The Ferguson Lab



Professor Sir Michael A.J. Ferguson CBE, FRS, FRSE FMedSci
Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
School of Life Sciences
University of Dundee

Mike Ferguson obtained a PhD in Biochemistry (1982) at London University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rockefeller University, New York, with George Cross FRS and at Oxford University with Raymond Dwek FRS. He took up a lectureship at The University of Dundee in 1988 and was promoted to a personal chair in Molecular Parasitology in 1994 and was appointed the first Regius Professor of Life Sciences in 2013. 

He has published over 250 peer reviewed research papers and is known for solving the first structures of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchors, which play important roles throughout eukaryotic biology.

His research takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the biochemistry of protozoan parasites that cause tropical diseases, particularly the trypanosomatids that cause human African Sleeping Sickness, Chagas' disease and leishmaniasis. He believes in the fundamental importance of working across the Biology / Chemistry interface and is particularly interested in Translational Research. Together with his colleagues, he was instrumental in establishing the Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Dundee and he is a member of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research. He is also co-Director of the successful Dundee Proteomics Facility.

Mike was Dean of Research for Life Sciences from 2007-2014 and continues to play a role in Research Strategy. He led the construction of the Discovery Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research and is co-lead on the Growing the Tay Cities BioMedical Cluster component of the Tay Cities Deal. He is Deputy Chair of The Wellcome Trust, a member of the Board of Directors of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).  He is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of EMBO. He was knighted in 2019 for services to science.

Honours & Awards

1986-88 ~ Junior Research Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.

1991 ~ Colworth Medal (Annual award made by the Biochemical Society to "The most promising young biochemist" (under 35)).

1993-98 ~ Howard Hughes International Research Scholarship

1994 ~ Elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

1996 ~ Makdougall Brisbane Prize of the The Royal Society of Edinburgh for "particular distinction in the promotion of scientific research".

1999 ~ International Glycoconjugate Organisation (IGO) Award. A biennial award made to "a scientist who has clearly advanced the field of glycoscience and shows promise of continuing advancements".

1999 ~ Elected a member of The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

2000 ~ Elected a Fellow of The Royal Society (London).

2006 ~ Awarded the C.A. Wright Medal of the British Society for Parasitology.

2007 ~ Elected a Fellow of The Academy of Medical Sciences

2008 ~ Commander of the Order of The British Empire (CBE) for services to science.

2012 ~ Appointed a member of the Board of Governors of The Wellcome Trust

2013 ~ Appointed the first Regius Professor of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

2013 ~ Awarded a Royal Medal of The Royal Society of Edinburgh

2016 ~ Awarded the ASBMB Alice and C.C. Wang Award for Molecular Parasitology

2019 ~ Knight Bachelor of the British Empire