Mike is a senior group leader in the Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute where his research focuses on the genetics of cancer. Notably, Mike mapped and identified the major high-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 and subsequently a series of moderate-risk breast cancer and other cancer susceptibility genes.
In 2000, Mike initiated the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute which conducts systematic genome-wide searches for somatic mutations in human cancer. Through these studies he discovered somatic mutations of the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma and several other mutated cancer genes in lung, renal, breast and other cancers. He has described the basic patterns of somatic mutation in cancer genomes revealing underlying DNA mutation and repair processes.
Mike is a fellow of the Royal Society and was Knighted by the Queen in 2013.