Prof Robert Brown sadly passed away on 4th February 2016 at the age of 64.
An extraordinary human being, Robert is survived by his mother Doris Brown, his daughter Elizabeth Pelichet, his son Michael Brown and grandson Finley Brown. His passing is a huge loss to our UCL community and the tissue engineering community in the UK, Europe and Internationally.
Robert was awarded his Ph.D. in 1976 by Manchester University where under the supervision of Dr J.B.Weiss he successfully defended his research into “A Molecular Dissection of Rheumatoid and Normal Synovial Membranes with Special Reference to their Collagen Contents.” That started his lifelong fascination of all things collagen. He had a brief stint with industry working first as a research assistant and then as Deputy Head of R&D with Blood Products Laboratory (Elstree) between 1977-1983 before joining UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Royal National Orthopaedics Hospital, Stanmore as a lecturer/Senior Lecturer (1984-1992). In 1992 on his promotion to Reader he moved his research base to Bloomsbury as Director of the Tissue Repair Unit which he setup along with the UCL Tissue Engineering Centre (TREC). In 2002 he was appointed as UCL’s first Professor of Tissue Engineering and moved his research base back to Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Royal National Orthopaedics Hospital, Stanmore. He was a founding member of the British Tissue Engineering community and past president of the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES) UK.
Robert leaves behind a rich legacy of scientific innovations, motivated students with successful careers and scientifically productive collaborations across the UK, Europe and Internationally. But most importantly he leaves behind a legacy of global friendships brought together by Robert’s passion for science.
Excerpts from Professor Robert Brown’s obituary by Professor Vivek Mudera, UCL.