Simon Turner currently holds the George Harrison Professor of Botany at the University of Manchester. He has held this position since 2004 having joined the University as a lecturer in 1995. This followed his work as a postdoctoral worker in the lab of Professor Chris Somerville at the Carnegie Institute at Stanford University. During this period he identified the first irx mutants that allowed him to identify the genes required for cellulose synthesis in the plant secondary cell wall that started his research into cellulose synthesis. Cellulose synthesis continues to be one of his main interests particularly the relationship between the enzyme complex that synthesises cellulose and relationship between this complex and the microfibrils it produces. Other research interests include the regulation of plant vascular development and how it can be manipulated to increase plant growth. He chairs the University’s biological safety committee.