David Meek obtained his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1983 where he studied the regulation of gluconeogenesis by protein phosphorylation in Hugh Nimmo’s lab. He subsequently won an MRC Retraining Fellowship in Recombinant DNA Technology, which he took up in Dr Richard Hayward’s lab at the Department of Molecular Biology in the University of Edinburgh. David then carried out four years’ post-doctoral study at the Salk Institute in San Diego, funded by a fellowship from the American Cancer Society. He worked under the direction of Walter Eckhart and pioneered our understanding of the regulation of the p53 tumour suppressor by post-translational modification. David returned to the UK in 1990 having obtained an MRC Senior Fellowship to work in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at Dundee, where he developed his research programme as an independent researcher with the enthusiastic support of Prof Sir Philip Cohen and Prof Sir David Lane. In 1993 he moved to the fledgling Biomedical Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital where he continued to develop his interest in the p53 pathway, supported by the MRC fellowship, which he held until 2001. He continues his interest in the p53 network where his efforts have focused on its role in human cancer and its potential for reactivation as a therapeutic strategy to combat cancer. His work is funded by the Medical Research Council, Medical Research Scotland and Breast Cancer Now. David has also contributed over many years externally to journal reviewing/editorship and other assessment activities including RAE2008. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2014.