Michael McDonough is a successful leader in structural biology. He started his training at the University of Connecticut where he obtained his PhD in Biophysical Chemistry after which he honed his skills at the Centre for Crystallographic Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He then went on to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford where he played a key role in structural studies of metalloenzymes including the iron and 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenase enzyme superfamily and enzymes involved in antibiotic resistance. While in Oxford he was a co-founder of a spin-out company formed to exploit a platform of oncology targets he helped to put in place. He also established the first state-of-the-art high-throughput crystallographic facilities in the Chemistry Department and trained hundreds of scientists in structural biology methods resulting in the production of hundreds of high-impact protein structures.