Michael is a Distinguished Scientist at the IHB, leading the Metabolic Homeostasis group. His team focuses on adipose tissue biology, in particular how adipose tissue communicates with the central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues to mediate energy homeostasis. His findings may provide mechanistic insight on the pathophysiology of diabetes.
He is also Professor and former Chair of Biochemistry at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, where he heads a research group that studies mTOR (mechanistic Target of Rapamycin)
signaling. In the 1990s, he and his colleagues discovered mTOR and subsequently elucidated its role as a central controller of cell growth and metabolism. His body of work over the past 40 years has enabled us to understand that mTOR plays a key role in development and ageing, and is implicated in disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. At the Biozentrum, he currently studies the role of mTOR in cancer.
Michael obtained his PhD from Harvard University and conducted his postdoctoral research at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, and the University of California at San Francisco. He joined the University of Basel in 1987.
He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received numerous awards including the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2009), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2014), the Canada Gairdner Award (2015), and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (2017).