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Fellows Directory

Michael Ferguson

Michael Ferguson

Sir Michael Ferguson CBE FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2000





Michael Ferguson is a biochemist who uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the architecture of cell surfaces to understand the biochemistry of single-celled protozoan parasites that cause tropical diseases. Michael is also interested in translational research, turning scientific discoveries into healthcare solutions.

Working across the interface between biology and chemistry, Michael’s research has helped us to understand the trypanosomatid organisms responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas’ disease and leishmaniasis in humans. His work led to the discovery of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchors — structures found in almost all eukaryotes that have many implications for human health and disease.

Michael was instrumental in setting up the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit, which develops small molecule therapies for diseases prevalent in developing countries, as well as other unmet medical needs. He has been a Governor of the Wellcome Trust since 2012. He received a CBE in 2008, was made Regius Professor of Life Sciences in 2013 and awarded a Royal Medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the same year.

Professional positions

Governor, Wellcome Trust
Regius Prof & Assoc. Dean for Research Strategy, School Of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Molecular microbiology
  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, biological


Molecular parasitology, glycobiology, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Drug discovery, Electrospray mass spectrometry

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