Plaque unveiled in memory of Professor Mike Cawthorne
15 August 2022
On 22nd July a plaque was unveiled on the Clore Laboratory in memory of Professor Mike Cawthorne.
A wonderful man who was key in worldwide research into diabetes and obesity at the Clore Lab. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the University of Buckingham Medical School.
He was remembered fondly by Dr Terence Kealey, Professor Karol Sikora, Professor Jon Arch, Professor Mohamed Zaibi and the plaque was unveiled by his partner, Liz Riseborough. His two sons and their families were also there.
Professor Mike Cawthorne was the Director of the Buckingham Institute for Metabolic Research (Clore Laboratory) and the Dean of Science and Postgraduate Medicine. He died following a heart attack on 21st July 2015. During more than 25 years at the University of Buckingham Mike had held various other senior positions, including Director of Marketing and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor. But many will remember him best as Head of the Medical School, a title he earned by his pivotal role in driving forward the vision of former Vice-Chancellor Professor Terence Kealey and Dean of Medicine Professor Karol Sikora to create first the postgraduate and then the undergraduate Medical School.
Obesity was Mike’s first scientific love. He was chairman of the Association for the Study of Obesity (the UK society being the first), later becoming Founding Secretary and Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. It was in the field of type 2 diabetes, however, that Mike achieved his greatest scientific success. He led the Beecham team that in 1987 discovered the drug rosiglitazone (brand name Avandia), one of the first of a new class of drug. For this in 2001, Mike and his team were given a Society of Medicines Research award for drug discovery.
Mike was not only passionate about scientific research, but he was also a very fascinating and nice person helping many young investigators to enhance their research carrier. In one word, Mike was a godfather caring about everyone around him, even for personal concerns. Despite his international scientific notoriety, he was a very humble man, repeating, “I am still learning from my collaborators and my postgraduate students.
Mike is greatly missed by his friends, colleagues and previous students.