Dario Alessi worked towards his PhD at both the University of Birmingham and the MRC National Institute of Medical Research at Mill Hill, London. He planned to settle in London, but a visit to Dundee, spurred by interest in the research work being carried out there, forced a change of mind. In 1991, he began work as a postdoctoral researcher in Sir Philip Cohen’s lab in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit. During this period Dario became fascinated by a class of enzyme termed kinases. These are regulated by extracellular stimuli such as insulin and growth factors that control all aspects of cell biology. In 1997 Dario was appointed as a Programme Leader at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, where he has worked ever since on unravelling the molecular details of how protein kinases and other signalling molecules exert their physiological effects. A key focus of Dario’s research is to translate the findings emerging from these studies into novel treatments for disease.