Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, is to be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Exeter in recognition of her work at the helm of the UK’s leading dementia research charity.
Hilary joined Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2013, working to drive forward the organisation’s profile and influence. The award ceremony on Friday 21 July will recognise her work leading the charity’s transformation into one of the fastest-growing medical research charities in the UK.
Over the past three years, the charity has doubled its income, significantly enhancing its ability to fund groundbreaking new research. As Chief Executive, Hilary has also led major campaigns aiming to shift public perceptions of dementia and break down the stigma surrounding the diseases that cause it.
The University of Exeter is currently home to a thriving dementia research programme, as well as the Alzheimer’s Research UK South West Research Network Centre, which brings together scientists in the region who work to tackle the devastating condition. Earlier this year Dr Katie Lunnon from the University was awarded the charity’s Early Career Investigator of the Year Award, in recognition of her pioneering work on a field of biology called epigenetics. The University has invested to build on its expertise, which spans from discovering the genomic and biomedical factors that cause dementia, to maintaining a healthy brain and supporting people to live well with the condition. Appointments in the last two years include Professor Linda Clare, Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), and Clive Ballard, Professor of Age-Related Disease.
Hilary, who studied Politics at the University of Exeter, said:
“The University of Exeter played an important part in shaping my career, and it is no surprise that the University is also helping lead the way in dementia research. In my role as Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK I have been able to see first-hand the cutting-edge work taking place in labs across the country to defeat this devastating condition, and Exeter’s research is a shining example of this effort. It is a privilege to lead a charity with such an ambitious drive to achieve its vision of a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia, and I am honoured to have been chosen for this award.”
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