In a ceremony on 15 September 2023 in Washington DC, the University’s Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC admitted Dr Hall as Honorary Fellow in recognition of his substantial contributions to the interests and welfare of the University of Sydney over many years.
Ms Hutchinson said that throughout his career, Dr Hall has used his knowledge to advance an understanding of biology with leadership in research ranging from cancer to COVID and sharing his knowledge through teaching and mentoring young scientists.
“With his work at the University of Sydney USA Foundation, he has also dedicated himself to the promotion of the University and has fostered important links between Australia and the USA,” Ms Hutchinson said.
An alumnus of the University of Sydney, Dr Hall graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science with first class honours and in 2004 with a Doctor of Philosophy. He was subsequently awarded the prestigious Sir Keith Murdoch Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2005, at Johns Hopkins University where he worked.
Dr Hall went on to work at the National Cancer Institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a postdoctoral fellow, where he brought together his chemical and genetic expertise to work on the clinically challenging phenomenon of cancer multidrug resistance.
Dr Hall has devoted himself to teaching the next generation of scientists. While at the National Cancer Institute he mentored many young scientists, and from 2011 to 2019 held the position of Adjunct Professor for Drug Discovery for Master of Biotechnology students at Johns Hopkins University. He commenced working at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (‘NCATS’) in 2015 as a Group Leader for Biology, and now Directs the Early Translation Branch. There, he is leading a team of over 80- scientists to discover new therapeutics for rare diseases and cancers, in collaboration with scientists at universities across the United States. Over the past three years, Dr Hall has been part of the United States Government COVID response, both leading the NCATS research response, and as co-chair of the NIH ACTIV public-private partnership program monitoring COVID variants and the effectiveness of therapeutics.
Dr Hall’s 20-year career in biology research has been recognised through many awards, including The University of Sydney Agnes Campbell Prize for Organic Chemistry, The University of Sydney George Harris Postgraduate Award, Australian Academy of Sciences Awards for Young Australian Researchers, and The University of Sydney Le Fevre Lectureship Prize, and multiple NIH Director’s Awards.
Dr Hall has been a close friend of the University of Sydney since his days as a student. He was employed by the University to teach undergraduate students the essentials of biology and in 2006, joined the Board of the University of Sydney USA Foundation, which through grants supports educational institutions in the USA and Australia.
Since then, he has supported the Foundation, holding positions as Secretary and Treasurer, and both roles jointly. During his tenure, the Foundation has raised over $US20 million to support, through its grants, important programs including scholarships, capital works and research.