UCL School of Pharmacy

Prof Michael Munday

Prof Michael Munday

Emeritus Professor of Life Sciences

Faculty of Life Sciences

School of Life & Medical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2023

Research summary

Hormonal and nutritional control of mammalian fatty acid metabolism through control of enzyme activity is a key area of research and has naturally developed into identification of key drug targets and potential modulators for the treatment of hyperlipidaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Investigation of inhibitors of the two isoforms of acetyl-CoA carboxylase have confirmed this enzyme as a potential target in the anti-diabetic actions of a number of synthetic compounds and natural products. This research matches in vitro molecular and cellular effects to physiological changes in whole animal models in vivo. Protein chemistry, proteomic, enzymology, cell biology, metabolomic and in vivo techniques are the cornerstones of this research.

Another major research interest is the investigation of biomarkers for toxicological injury to tissues. We created a rat model for liver fibrosis and identified urinary and serum metabolites and proteins that indicate liver injury. These panels of biomarkers are used as diagnostic indicators of adverse effects of compounds in preclinical drug discovery. We are investigating biomarkers for toxic injury to other tissues (kidney, muscle, skin), in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and in pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In collaboration with the Rashid Center for Diabetes, UAE we are investigating serum biomarkers for diabetes in human patients. Whole animal toxicology, protein chemistry, mass spectrometry and NMR analyses are major techniques used in this research.

Teaching summary

Professor Munday teaches general biochemistry and molecular pharmacology to first year MPharm students and drug target and lead compound identification in the process of drug discovery to second year MPharm students. In year 3 of the MPharm he leads a module entitled "Drug Discovery in Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes". He supervises MPharm laboratory research projects in the area of drug targets and drug discovery in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Professor Munday is Director of the MSc in Drug Discovery and Development and the MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management. On these programmes he teaches the topics of molecular basis of disease; macromolecules; mechanism of drug action; drug target identification and validation; the origin of lead compounds; drug disposition and metabolism; pharmacogenomics; adverse drug reactions and personalised medicines. Professor Munday also teaches pharmacogenomics in the MSc in Medical Genomics run between UCL and Queen Mary's. He supervises MSc and MRes laboratory research projects in the area of drug targets and drug discovery in type 2 diabetes mellitus. He also supervises MSc pharma management research projects (particularly in counterfeit medicines, pharmaceutical education, personalised medicines).


Professor Mike Munday graduated from Chelsea College in 1979 with a first class honours degree in biochemistry after a four-year course that included a year working on the obesity project at Beechams Pharmaceuticals under the supervision of Dr Mike Cawthorne.

In 1982, he completed  his DPhil in the Metabolic Research Laboratory of Professor Sir Hans Krebs in Oxford under the supervision of Dr Derek Williamson. The project investigated the regulation of lipid metabolism in the lactating mammary gland.

In 1982-1987, Professor Munday carried out post-doctoral research on the phosphorylation and regulation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase with Professor Grahame Hardie in the MRC Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, led by Professor Sir Philip Cohen.

Professor Munday became Lecturer in 1987 and then Senior Lecturer since 1991 at The School of Pharmacy, University of London. In 2003 he became the Director of the MSc in Drug Discovery. He was appointed Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes in 2004 and then Academic Director of Studies in 2006. At the point of merger of the School of Pharmacy with UCL he became Associate Director (Education) at UCL School of Pharmacy and in 2016 was appointed to the position of Vice Dean (Education) Faculty of Life Sciences at UCL.