Former University of Birmingham Professor Michael Wakelam dies after suspected coronavirus infection

Professor Michael Wakelam
Mike Wakelam served as Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the Institute of Cancer Studies from 1993-2007

The University of Birmingham was devastated to hear the news of the death of Professor Michael Wakelam, a former member of staff and an alumnus of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Michael Wakelam died from respiratory complications arising from a suspected Covid-19 infection.

Michael Wakelam served as Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the Institute of Cancer Studies from 1993-2007 before leaving to become director of the Babraham Institute, Cambridge.

Micheal's links to the University of Birmingham go beyond his teaching and research as he had also obtained his BSc in Medical Biochemistry (1977) and PhD in Biochemistry (1980) from Birmingham as well. Before taking up his post in 1993 at the University, Michael had pursued post-doctoral research at the University of Konstanz in Germany and Imperial College London as a Beit Memorial Fellow. In 1985 he was appointed as a lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow.

Michael Wakelam also was a Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham, as well as a Honorary Professor of Lipid Signalling in the Cambridge University Clinical School. He also served as a visiting Professor at King’s College London and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2018 Mike received the Morton Lectureship from the Biochemical Society.

Paying tribute to Michael Wakeham, Professor David Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences said:

"The College of Medical and Dental Sciences was devastated to hear last night about the death of Professor Michael Wakelam from a suspected Covid-19 infection. Mike’s links to Birmingham go even further back as he was an undergraduate and then PhD student in Biochemistry here. Those of you who knew Mike will remember him not only as a superb scientist but also as a warm, supportive and highly collaborative colleague, Mike will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to his wife Jane and sons Alex and Patrick."

Michael Wakelam had over twenty years research experience in the area of cell signalling and communication; a major focus of his research was upon the use and development of advanced lipidomics methodologies in determining the functions of individual lipid molecular species in the regulation of signalling pathways in normal and cancer cells and in inflammatory responses.

Michael Wakelam is survived by his wife Jane and their two sons Alex and Patrick.

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