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1987.
He completed his undergraduate studies at Brandeis University, graduating in 1971, and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1977 while under the research direction of Robert Schimke. He performed his postdoctoral work in David Baltimore's laboratory at MIT. From 1982-91 he was on the faculty at Columbia University and then moved to Harvard Medical School.
His research interest is in maintenance of genome stability in cells of the mammalian immunological system, particularly antigen receptor variable region gene assembly in developing B and T lymphocytes, immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch recombination (CSR), and somatic hypermutation in activated mature B lymphocytes.
Memberships and Honors
Alt is a member of:
- U.S. National Academy of Sciences
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- American Academy of Microbiology
He has received the following awards:
- Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research
- Rabbi Shai Shacknai Prize from The Hebrew University
- Pasarow Foundation Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society de Villiers International Achievement Award
- Irvington Institute Immunology Award
- National Cancer Institute Alfred K. Knudson Award for pioneering contributions that have revolutionized the field of Cancer Genetics
- American Association of Immunologists AAI-Huang Meritorious Career Award
- William B. Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute
- Novartis Basic Immunology Prize for his discoveries on B cell development and antigen responses
- American Association of Immunologists Excellence in Mentoring Award.
- Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research
The Cancer Research Institute of New York gives an annual prize in his honor, the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology.