Last night, Oxford has lost a great man.
Professor Sir David Weatherall passed away, aged 85.
Sir David dedicated his career to characterize the molecular basis of some forms of inherited anaemia (thalassaemia). He also undertook research activities in developing countries. His legacy is important, which includes the Institute of Molecular Medicine that he founded in Oxford in 1989. Retired in 2000, he spent most of his time at the Institute, together with regular trips in Sri Lanka supporting people with the disease over there.
I had the privilege to take a portrait of him in 2007 at his house. Prior to the shoot, we spent about an hour taking. Probably the most humble person I came across. I recall I asked him to change 3 times his shirt, as the first one was white and would be overexposed with the spotlight. Then he turned up with a black one, which would have been too dark, so I asked him to change it again! He finally came with a light blue one, which did the job. Although this was meant to be an official portrait of the great person he was, I asked him if he wanted me to take an extra one for the family, and he suggested having one of him with his cat. That photo has never been released, but is probably one of the most emotional portraits that I took. Thanks to his wife Stella who was helping for the photo shoot.
He will be missed enormously.
All my condolences to his family, and to all my Oxford Colleagues who have been working with him.
Doug #oxford # #universityofoxford#anemia#anaemia#thalassemia#thalassaemia#globin#knighthood#weatherallinstituteofmolecularmedicine#medicalresearch
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