The College of Optometrists awarded the second ever President’s Research Medal to Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, a Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. The award was presented at the Wellcome Collection on Thursday 25 January when Professor Blakemore delivered the College’s Research Excellence Lecture entitled; ‘A visual experience’, to a packed audience including leading members of the optometric research community and College members.
Speaking after his lecture, Professor Blakemore said; “It’s a very special honour to receive the President’s Research Medal from the College of Optometrists and to give the Research Excellence Lecture. Although I didn’t train as an optometrist, I have a strong association with the profession. I did my PhD in the School of Optometry in Berkeley, California, and the contact with teachers, researchers, clinicians and students in optometry had a deep effect on me, and on my research.”
Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt, President of the College of Optometrists, said: “Research is a crucial basis for any profession and the research commissioned at the College has played a critical role in the evolution of the evidence base for optometry, allowing practising optometrists to advise patients on the most efficient and cost effective treatments. I’m particularly pleased to present this award to Professor Sir Colin Blakemore; he presented the prestigious Charter Lecture at the Optometry Tomorrow conference in 2016, and has for many years been a great friend to the profession of optometry.”
The College Research Excellence Awards recognise achievements and celebrate outstanding contributions to research in the fields of optometry, optics and vision science. The most prestigious of the Awards is the President’s Research Medal, which is given every four years for outstanding contribution and recognises a lifetime career in optometric or vision science research. The recipient is invited to give the College’s Research Excellence Lecture. The inaugural winner was Professor Larry Thibos, Emeritus Professor of Optometry at Indiana University in the USA, in 2014.
To find out more about the College’s Research Excellence Awards, visit www.college-optometrists.org/awards. A recording of Professor Blakemore’s presentation will be available on the College’s website soon.
Professor Sir Colin Blakemore was the keynote speaker at the Optometry Tomorrow conference in 2016. Keynote speaker at Optometry Tomorrow 2018 is TED Fellow and eye health care innovator, Dr Andrew Bastawrous who will be speaking about reducing avoidable blindness globally. To book tickets visit: www.OptometryTomorrow.org.