Renowned for his numerous scientific achievements and his development of the first computerised model of an enzyme reaction, he has also carried out important research on the modelling of antibodies, DNA, and messenger RNA — work that has informed practical advances in biomedical science. Michael has also made many significant contributions to the study of protein folding and helped to popularise the use of computer modelling in biology.
Michael received his bachelor’s degree in physics (1967) from King’s College in London. He worked as a visiting fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Reḥovot, Israel, from 1967 to 1968. He received a doctorate in biophysics jointly granted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and the University of Cambridge in 1971. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute from 1972 to 1974 and a staff scientist at the MRC Laboratory from 1974 to 1979. He became an associate professor in chemical physics at the Weizmann Institute in 1979 and left there as a full professor in 1987.
Michael has received many honours and awards for his research, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 2014 DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, he has been a Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University since 1987.