Ken McClure was born and raised in Edinburgh. He had the good fortune to be taught by Norman MacCaig at Craiglockhart Primary School and later Sorley Maclean at Boroughmuir High School. His first career plan was to join the Merchant Navy, but after a year of studying engineering in Glasgow he realised that engineering – and a possible 18-month post in the Antarctic – wasn’t for him.
He turned to music for a year or so, playing guitar with a small jazz combo and several pop groups, before taking a job as a junior lab technician at Edinburgh City Hospital. Under the influence of consultant bacteriologist Dr Archie Wallace, Ken McClure took a night-school course, and later a degree from the Open University and a PhD in molecular genetics from Edinburgh University. His research work won him the Difco Triennial Prize in 1980, and, while working with the Medical Research Council, had a gene named after him: ftsK.
McClure first turned to writing after a research trip to Tel-Aviv; his time there became the basis of his first novel The Scorpion’s Advance. Now writing full time, McClure has written over 15 medical and scientific thrillers, and has had the most success with his Dr Steven Dunbar series, most recently The Lazarus Strain. He lives in East Lothian.