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Matthew D. Hall, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Division of Preclinical Innovation

Early Translation Branch

Scientific Director


Contact Info

Portrait of Matthew D. Hall


Matthew D. Hall, Ph.D., is the scientific director of NCATS and a senior scientist in the Early Translation Branch (ETB) within the center’s Division of Preclinical Innovation. In his role as the scientific director, he leads the center’s intramural research and related initiatives. Watch a video about NCATS laboratories to learn more.

Hall earned his B.S. degree with first class honors from the University of Sydney in Australia. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Sydney under Trevor Hambley, Ph.D., where he brought together cell biology and synchrotron spectroscopy for the first time to observe, in real time, the cellular distribution and metabolism of the platinums, the world’s most used class of chemotherapeutic agents. Hall also developed valuable techniques for observing drug reactivity in cell systems. His doctoral work included six months in the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Oxford University, where he developed 3-D tumor models.

Hall was awarded an American Australian Association Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He completed his postdoctoral work in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) under Dr. Michael M. Gottesman, applying both his chemical and genetic experience to work on the clinically challenging phenomenon of cancer multidrug resistance. Hall became a staff scientist and led several collaborative research programs, including developing imaging probes for drug transporters at the blood–brain barrier, understanding mechanisms of resistance to cisplatin, and understanding the phenomenon of collateral sensitivity in multidrug-resistant cancer cells.

Hall joined NCATS in 2015 as a biology group leader in the ETB (then the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center) and served as branch director from 2021 until his promotion to his current position in 2024. He has published more than 190 peer-reviewed papers and is on the editorial board of Drugs of the Future. In 2023, Hall was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney in recognition of his substantial contributions to the university’s interests and welfare over many years.

Research Topics

Hall and his group develop and optimize biochemical and cell-based assays for automated small-molecule high-throughput screening, and they have been involved in many collaborative projects with NIH intramural and extramural partners (e.g., NCI Chemical Biology Consortium). The team’s research portfolio is primarily focused on oncology and rare diseases, although it covers a diverse range of other human pathologies and diseases. Hall’s group is currently identifying therapeutic avenues for rare and drug-resistant cancers, devising adjuvant strategies for platinum-based chemotherapies, and developing assays for understanding blood plasma drug metabolism. The group is also developing assays for in vivo and ex vivo small-molecule target engagement, exploring the role of glutathione peroxidase in cancer, and examining drug interactions with the blood–brain barrier that limit central nervous system penetrance.

Last updated on April 18, 2024