Mike retired from his permanent position at the John Innes Centre in September 2015 and now holds an Emeritus fellowship in the Department of Molecular Microbiology.
Throughout Mike’s research career his interests focused on bacterial nitrogen metabolism and the ways in which bacteria control all aspects of that metabolism in response to the availability of fixed nitrogen.
For many years the primary focus of research in Mike’s lab concerned the biology of the ubiquitous ammonium transport (Amt) proteins and of the signal transduction proteins of the PII family.
Ammonium transport (Amt) proteins are found in eubacteria, archaebacteria, fungi, plants, and lower animals.
Members of the Amt family are also present in higher animals including humans where their homologues are the Rhesus (Rh) proteins (Javelle et al, 2007).
The PII proteins are one of the most widely distributed families of signal transduction proteins in nature. They are pivotal players in the control of nitrogen metabolism and are found in bacteria, archaea and in the plastids of plants (Huergo et al, 2013).