SCI Scholar Michael Limb

07 August 2013

7 Aug 2013

Michael Limb was born in Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, but spent much of his childhood in Norway, Singapore and the USA before moving back to the UK in 1999.

From the early stages of his school career he began to develop a passion for the sciences and mathematics, leading him to take A-levels in chemistry, biology, mathematics, further mathematics and further additional mathematics at Radley College, Abingdon. He obtained top grades in all five subjects and received several academic prizes.

After grappling with the difficult decision of whether to pursue chemistry or medicine at university, he was ultimately seduced by the four-year MSc Chemistry programme at the University of Bristol and has not looked back since: earning his MSc in 2011 with first class honours.

In the final year of his undergraduate studies he worked on a research project under the supervision of Prof Adrian Mulholland, utilising innovative computational chemistry techniques to gain novel insights into the Lysozyme catalysed reaction: a 'classic' reaction in biochemistry which provides important paradigms for our understanding of enzyme catalysed reactions in every aspect of nature. The success of this work was recognised when he was awarded the Hewlett-Packard Prize for the Best Final Year Oral Presentation and the Balint-Kurti Prize for the Best Final Year Thesis in Theoretical Chemistry.

Crucially, the research conducted as part of this project sparked his interest in the rapidly developing field of computational enzymology. Inspired by the multi-discipline nature of the research (marrying mathematics, theoretical and physical chemistry, biochemistry and computer science) and its unique ability to tackle numerous scientific challenges faced today by industry and academia, Mike started his PhD in 2011 in the Mulholland Research Group in the Centre for Computational Chemistry at the University of Bristol.

Now in the second year of his research (funded through a BBSRC Pfizer CASE Studentship and a EPSRC University of Bristol Doctoral Award), he is continuing his work on investigating carbohydrate and sugar processing enzymes, utilising a variety of quantum mechanical and classical computational techniques. In addition, he has worked on a project for Pfizer and was recently awarded a prize for a presentation on his research given at the MGMS Molecular Modelling Conference in Erlangen, Germany.

Outside his studies and teaching at university, Mike enjoys communicating science and is a STEM ambassador and a volunteer at the 'At-Bristol' Interactive Science Centre. He is the Post-Graduate Senate Representative and is heavily involved in student media as an arts and culture reporter for the student newspaper and as Head of Music for the University radio station. He is also active in media outside the University, working as a Broadcast Assistant at BBC Radio Bristol and BCFM. He is a keen sportsman and has a passion for travelling and experiencing different cultures.

You can connect with other SCI members like Michael, through the SCI Members' Directory.

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