Ben D. Hall
Pioneered Genetic Engineering in Yeast
Liberty Memorial High School
Ben Hall graduated from the University of Kansas in 1954 and received a PHO from Harvard in 1958. He is a Professor of Botany (as well as Genome Sciences) at the University of Washington in Seattle. He spent a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for work in Cambridge, England and achieved many other honors. The Washington Research Foundation has used his groundbreaking research with yeast to gain two patent portfolios.
He and his post-doctoral fellow Gustav Ammerer developed a general method for the expression of pharmaceutically important proteins in yeast and collaborated with UC San Francisco scientists to make Hepatitis B antigen in Yeast cells. His technology has been used to develop and manufacture Novo Nordisk's insulins as well as Hepatitis B and Gardasil vaccines. He uses his income from his patents to fund further research and to help others.