Prof. Mick Tuite

Mick Tuite is currently the Professor of Molecular Biology and Head of School for the School of Biosciences.  He began his research career in the Botany School (now Plant Sciences) at the University of Oxford where he studied the non-Mendelian genetic determinant [PSI+] under the guidance of Dr Brian Cox, the discoverer of [PSI+]. Subsequently, Mick continued biochemical studies of the [PSI+] determinant as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Cal McLaughlin at the University of California at Irvine (UCI). Here he demonstrated, using a yeast in vitro translation system, the role of a ribosome-associated factor (which we now know to be the Sup35p termination factor) in the [PSI+] phenomenon. Following a further two years as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Alan Kingsman in the Department of Biochemistry in Oxford (where he helped develop one of the first yeast expression systems for high value biopharmaceuticals), he started his own group at Kent in 1983. Since then, he has moved his research focus from a biochemical/genetic study of the translation termination machinery in yeast, to the study of the [PSI+] prion and the role of molecular chaperones in maintaining this epigenetic state. Using a wide range of genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques his research group have made a number of significant contributions to yeast prion research and published over 200 research articles and reviews and edited six books. He is also a co-inventor of a patent that covers technology for the improved folding of recombinant proteins in yeast and other eukaryotic cells, technology that is already being exploited by industry.




Visit Mick's page on the University of Kent website

Lab members

Laura Petch - PhD student

Education and Employment

In May 2016, I graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a First class BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical science. During my second year of this degree I carried out a 10 week summer project in the KFG at the University of Kent, titled ‘prion-mediated phenotypic heterogeneity in wild yeast’. Throughout this project I developed a range of lab skills whilst searching for novel phenotypes in wild strains of yeast, which may be explained by the presence of prions. This summer project was funded by the Genetics Society, which also allowed me to travel to Edinburgh to share my findings with a group of likeminded students. On completion of my degree, I have now returned to the Tuite lab in the KFG to begin a PhD, which has similar aims to the summer project.


Research Project

The epigenetic control of phenotypes in yeast

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