John Hardy is Professor of Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. He was the first scientist to describe a mutation in the amyloid precursor protein stimulating a whole field of research into the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and motivating studies of the genetics of other neurodegenerative diseases. His group were also the first to describe mutations in the tau gene, opening up another branch in this rapidly developing area. He has collaborated widely and together with his co-workers is interested in many of the major steps involved in the amyloid cascade which are leading to potential therapies for these devastating diseases. More recently, he and his lab have deposited whole genome association data for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Motor Neuron Disease, Ischaemic Stroke, Bipolar Disease and Controls in an open access format allowing direct interrogation by the scientific community. His work has been recognised by the award of a number of major international prizes.