Professor Michael Geeves

Emertius Professor of Physical Biochemistry


Mike Geeves joined the School of Biosciences in January 1999. He studied biochemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham then went on to the University of Bristol to work on a PhD with David Trentham. It was here that he first came to work on the myosin motor which has been the focus of his work ever since. In those early days it was muscle myosin - the only known form of myosin. After completing his PhD he spent 2 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying enzymology at sub-zero temperatures with Anthony Fink. He then return to spend 14 years at the University of Bristol working alongside Freddie Gutfreund, first as an SERC Junior Fellow then as a Royal Society University Fellow. At the end of the Fellowship he moved to become a Group Leader in the new Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology that was being established in Dortmund by Roger Goody. He left there to take up the current position as Professor of Physical Biochemistry. He was Head of School between 2006 - 2010.
Mike is a member of the Mechanobiology group also known as MaDCaP 
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9364-8898

Research interests

  • Molecular motors particularly the motors of the myosin family including the myosin IIs responsible for muscle contraction
  •  Regulation of muscle contraction via calcium 
  • Inherited diseases of skeletal and cardiac muscle 
  • Novel fast reaction methods.  


MSc-R project available for 2020/21

Evolution of the muscle sarcomere. A bioinformatics approach to the interaction between myosin and myosin binding protein-C 
(joint supervision with Dr Mark Wass)
Following on from a study of how muscle-type myosins have adapted, over evolutionary timescales, for different types of muscle contraction, we will explore the co-evolution of myosin and the myosin binding proteins C. MyBP-C is well known to carry mutations linked to inherited heart disease.
Additional research costs: £1200

Protein based temperature sensors for use inside cells and organelles (project jointly supervised with Prof Dan Mulvihill)
We have a created a series of prototype protein based sensors to allow variation and changes in temperature to be monitored within living cells.  Additional research costs: £1200

This project will;

  1. modify the protein to optimise the temperature profile for different cell types. 
  2. express the protein in a variety of prokaryote and eukaryote cells and organisms. 
  3. use signal peptides to target the sensor to specific cellular organelles. 

Live Cell Imaging under Pressure 
(project jointly supervised with Prof Dan Mulvihill)
We have a built a novel live cell imaging system that allows protein dynamics to be followed at 100 atmospheres, a pressure which specifically and reversibly disrupts protein dynamics. 
This project will use this system to follow actin and microtubule dynamics in a variety of cell types to study how perturbations of cytoskeleton dynamics affect growth and organisation of cells and development.
Additional research costs: £1200  

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