Bristol University researchers awarded OBEs in Queen's New Year Honours


By Imogen Horton, News Editor

Professor John Armitage and Dr Charlie Foster, from the University of Bristol, have been awarded OBEs in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Professor John Armitage, Emeritus Professor of Cryobiology in the Bristol Medical School and former Director of Bristol Tissue Bank, has been awarded an OBE for his services to corneal transplantation.

With a PhD in cardiac cryopreservation, Professor Armitage set up the Bristol Eye Bank with Professor David Easty, then Head of Ophthalmology, and Professor Ben Bradley, former Medical Director of UK Transplant.

The Corneal Transplant Service Eye Bank in Bristol supplied its first corneas in March 1986 and soon became one of Europe’s largest eye banks.

Professor Armitage, now part of the NHS, still carries out research into corneal transplant outcomes and transplant immunology through the University of Bristol.

Speaking about his award, he said: 'I am truly delighted to have my work recognised in this way.

'The award also reflects the impact of the work by the Bristol Eye Bank and recognises the collective effort of Bristol University staff, ophthalmology colleagues in the Bristol Eye Hospital and collaborating organisations including NHS Blood and Transplant and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

'However, above all, I must acknowledge the thoughtfulness and generosity of the families of eye donors, without whom tissue and organ transplantation would not be possible.'

Dr Charlie Foster, a Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his work to promote of physical activity.

A former secondary school PE teacher, Dr Charlie Foster is one of the world’s leading experts in the field, regularly advising the Government on how best to get the UK moving and in turn improve public health.

His main research focus is on the current UK national phyhsical activity guidelines, leading scientific review and working ith over 50 UK and international academics and practitioners across all age groups.

He also teaches MSc Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health at Bristol University.

Dr Foster said: 'My time teaching PE to secondary school students, running gyms in car factories, working for the NHS in cardiac rehabilitation and primary care has shaped my approach as an academic by aiming to produce science that has a purpose and impact in the real world.

'I hope that this honour helps highlight the valuable role of physical activity research, policy and promotion as a critical mechanism to tackling global health, economic and environmental challenges.

'I will continue to advocate for an active society and for environments that are accessible to all, which offer opportunities for those who have the most to gain and that narrow, not increase, health inequalities.'

Featured Image: Bristol University

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