Michael McGlinchey was born in 1944 in Manchester, UK, and graduated in 1965 from the University of Manchester, Institute of Science & Technology (UMIST) with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. He did his graduate work at UMIST with Eric Banks on fluorinated azides and alkyl-nitrenes. He received his PhD in 1968, then went to the University of Bristol (UK) as a Junior Fellow and began to learn organometallic chemistry in Gordon Stone's laboratory. In 1970, he moved to Pennsylvania State University as a Research Associate working with Phil Skell, the renowned carbene chemist and, in 1972, was appointed Assistant Professor at McMaster University. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He has served as Chair of the Department, and as Chair of the Inorganic Division of the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

Over the past two decades, he has held numerous invited or visiting professorships at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland, at Rennes, Paris, Versailles and Toulouse in France, and at the University of Heilongjiang in the north-east of China. He also received an Honorary Professorship from Siping Normal University in Jilin Province, China.

He and his wife Barbara have been married since 1970 and have two sons, Andrew and Paul.

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Receiving an Honorary Professorship at Siping Normal University, PR China

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In Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The Forbidden City is in the background