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Michael Berridge

Michael John Berridge

(1938-10-22)22 October 1938
Gatooma, Southern Rhodesia (now Kadoma, Zimbabwe)
Died13 February 2020(2020-02-13) (aged 81)
CitizenshipBritish citizenship
Known forInositol trisphosphate as second messenger[3]
AwardsLouis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (1986)[1]
Physiological Society Annual Review Prize Lecture (1996)
Scientific career
Notable studentsAntony Galione[2]

Sir Michael John Berridge FRS FMedSci FBPhS (22 October 1938 – 13 February 2020[4]) was a British physiologist and biochemist.

Born and raised in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he was best known for his work on cellular transmembrane signalling, in particular the discovery that inositol trisphosphate acts as a second messenger, linking events at the plasma membrane with the release of Ca2+ within the cell.[5] As of 2009, he was the Emeritus Babraham Fellow in the Signalling Programme Department of the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, and honorary professor of cell signalling at the University of Cambridge.[6]


Born in Gatooma in Southern Rhodesia, Berridge gained a BSc in zoology and chemistry at the University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Salisbury (1960), where his interest in insect physiology was stimulated by Eina Bursell. He came to the UK to study with insect physiologist Sir Vincent Wigglesworth at the Department of Zoology of the University of Cambridge, gaining his PhD on the topic of nitrogen excretion in the African cotton stainer (Dysdercus fasciatus) in 1965.[5][6]

Career and research

Berridge moved to the USA for his early postdoctoral research positions, which were in the Department of Biology of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with Dietrich Bodenstein (1965–66); in the Developmental Biology Center of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, with Michael Locke (1966–67); and in the Department of Biology of Case Western Reserve University with Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen (1967–69).[5][6]

He returned to Cambridge in 1969 to become senior and later principal scientific officer of the Agricultural and Food Research Council Unit of Invertebrate Chemistry and Physiology at the Department of Zoology of the University of Cambridge. He served as senior principal scientific officer of the Unit of Insect Neurophysiology and Pharmacology from 1978 until 1990.[5] He then joined the Laboratory of Molecular Signalling of the Babraham Institute as deputy chief scientist, becoming head of that laboratory in 1994, a position he held until his retirement in 2004, when he was appointed the first Emeritus Babraham Fellow.[5] In 1994, he was appointed honorary professor of cell signalling at the University of Cambridge.[5] He was a fellow of Trinity College.[7]


Awards and honours

Berridge was awarded the William Bate Hardy Prize in 1987,[8] the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1989[9] and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1991.[10] He received the Wolf Prize in Medicine of 1994/5, jointly with Yasutomi Nishizuka,[11] and the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine in 2005.[12] His many other awards include the Feldberg Prize (1984), King Faisal International Prize for Science (1986), Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (1986),[13] Gairdner Foundation International Award (1988),[14] Ciba-Drew Award in biomedical research (1991), Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics (1994),[15] the Massry Prize from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in 1996, and the Ernst Schering Prize (1999).[5] He was knighted for services to science in the 1998 New Year Honours.[5]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1984[16] and became one of the founding members of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998.[17] In 1991, he was elected Foreign Member of the Belgian Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique.[18] In 1999, he was elected a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences[19] and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[20] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2007.[21] He was a member of Academia Europaea and the European Molecular Biology Organization.[5] He was also an honorary fellow of the Society of Biology, Biochemical Society,[22] Society for Experimental Biology, Japanese Biochemical Society and the American Physiological Society.[5]


  1. ^ "Louis Jeantet Prize, Year: 1986".
  2. ^ Galione, Antony Giuseppe (1989). Oscillations in intracellular calcium in the blowfly salivary gland (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 53486297. EThOS
  3. ^ Berridge, M. J. (2016). "The Inositol Trisphosphate/Calcium Signaling Pathway in Health and Disease". Physiological Reviews. 96 (4): 1261–1296. doi:10.1152/physrev.00006.2016. PMID 27512009.
  4. ^ "In tribute: Sir Michael Berridge FRS | Babraham Institute".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lagnado J. New honorary members for the Biochemical Society. The Biochemist (December 2004) (accessed 7 January 2009)
  6. ^ a b c "Michael Berridge – Emeritus Babraham Fellow". Babraham Institute. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Babraham scientist receives accolade from the Biochemical Society". Babraham Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Michael Berridge". Academia Europaea. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  9. ^ Lasker Foundation: Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: 1989 winners (accessed 7 January 2009)
  10. ^ Royal Society: Medals: Royal recent winners (accessed 7 January 2009)
  11. ^ Wolf Foundation: The 1994/5 Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine(accessed 7 January 2009)
  12. ^ The Shaw Prize: Announcement & Citation: The Shaw Laureate in Life Science and Medicine 2005 Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 7 January 2009)
  13. ^ Fondation Louis-Jeantet: The winners of the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 7 January 2009)
  14. ^ The Gairdner Foundation: International Awardees: 1997 – 1988 Archived 22 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 7 January 2009)
  15. ^ Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Science Awards: Laureates Archived 5 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 7 January 2009)
  16. ^ Royal Society: Fellows of the Royal Society(accessed 7 January 2009) Archived 9 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Academy of Medical Sciences: Fellows: Sir Michael Berridge Archived 1 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 6 January 2009)
  18. ^
  19. ^ National Academy of Sciences: Berridge, Michael J. (accessed 7 January 2009)
  20. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  21. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  22. ^ Biochemical Society: Honorary Fellows Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 7 January 2009)