Professor Procter was born in Leyland in Lancashire, England. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Leeds in 1992 and his PhD in 1995 working with Professor Christopher Rayner on organosulfur and selenium chemistry. He then spent two years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Professor Robert Holton at Florida State University in Tallahassee, USA, working on the synthesis of analogues of the anticancer agent Taxol.
In late 1997 he took up a Lectureship at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in February 2004. In September 2004, he moved to a Readership at the University of Manchester and was promoted to Professor in October 2008. He has served as the Head of Organic Chemistry (2011-2014) and is currently Head of the Department of Chemistry.
Professor Procter has received awards in recognition of his research achievements; for example, EPSRC Established Career Fellowship (2015-2020), 2020 Batsheva De Rothschild Fellowship (Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities), the 2014 Liebig Lectureship (German Chemical Society), the 2014 Bader Award (Royal Society of Chemistry) and a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2013).