University of Dundee

Mike Ferguson honoured by British Society for Parasitology

02 Mar 2022

British Society for Parasitology has awarded Professor Sir Mike Ferguson with an Honorary Membership. This is in recognition of his impact in the field of Parasitology. 

“I am very honoured and grateful to receive this recognition form the BSP. It recognizes the work and creativity of many people who have spent time in my research team and have been our collaborators. This includes Dr Lucia Guther, my longest ever co-worker of 33 years, who has contributed so much to our team. I thank all for the privilege of sharing science with them,” said Mike. 

In a research career that has spanned 40 years, he has published well over 300 peer reviewed research articles. He is known for solving the first structures of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchors, which play important roles throughout eukaryotic biology, and for advancing our understanding of the molecular architecture of parasite surfaces and associated biosynthetic pathways. 

His research has taken 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 founder and co-Director of the successful Dundee Proteomics Facility. 

Mike obtained a PhD in Biochemistry in 1982 at London University. He then became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University, New York, with George Cross FRS followed by a position 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.  

Mike was Dean of Research for Life Sciences from 2007-2014 and continues to play a role in research strategy and infrastructure. 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. The latter will see the construction of an Innovation Hub for life sciences spin-out companies on the Technopole site adjacent to SLS. Mike has played senior roles out with Dundee. He was a member and then deputy chair of the board of governors of The Wellcome Trust (2012 – 2021) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).  In recognition of his outstanding contributions to science, he has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is a member of EMBO. He was knighted in 2019 for services to science. 

Share