Uri Alon is a systems biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. His lab explores design principles of biological circuits, focusing on systems medicine, ageing and longevity.
First trained as a physicist, Alon earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before completing his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He did his postdoctoral work at Princeton University and returned to Weizmann to set up his own lab.
Alongside his research, Alon has spoken frequently on lab culture and is the author of several papers on this topic, including ‘How to Choose a Good Scientiﬁc Problem’ and ‘How to Build a Motivated Research Group’. In his 2014 TED Talk, Alon calls for scientists to stop thinking of research as a direct line from question to answer, but as something more creative.
Alon's lab uses both computational biology and traditional wet lab methods, but also concepts from improv theatre. Using a theatre practice called the "mirror game," they showed that two people can create complex novel motion together without a designated leader or follower. He also works on a site called BioNumbers, which compiles interesting biological measurements.