He started his career at Oxford, followed by post-doctoral posts on the scientific staff of Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. In 1983 he moved to the Charles Darwin Chair in the University of Cambridge, first in the Department of Zoology, then in the Wellcome CRC Institute and was Director of the MRC Cancer Cell Unit in the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre until his retirement in January 2010. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Member of Academia Europaea, Vice President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a former President of the British Society for Cell Biology.
Throughout most of his career, Ron Laskey’s main interest has been how cells control DNA synthesis. He has developed cell-free systems that allow these processes to be studied in a test tube, in extracts from human cells. Some of the proteins studied in this work are emerging as promising markers for the development of screening tests for the commonest cancers.