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Babraham Director, Professor Michael Wakelam, 1955 – 2020

Professor Michael Wakelam in the lipidomics facility at the Babraham Institute. Image used courtesy of Keith Heppell and the Cambridge Independent.

UKRI-BBSRC are greatly saddened to learn that Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Babraham Institute, has died from respiratory complications related to suspected COVID-19.

In a personal statement Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI-BBSRC Executive Chair said:

“This news has come as a terrible shock and our condolences and thoughts are with Michael’s family, friends and colleagues.

I have personally known Michael for over thirty years, having first met him at a poster session at one of the Biochemical Society’s Harden Conferences when I was a PhD student. Since this time, and given our shared research interests in cell signalling, we have interacted in many ways, most recently through Michael’s leadership of the Babraham Institute.

Michael was an excellent research biochemist who made significant contributions to understanding the role of lipids in cell signalling. His achievements were recognised by the award of the Biochemical Society Morton Lectureship in 2018, which I know he was so delighted by. His passion for science was evident to everyone, he was generous with his time in mentoring early career researchers, fought hard for what he believed in and developed a real sense of community at the Babraham Institute. Throughout Michael’s twelve years as Director he maintained his own research and developed the Institute’s lipidomics facility, explaining their latest discoveries enthusiastically to me each time we met. I will remember Michael not only for his science, but also for his humanity, kindness and generosity of spirit and like many, will miss him.

UKRI-BBSRC will be doing all we can to support the Babraham Institute through this difficult period of unexpected loss.”

For more information on the life of Professor Michael Wakelam: https://www.babraham.ac.uk/news/2020/04/michael-wakelam-1955-2020


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