University of Essex

Mike Wilson gained his first degree (in Biology) and his PhD from University of East Anglia. In 1970 he was awarded a Beit Memorial Fellowship and decided to spend the tenure of this fellowship in the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. In 1973 he was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Essex and was promoted to a Professorship in 1992.

His research work has been directed towards an understanding of the metalloproteins that are involved in respiration. These include the oxygen carrying heme proteins myoglobin and hemoglobin and also the iron and copper containing electron transfer proteins that are ultimately responsible for cellular respiration. This research interest has now grown to encompass the wider hemoglobin family that is involved in vertebrate stress protection systems, e.g. neuroglobin and cytoglobin, and also includes the plant hemoglobins.

He has established wide international scientific collaborations and has published some 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers and reviews.

In the course of his research he has participated in an expedition to the Amazon to study the hemoglobins of water and air-breathing fish and has also undertaken archeological studies of Roman Britain, examining bones from the ancient cemeteries in Colchester (Camulodunum) to study the survival of hemoglobin over more than 1500 years. Some of this will be covered in the talk.