Prof. Ali was born in 1951 in Munagaza, Sudan. He is married and has six children.
He obtained a BSc in Basic Medical Sciences (Human Anatomy) (1974) from the University of Khartoum (UoK), Sudan, a PhD in Human Anatomy and Experimental Morphology from the University of London, UK (1978), a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from UoK (1981), and a Masters Degree (MMRD) in Diagnostic Radiology from the University of Alexandria, Egypt (1985).
He worked as a Lecturer of Human Anatomy at UoK and at the University of Gezira, Sudan, and then as Assistant and Associate Professor of Anatomy and Radiology at the University of Gezira (1981-1988), at King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia) (1988) and at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman (1989-1994).  He was promoted to full Professor by the University of Gezira in 1991, and was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Radiology and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Ommdurman Islamic University, Sudan (1995-1996).  He was appointed Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health (1996-1998), and is currently Vice Chancellor of Al-Zaim Al-Azhari University, Sudan (1998-present).    
Prof. Ali has contributed to the introduction of integrated and problem-based learning of human anatomy at the University of Gezira and at Sultan Qaboos University. He has been a teacher and an examiner for graduate candidates in internal medicine, radiology, surgery and anatomy at UoK.  He has continued to practice as a consultant radiologist at Ommdurman Teaching Hospital, Ahmed Qasim Paediatric Hospital, and at Modern, Neilain and Al Alim Medical Centers.
He has published around 45 papers and four books on human anatomy, radiological anatomy, and diagnostic radiology.  He was honoured by the Algerian President and by the Arab Union of Physicians for his Medical Publications (1999).
Prof. Ali was elected as a Fellow of the IAS in 2001.