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.