A tribute to our Patron, Sir Colin Blakemore (1944-2022)
We are deeply saddened to learn that our Patron Sir Colin Blakemore passed away on the 27th of June 2022.
Sir Colin first joined us as a Trustee during the formative stages of Action Against AMD, playing a vital role in defining the strategy and vision for our charity in 2018. It is under his advice that we now focus on developing new pharmacological therapies aimed at tackling AMD as early as possible and addressing fundamental gaps to make such a goal possible.
A shining and guiding light for science and society, Sir Colin’s continued stance for rationality and openness has been deeply instilled in our ethos and culture – not only as we are on the search for a new treatment, but also that these need to be convenient, affordable, and accessible solutions.
His research specialised in vision and neuroplasticity, or how the brain continues to change even into adulthood in response to stimulation, experience, and injury. Sir Colin has held academic appointments in leading institutions, including the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, London, and City University of Hong Kong, as well as frequent visiting appointments held across the world.
Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, President and Chair of the British Science Association, President of the British Neuroscience Association, President of the Physiological Society, among several others. He is a member of twelve Academies of Science and the recognition he achieved in Britain and overseas has been expressed in numerous awards and accolades, including the 2018 President’s Research Medal from the College of Optometrists for ‘his pioneering work into vision, in particular stereoscopic vision, and neuronal plasticity, which are fundamental to our understanding of how vision works with our brain to create our visual experience.’
He was knighted in 2014 for services to scientific research, policy, and outreach.
His courage and commitment have always stimulated his fellow trustees and AAAMD’s executive team – despite a busy new appointment taking him to Hong Kong in 2019, Sir Colin had agreed to continue advising and serving as our Trustee.
And an even more humbling honour for us was his generous acceptance to become our Patron, despite just having shared with us the devastating news of his MND diagnosis.
He was an inspirational human being and will be truly missed by us all here at AAAMD.