Michael has an MA (by Research and Thesis) and PhD from the interdisciplinary Institute for Science and Society (ISS) at the University of Nottingham. He also holds a BSc in Biology from the University of St. Andrews (2000). Michael currently leads the ESRC funded project 'Biomodifying technologies and experimental space’, which brings together researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Sussex and York. This project examines three '‘gateway technologies’ with wide-ranging applications in medicine and the life sciences; gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 3D printing of living material. Each of these technologies enables researchers to modify living biological tissue in novel and increasingly patient-orientated and customized ways, which challenge the suitability of traditional manufacturing, governance and reimbursement pathways designed for small molecule pharmaceuticals or medical devices.
Michael has previously worked on the IMI STEMBANCC project, providing governance and ethical support to this European public-private partnership in stem cell biobanking. He has also been a researcher on the European Framework Programme 7 'Regenerative Medicine in Europe' (REMEDiE) project at the University of York and with the Health Technology and Society group at the University of Exeter.
Michael’s primary research interest and expertise lies in the application of insights and perspectives from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and medical sociology to the study of novel and emerging biotechnologies. More specifically, he is concerned with understanding the ways in which these technologies are shaped by a variety of social factors – including institutional and regulatory cultures as well as the perspectives of developers and prospective users – throughout the course of their development and deployment into practice; and how, in turn, new biomedical technologies shape and reconfigure our understandings of disease, health, and the ‘sorts’ of people we are or can be. He is also working with Jane Kaye and other HeLEX members to develop novel consent procedures for large-scale biobanking projects.