Michael was educated in Cambridge and moved to the North East of England in 1994 via a chair at University College London.
From 2000, Michael was closely involved in forming and delivering the North East regional strategy in the Healthcare and Life Science areas, particularly in the areas of ageing, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. He coordinates the regional pharma manufacturing initiative, First for Pharma. He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. In addition he is a board member of Centre for Excellence in Life Sciences (Bionow), the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and a trustee and Fellow of the Marine Biological Association. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Centre for Process Industries, a subsidiary of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. He is managing director of a community interest company, HealthyLife Sim CIC, that raises awareness of the causes, consequences and remedies for health inequalities, particularly in disadvantaged communities. He is a governor of North East Futures University Technical College; the new school has a focus on Healthcare & Life Sciences and Digital & Computing. He is Chair of its Education Committee and is working with teachers and employers to develop an academic curriculum that brings to students relevance to the world of work.
Michael is emeritus Professor of Physiology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University.