Michael Gait, PhD
Dr. Gait began his career working on his Ph.D. in Nucleic Acids chemistry at the University of Birmingham. After his postdoc at M.I.T USA with H. Gobind Khorana in gene synthesis, he returned to the UK as a Staff Scientist at the LMB. He became a Senior Staff Scientist and MRC Programme Leader until retiring in 2017. Early work was devoted to methods of solid-phase DNA and RNA synthesis, becoming known for his edited book “Oligonucleotide Synthesis: A Practical Approach”. Later, he focused on the synthesis of nucleic acids analogues in the study of ribozymes and HIV RNA-protein interactions. In late 1990, he started to develop the synthesis and biological activity of peptides as conjugates of steric block antisense oligonucleotide analogues, becoming successful in uncharged analogues PNA and PMO, applied initially as potential antiviral agents and later for redirection of pre-mRNA splicing. From 2007 he collaborated with Matthew Wood and Oxford colleagues to develop peptide conjugates of PMO for exon skipping in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases.