Mike Stock Biography
Born in London in 1942, Mike Stock initially worked as a Junior Technical Officer in the Human Nutrition Research Unit at the National Institute of Medical Research in London. He subsequently obtained a BSc Degree in Physiology from Sheffield University, followed by a PhD in the Nutrition Department at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, under the supervision of Derek Miller. His initial academic appointment was in the Physiology Department at Queen Elizabeth in 1969, where he remained for 10 years until his appointment in 1979 to a Senior Lectureship in Physiology at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London. Here he was promoted to full Professorship and was Head of the department from 1998 until his death.
As a fitting tribute to Mike’s memory, the Stock Conference annually assembles a small group of specialists to discuss an obesity focused topic, and provides the opportunity for a number of young scientists to share conference time with ‘experts’.
Mike Stock made a number of seminal contributions to our understanding of obesity in animal models. Central to these were his studies, with Nancy Rothwell and others, on the cafeteria fed rat as a model to explore metabolic response to overfeeding. He showed that voluntary overeating of human foods induced a thermogenic response that could be related to increased brown adipose tissue thermogenesis, the so-called dietary induced thermogenesis. This was the first substantive evidence that energy expenditure might be a regulated process to maintain energy balance. Mike’s observations helped to establish the important role of the sympathetic nervous system and brown adipose tissue in energy balance regulation, particularly in small animals, and led to the demonstration that impaired sympathetic drive to brown adipose tissue is an important component in the etiology of obesity in animal models. His productivity was prolific and covered many aspects of the regulation of energy balance and brown adipose tissue metabolism in animals, and to a lesser extent in humans. He was an outstanding animal physiologist, exhibiting the key skills that are needed to understand the functions of specific genes.
In addition to his scientific work, Mike Stock also made a substantial contribution to the professional organisation of the obesity research field. He served as Chairman for first obesity association in the UK, and played a prominent role in enhancing the standards of IASO’s flagship journal, the International Journal of Obesity, for which he was Editor-in-Chief and then Executive Editor during the 1990s.
Mike Stock died on 26 March 2001 at the early age of 58, following a long battle with cancer which he had fought with remarkable resilience and fortitude. The Stock Conference Series was initiated by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) in 2002 to commemorate Dr Mike Stock’s lifetime of research contributions to the field of obesity.
Mike loved to discuss and debate scientific issues, ideas and hypotheses. He was dedicated to mentoring and developing young scientists and fostering in them a passion for science. In addition, he was a talented educator who devoted countless hours and provided generous hospitality to everyone who worked with him, particularly his graduate students.
Click here to view Mike Stock obituary published in the International Journal of Obesity