The Large Lecture Theatre is being renamed the Blakemore Lecture Theatre in recognition of the sustained and long-standing contribution of Professor Sir Colin Blakemore FRS as Waynflete Professor of Physiology (Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics) and his time as an outstanding lecturer for generations of medical students and physiology students on the wonders of the brain.
Professor Blakemore is a world-renowned neuroscientist who has significantly contributed to our understanding of vision, and how the brain develops and adapts. He has been influential in demonstrating ‘neural plasticity’ — how brain cells reorganise themselves in response to the environment after birth and even in adulthood. Professor Blakemore joined the Department in October 1979 at the age of 35 years as the youngest Waynflete Chair of Physiology and a Professorial Fellowship at Magdalen College, positions he held until July 2007. During this time, he directed the McDonnell-Pew Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Oxford Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. From 2007-12, he was Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and Supernumerary Fellow at Magdalen. Professor Blakemore, who remains Emeritus Professor at DPAG, is also very well known for his passionate belief in the importance of public engagement with research. He has held several influential positions, including serving as Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council from 2003-07, and received a knighthood in 2014 for services to scientific research, policy and outreach.