Alt Laboratory

The headshots of Hai-quiang Dai and Honli Hu, the authors of the paper, side by side. On the left side Hai-quiang Dai is wearing a life jacket and holding a large fish. On the right side Hongli Hu is wearing a navy hat and sunglasses.
How Chromatin Scanning Generates Diverse Antibody Repertoires: New Insights Learn more
Screenshot of the title slide of Fred Alt's Connect Science presentation
DF/HCC Connect:Science Seminar: Modulation of cohesin-complex factors regulates IgH locus contraction and long-range V(D)J recombination
In the front seat of V(D)J recombination: CTCF and Cohesin Learn more
antibodies in the gut
Antibodies in the gut: Roles in autoimmune disease and food allergy...and COVID-19? Learn more
Protecting against HIV by tricking the immune system ? Learn more
Unlocking antibody diversity: chromatin loops, V(D)J recombination, and class switching Learn more
How new loops in DNA packaging help us make diverse antibodies Learn more
Creating Custom Brains from the Ground Up Learn more
Artist’s rendering of chromatin, which is housed inside the nuclei of mammalian cells.
Getting a grip on genetic loops Learn more
An image of a person getting a shot in their arm on a background of grey cells
Keeping up with HIV mutations: Building a nimble vaccine test system Learn more
DNA strand breaking against a black background
Hotspots’ for DNA breakage in neurons may promote brain genetic diversity, disease Learn more

Dr. Alt received his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1977 with Robert Schimke and he did his postdoctoral work at MIT with David Baltimore until 1982. He joined the faculty of the Biochemistry of Columbia University in 1982 and became a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in 1985, a Professor of Microbiology in 1986 and a Howard Huges Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator in 1987. In 1991, Dr. Alt moved to Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), the and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Affiliated Center for Blood research (CBR), as a Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at HMS, an HHMI Investigator at Boston Children's Hospital and a Senior Investigator at the CBR. He was appointed Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics in 1993 and Scientific Director of the CBR in 2005 and continued that role when the CBR's name was changed to the Immune Disease Institute (IDI). While leading a merger of IDI with Boston Children's Hospital, Dr. Alt served as Director and then President of IDI until it was incorporated into BCH as the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) of BCH in 2009 Dr Alt has continued to serve as PCMM director until present.

Dr. Alt has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His cancer biology awards include the American Association of Cancer Research Clowes Award, the Pasarow Foundation Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute Alfred K. Knudson Award for "Pioneering Contributions that Revolutionized the Field of Cancer Genetics", the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society de Villiers Award, The Katharine Berkan Judd Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Excellence in Medicine. His immunology awards include the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Huang Meritorious Career Award, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Coley Award (with Klaus Rajewsky), the Novartis Prize for Basic Immunology (with Klaus Rajwsky and Fritz Melchers) for his discoveries on B cell development and antigen responses and the AAI BioLegend Herzenberg Award. More generally, he has also received the Arthur Kornberg & Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Science from Stanford Medical School and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science from Brandeis University.

Dr. Alt serves on numerous editorial boards and is Editor in Chief of Advances in Immunology. He also serves on many national and international advisory boards and is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and just finished a term as Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Class IV (Biomedical Sciences).

Dr. Alt has mentored over 150 students and research fellows, many of whom have become recognized academic leaders in immunology, genetics, or cancer biology or leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry. In recognition of his training and mentoring accomplishments, Dr. Alt has received the American Association of Immunologists Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Willam A. Silen Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring from Harvard Medical School. The Cancer Research Institute of New York annually presents the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology in recognition of Dr. Alt's efforts in developing the careers of young scientists.