Michael Way

Michael Way

Qualifications and history

  • 1988 PhD in Structural Studies, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge University, UK

  • 1989 Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
  • 1992 Postdoctoral Fellow, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA
  • 1995 Group Leader, Cell Biology Programme, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2001 Established lab at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK, which became Cancer Research UK in 2002
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Michael Way was an undergraduate in the Biophysics Department at King's College, University of London. During his PhD he studied the actin binding properties of gelsolinin the laboratory of Alan Weeds in the structural studies division of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

In 1989 he received the Max Perutz Student Prize for his PhD work. He remained in Alan's lab as a postdoc for three years, studying the actin binding properties of alpha-actinin, dystrophin and gelsolin, before moving to Boston for a second three-year postdoc with Paul Matsudaira at the Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

In 1995, he moved back to Europe to start a research group analysing how vaccinia virus hijacks the actin cytoskeleton to enhance its spread in the Cell Biology Programme at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2001, Michael returned to London to head the cell motility group in the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK (now part of the Francis Crick Institute).

His group uses a variety of quantitative imaging and biochemical approaches to study how Vaccinia virus takes advantage of its host as a model system to understand signalling networks, cytoplasmic transport, cytoskeletal dynamics and cell migration. Outside the context of vaccinia infection, he also investigates the cellular function of actin related proteins (Arps) and Tes, a tumour suppressor that negatively regulates Mena-dependent cell migration.

Michael has been an editor for the Journal of Cell Science since 2005 and was appointed its editor-in-chief in 2012. He is also on the editorial boards of Cellular MicrobiologyCell Host and MicrobeDevelopmental CellEMBO JournalEMBO Reports and Small GTPases. He was elected an EMBO member in 2006 and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. Michael is also an honorary Professor at UCL (University College London) as well as King's College London and, since October 2013, has also been a Professor of Virology at Imperial College London.