Prof Stephen High BA, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry

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Living things are made up of one or more cells, and cells need membranes to provide barriers inside the cell and protect them from the outside world. Whilst the biological membranes that form these barriers are incredibly complex and diverse in nature, they are generally characterised by a lipid bilayer studded with many proteins. In order to make new membranes, the cell has to put new proteins into the lipid bilayer, and in higher organisms this is one of the key functions of a specialised cellular compartment known as the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum contains a number of molecular machines that stitch new proteins into the lipid bilayer to make functional membranes. One of our major objectives is to understand how this process works with complete molecular detail. It is also clear that this process can go wrong, and when it does so this is often linked to diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Understanding how defects in newly made membrane proteins are recognised, and defining the consequences that this can have for the cell, is the second of our major research goals.



1978-1981: B.A. (Hons) Biochemistry, University of York.

1982-1987: PhD. Biochemistry, University of Bristol.

1987-1988: Research Assistant, University of Bristol.

1989-1990: EMBO Fellow, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.

1991-1992: Postdoctoral Fellow, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.

1992-1997: BBSRC Advanced Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

1997-1999: Reader in Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

1999: Professor of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

2001: Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, ZMBH, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

2001 - 2006: BBSRC Professorial Fellowship, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester.

2006 - 2009: Head of Section, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester.

2012: Visiting Professor, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Membrane protein synthesis, Protein targeting, Protein degradation

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