Alzheimer’s Research UK pays tribute to Prof Stuart Pickering-Brown
21 October 2021
All of us at Alzheimer’s Research UK have been deeply saddened to learn about the death of our friend and colleague Professor Stuart Pickering-Brown.
Stuart was a leading authority in dementia research, working at the University of Manchester in the field of genetics. His research meant he was closely involved with Alzheimer’s Research UK and he acted as Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Chair of the Grant Review Board and Clinical Trials Advisory Panel, and as an advisory member of the Dementia Consortium. He was also a key part of the charity’s Research Network as co-ordinator for its North-West Network Centre.
Stuart talked on video about his work:
Stuart completed his undergraduate degree in Manchester in 1991 and his PhD doctoral thesis on ‘A Genetic Analysis of Frontotemporal Dementia’ led to a career dedicated to understanding the molecular genetic causes of early onset neurodegenerative disease and motor neurone disease. Having gained his doctorate at Manchester, Stuart stayed on for a period of postdoctoral research before moving to the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London as a Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry in 2003. He then spent a period as visiting scientist and Assistant Professor at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville before returning to Manchester in 2005 having been awarded an MRC New Investigator Research Fellowship. Subsequently he was awarded an MRC Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellowship, during which he was Researcher of the Year (2007), before becoming Professor of Neurogenetics in 2010.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Stuart Pickering-Brown was a long-standing friend of Alzheimer’s Research UK and made a significant contribution both to the charity and to dementia research. We are deeply saddened by his loss. Stuart lent his expertise and advice to many of our initiatives, including as Chair of our Grant Review Board and Clinical Trials Advisory Panel. His guidance ensured donations to the charity were used to fund the highest quality research, helped foster vital scientific collaborations and championed researchers at the start of their careers.
“His work on the genetics of frontotemporal dementia, and in particular the discovery of the c9orf72 gene’s involvement in the disease, helped reignite research and opened the door for treatments in clinical trials today.
“Stuart was a great supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s public engagement work, and a huge believer in the importance of improving society’s understanding of dementia and its impact both biologically and emotionally. Stuart undertook countless speaking and media opportunities for the charity, as well as consulting on many of our outreach activities, helping to shape crucial campaigns. We send our thoughts to Stuart’s family and friends and our heartfelt thanks for the enormous impact he made for dementia research.”
In addition, Stuart was a Member of the MRC Neuroscience and Mental Health Board, the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study Biological Resource Advisory Committee member, and a member of the ASP Association grants review Board.
Aside from his research activities, Stuart will be best remembered for his love of fine food and his skills as a chef. As well as socialising over meals with friends, he loved Derbyshire and was occasionally known to attend zoom meetings from the middle of the countryside, surrounded by the peaks of his home county.