The Team

Aside from the management structure below, SBL comprises of full time scientists, qualified to a postdoctoral level. This team is supported by administrative staff, including a full time office manager.



mike.jpgMike Fischer CBE – Director

Mike co-founded Research Machines, a British microcomputer and then software company for the educational market. He was CEO for 24 years and became a non-executive director and Lifetime President in 1997. He stood down as a non-executive director in 2004, but retains the honorary title of Lifetime President of the company.

Mike founded Alamy with James West in 1999, and it is this endeavour that now provides the bulk of SBL’s funding. SBL itself was founded by Mike in June 2004. As a trustee of the Fischer Family Trust, Mike is also involved in a range of educational and environmental projects.

Mike completed an undergraduate degree in physics at Oxford University in 1971 and a second undergraduate degree in physiological sciences at Oxford University in 1978. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University.



Nick Parkinson, PhD - Assistant Scientific Director

Nick joined SBL in September 2008 from Oxford University, where he was a senior post-doc researching Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

He has previously held post doctoral research positions researching dementia at the Institute of Neurology, London, and deafness genetics at both the MRC Mammalian Genetic Unit, Harwell and the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Nick gained his PhD in 1998 at the University College and Royal Free Medical School, London, studying molecular genetics, in particular absence epilepsy model, and has a degree in Genetics/Zoology from the University of Leeds.



Ben Ferneyhough, PhD – Laboratory Manager

Ben joined SBL in August 2004 as a Principal Investigator, then became Laboratory Manager in June 2006.

Before joining SBL, Ben spent 11 years working at Oxford Brookes University, teaching the nursing degree course, as well as a variety of undergraduate and post graduate registration anatomy and physiology modules.

Ben gained his PhD at Oxford Brookes University, studying the behavioural development of olfactory learning in Apis mellifera, and a degree in Applied Biology from Nottingham Trent University.