Sir Colin Blakemore, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at DPAG and former Head of the Department, recently received the highest honour of the UK College of Optometrists. The President's Research Medal, which is awarded only every four years, was last month presented to Professor Blakemore, for outstanding contribution to research and recognition of a lifetime's career in optometric or vision science research.
In particular, Professor Blakemore received the award on account of 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.
The award was presented at the Wellcome Collection in London on 25th January 2018, at which Professor Blakemore delivered the College’s Research Excellence Lecture, A Visual Experience.
Although Professor Blakemore did not train as an optometrist, he has a strong association with the profession, having completed his PhD within the optometry department at the University of California, Berkeley, and thus, as Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt, president of the College, put it, he has been "a great friend to the profession".
Speaking after the event, Professor Blakemore said, "It’s a very special honour to receive the Research Excellence Medal from the College of Optometrists" and that "the contact with teachers, researchers, clinicians and students in optometry has had a deep effect on me, and on my research".