Professor Mike Williamson, Head of Department
Professor Mike Williamson became Head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in June 2017. He has been a familiar face to many at the University of Sheffield since he joined in 1990 as a senior lecturer before being appointed a Professor in 2001.
Mike began his scientific career at the University of Cambridge, where he completed a Natural Sciences degree before undertaking a PhD focussed on structural studies of antibiotics”. His focus has remained on structural biology as he moved from a fellowship at Cambridge to posts in ETH Zȕrich then Roche Products Ltd.
Early on in his career, Mike achieved a science first, when he became the first person to produce the structure of a globular protein using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). From there Mike has undertaken research studying protein structure and function and has continued to develop the use of NMR as a tool to do that.
Mike's current research is supported by a new BBSRC grant that will enable him to work out new ways of validating NMR structures. His aim is to create a means by which NMR structures can be easily validated, thus making it a more reliable tool.
His expertise in the protein structure field is highlighted by the wide use in universities of his book, How Proteins Work. He has also been Chair of the UK NMR discussion group, Chair of the Biochemical Society Theme Panel II (Molecular Structure and Function), a member of BBSRC Committee D (Molecules, Cells and Industrial Biotechnology) and secretary of Euromar.
Now in his new role as Head of Department, Mike is establishing the plans that will drive teaching and research in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology forward. He is eager to create the systems and environment that will enable the innovative and creative team in our department to conduct and communicate our excellent teaching and research.