Ferguson, Michael

Professor Sir

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1981 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Sir Mike Ferguson CBE FRS FRSE FMedSci

Regius Professor of Life Sciences, University of Dundee


Mike obtained a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from Manchester and London. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rockefeller University, New York, and the University of Oxford and took up a lectureship at The University of Dundee in 1988. He was promoted to a personal chair in 1994 and appointed the first Regius Professor of Life Sciences in 2013.


His research takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the biochemistry of protozoan parasites that cause tropical diseases. He believes in the fundamental importance of working across the Biology / Chemistry interface and is particularly interested in Translational Research. With colleagues, he established the Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Dundee in 2006, which has resulted in several compounds in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials and the generation of spin-out companies. Mike is also co-Director of the Dundee Proteomics Facility, one of the largest in Europe, that accelerates discovery and translational science, including his own contributions to diagnostic devices for human African trypanosomiasis.


Mike believes that academic research should generate new knowledge and, when appropriate, provide returns for its key stakeholder, the taxpayer. He has contributed to the growth of the Life Sciences sector in Dundee through the provision of research laboratories and technologies and, most recently, has co-led the Growing the Tay Cities BioMedical Cluster component of the Tay Cities Deal - designed to anchor high-growth spin-out companies in this economically depressed region of the UK.  


Mike served on the Board of Governors (2012-2021), and as its Deputy Chair (2018-2021), of The Wellcome Trust and as member of the Board of Directors of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) (2012-2024) and of Wellcome Leap (2019-2022). He also serves on the Board of Directors of UK Biobank (2022-present).


During the pandemic, he has advised government and the DHSC on antibody testing and served on the oversight committee for the National Core Studies.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Cell Surface Glycoconjugates of Trypanosoma cruzi, University of London

31 Oct 197930 Sept 1982

Award Date: 1 Nov 1982

Bachelor of Science, BSc Biochemistry, University of Manchester

1 Oct 197630 Jun 1982

Award Date: 1 Jun 1979

External positions

Member Board of Directors UK Biobank

1 Jul 2022 → …

Member of Board of Directors

1 Jan 2020 → …

Member of Board of Directors, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

1 Nov 201231 Oct 2024

Deputy Chair of Board of Governors, Wellcome Trust

1 Nov 201231 Oct 2021


  • QD Chemistry
  • biochemistry
  • glycobiology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • proteomics
  • glycosylphosphatidylinositol
  • trypanosoma
  • leishmaniasis
  • drug discovery


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