Phillip Hawkins obtained his PhD in Professor Bob Michell‘s laboratory in the University of Birmingham in 1983. After post-docs in the laboratories of Dr Peter Downes and Michael Hanley he joined Len Stephens at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, where they set up a laboratory aimed at understanding the physiological function of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways. Most of his early work concerned the structures of the lipid messengers generated by this pathway and the molecular mechanisms by which they act as intracellular signals. This work contributed to the greater body of knowledge which has now established PI3K signaling pathways as complex regulatory webs controlling cell surface receptor signaling and intracellular vesicle trafficking, and hence several important cell responses, such as cell growth, survival, autophagy and movement. In recent years, his laboratory has focused on the role of Class I and III PI3Ks in the regulation of neutrophil chemokinesis and the oxidative burst. As this field has matured, several therapeutic opportunities have arisen for targeting this pathway and he acts as a consultant for several pharmaceutical companies who are attempting to create novel drugs in this area.