Babraham Institute director Prof. Michael Wakelam dies

By April 2, 2020Video News

Babraham Institute director Professor Michael Wakelam dies after suspected coronavirus infection.  OH! Films team would like to express our condolences to his family, colleagues and friends at Babraham Institute.  His loss will be felt very keenly by all those who knew him.

The eminent scientist and married father of two suffered respiratory complications arising from the infection, the institute said.  He was in his mid-60s.  The institute, a world-leading centre of biological research, said it was “devastated”.

This is a short film amongst few we had a pleasure working on which features Prof Michael Wakelam in his lab at The Babraham Institute.

“Professor Wakelam’s warm personality and care for others were reflected in his leadership of the institute. His loss will be felt widely across the scientific community and by all those who knew him,” the institute said in a statement following his death on March 31.

Born in 1955, he completed a BSc in medical biochemistry in 1977 at Birmingham University, where he also completed his PhD in biochemistry in 1980.

He was a post-doc at the University of Konstanz in Germany and, as a Beit Memorial Fellow, at Imperial College London, before being appointed to a lectureship in biochemistry at Glasgow University in 1985.

He returned to Birmingham in 1993 as professor of molecular pharmacology in the Institute for Cancer Studies, before joining the Babraham Institute as director in 2007.

“Professor Wakelam brought a dedication to scientific expertise, both in creating and protecting the environment required for excellent science to happen, and in creating an environment that developed expertise and capabilities in each individual to allow them to achieve their best,” said the institute.


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

Prof Michael Wakelam in his lab at The Babraham Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell

Prof Michael Wakelam in his lab at The Babraham Institute. Picture: Keith Heppell

He was the honorary professor of lipid signalling in the Cambridge University Clinical School, an honorary professor at the University of Birmingham and a visiting professor at King’s College London. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a member of the Academia Europaea, which acts as co-ordinator of European interests in national research agencies.

All photos by Keith Heppell and to read the full story, visit Cambridge Independent,

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