Prof. Richard JS Wise

Richard Wise

We deeply saddened to say that on the 2nd March 2018, our wonderful friend, colleague and mentor Prof. Richard Wise passed away. Richard had been fighting myeloma for the past two years, but sadly died peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family.

Richard was active as possible right up to the last few weeks, reading books, taking photographs, and providing wonderful company to those who visited him. In January we celebrated his 68th Birthday together as friends.

Following his retirement at Christmas, we were also honored to celebrate with him with an 'e-Festschrift' video. Richard very much enjoyed receiving every single message.



(Courtesy of Dr. Fatemeh Geranmayeh)

A memorial service has been set for 6pm 9th July at the Wolfson Education Centre, part of the Hammersmith Hospital campus on Du Cane Road, London. The event is free and open to anyone who knew Richard and would like to attend. To register your tickets, please visit https://richardwise.eventbrite.com.



The Professor Wise Memorial Fund has been established within Imperial College Charity to commemorate Richard and his passion for supporting researchers early in their careers through the of hosting an annual international lecture prize competition for young scientists in cognitive neuroscience. To find out more information and make a donation please click here https://www.justgiving.com/profrichardwise

Richard's friendship and kindness was felt by colleagues throughout the world. Please join us in sharing your memories of Richard below:

Magdalena Sastre - Imperial College London
Apart of a colleague at Imperial, Richard was my neighbour in Ealing. I used to meet him in the tube or the local supemarket and we chatted about anything related to science and the College. He was always very motivated and enthusiatic about research and his dream was to come back to work. He will be greatly missed.
Adam Hampshire - Imperial College London
Richard has been a great friend and role model these past few years since I moved back to the UK. I will miss his deep insights, fun anecdotes and all those times spent sipping a whisky or two with Richard and Rob at the end of a hard days work.
Kate Watkins - Oxford
Richard was such a lovely man. He was kind, generous with his time, always interested in your work, and a great source of fun and gossip. We - his friends, colleagues and admirers - will miss him very much, as will our science. Best wishes xxx
Niall Bourke - Imperial
Richard was insightful about a great many things and I would find myself hanging onto his words as he spoke. As soon as he heard I sailed quite shortly after joining C3NL I was brought on a trip to the reservoir with Rob to go out on their boat. Its a shame I didn't get to go out with him again, but it was always good to see him pottering back into the lab with his boating T-shirt. He will be deeply missed.
David Sharp - Imperial College London
I am tremendously sad about the death of my colleague, mentor and friend. I initially met him in the old MRC Cyclotron Unit at the Hammersmith. I had come for an interview and was nervous. He excitedly described his work mapping language in the brain. The interview questions never came. It ended with a vodka martini, the start of my PhD with Richard. He was an inspirational scientist who loved his work. His excitement at new results was infectious. Setbacks were shared but successes generously promoted. I felt like Richard and I were taking on the scientific world. I couldn’t believe I was being paid to do it. He was a tremendous teacher. We benefited from his insights, patience and support. There was always a twinkle in his eye as he played with a new theory or analysis. Nothing was too much to ask. He spent his time discussing science with students, rather than bogged down with administration. He will live on through the many careers he inspired and shaped. His wore his troubles lightly. He battled myeloma for the last two years without ever losing his good humour and poise. His stoicism in the face of gruelling treatment was a revelation. He was a role model to the end and died surrounded by the family he loved. I will miss him greatly. I wish there were more time. The world is less colourful place without him.
Romy Lorenz - Imperial College London
Richard, I will miss coming into the office and finding you sitting in my chair chatting with Magda, Fatemeh, Ines and Rob. While in the past you used to wear a bow tie a lot (Fatemeh told me), I actually liked your stylish bandanna and cane you wore over the past 2 year. You wore it with so much grace! I jokingly sometimes said you look like a pirate and I think you liked that :) A science pirate! When you were in the lab, you spend probably half of your time in our little ‘women’ corner and not in your actual office. And when you were in your office - the door was always open. And that was not just symbolically: You were always there for your PhD students, postdocs and mentees - their wellbeing, success and career progression was your utmost priority. Over course of their careers you nourished them to grow wings, and then you stepped into the background in order for your protégés to fly. Even when you felt unwell and were in hospital, you were great company. Time flew by when talking to you and we chatted about god and the world - and sometimes also science :) I admired listening to your adventures when taking b/w street photography in London’s haste. Even outside of work you were always interested in people, landscape photography bored you and were captured by people and their uniqueness. I learned so much from you. An important one is, not to take oneself too serious. However, most of the things I learned from you, I can’t quite even verbalise yet. But there is this deep trust and knowledge in me, that your wisdom is growing within me. “Vicariously, through another person’s eyes, men and women can see the world anew. … There is given to them again a sense of wonder. This should be the photographer’s aim. … To meet a need that people cannot and will not meet for themselves. We are most of us too busy, too worried, too intent on proving ourselves right, too obsessed with ideas, to stand and stare”. (Bill Brandt)
Jonathan Schott - UCL
Richard, despite his numerous and significant contributions to neurology and neuroscience, was the antithesis of the pompous professor — down to earth, infectiously enthusiastic and always interested in others. Despite never working directly with him, he was always very supportive to me, for which I will always be grateful. A true gentleman scholar, he will be sorely missed.
Vincenzo De Paola - Imperial College London
Richard has been one of the reasons I decided to come to London and join the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre. I always looked up to him. He was genuinely passionate about science, always ready to share his latest insight or idea. I was very fortunate to have him as a colleague and mentor. There was a sense that great things would eventually happen around him. He cared about making a difference. It saddened me to learn about his illness very much and I regret not having spent enough time to talk to him in the last two years. I will forever remember his kindness, openness and contagious passion for science...and of course his characteristic bow ties. A leader in his field and a true gentleman. My sincere condolences to his family.
Christian Büchel - UKE, Hamburg
Dear Richard, I still remember my first days at the FIL when you introduced me to one of your data sets and offered to collaborate on a new parametric analysis technique for PET data. This actually resulted in my very first paper from the FIL and I am very grateful for your help. We were also doing out-patient Neurology clinics at the Square together which was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot! I will miss you.
Narinder Kapur - University College London
I got to know Richard around 20-30 years ago when I started doing some work at the Hammersmith. Apart from a delightful person to know and a great raconteur, Richard was a wonderful supporter of Neuropsychology and Neuropsychologists, and we will miss him dearly.
Marco Catani - King’s College London
It is with great sadness that I hear of the passing of Professor Richard Wise, a pioneer in the field of brain imaging and language. He belonged to the elite of those British neurologists that endeavoured scientific exploration from difficult clinical grounds. Despite devoting his career to neuroimaging he remained anchored to the tradition of behavioural neurology and in part consciously skeptical of the mesmerising power of the pictorial representations of the brain in action produced by PET and fMRI. This led him to make insightful and clinically meaningful descriptions of the neurobiology of language in a time where functional imaging became widely misused to produce ad hoc “evidence” to back up a well concocted story. In the 1990s, when the field became obsessed again with cortical localisationism, he was one of the dissenting voices that reminded us of the brain as a network construct (Wise et al., Brain 1991), an approach to which he remained faithful to the end (Geranmayeh et al., Brain 2017). On a personal level he was very charismatic and personable. A few years ago, I received an offer to relocate to Imperial College and Richard Wise was one of the reasons for seriously considering the move. But I made the most comfortable decision of staying at King’s College London, conscious that the missed opportunity of working with him would be one of my most hurtful regrets. From the handful personal meetings with him, I cherish the memories of a challenging thinker with a witty smile. His papers need to be read again and preserved as hidden gems in a vastly dispensable imaging literature.
Pr JF Demonet - CHUV Univ. Lausanne, and INSERM Toulouse
A great friend and mentor who had be my best contradictor and hence taught me a lot always with funny and kind remarks, though very insightful. We will miss him and keep his memory in our hearts.
Rupert Leach - UCL
I was a lucky patient who almost literally stumbled upon Prof Richard Wise in 2008. He explained in his Hammersmith clinic, there is so little known about the brain and language, he said ‘it’s like hearsay or rumours’. I’m eternally gratefully that I found a man who handled with concrete facts and treat statistics with healthy skepticism and a wicked wit. Thank you.
Gabriella Bottini - University of Pavia
A wonderful combination between Neurology and Neuropsychology, this is to me Richard Wise thinking of his activity as a clinician and a researcher. A perfect gentleman, always kind and "there" if you needed help. The most elegant person I have ever meet at the Unit. I feel deeply sad about his premature death.
Eraldo Paulesu - University of Milano-Bicocca
Charming, cool, soft-spoken, funny when needed, Richard brought a special vibe every time he walked in the Mind-Brain Room, back in the days, the early 90s to be exact, at the Cyclotron Unit of the Hammersmith Hospital. Cathy, of course, was the one working with him on language, to my total envy, at the beginning at least, as my background was on the neuropsychology of language. And yet, with Gabriella we managed to collaborate with Richard at least in one project when he pointed us to a special patient that later we described together. Richard was one of those rare knowledgeable people who, knowing a lot, likes to share his knowledge with juniors with the nonchalance of real gentlemen. His approach to the study of neurolinguistics was deep, unconventional and refreshing. We didn't know that he was unwell and now all is left is the regret of not having crossed his path more, the last time having been in Paris a few years ago when in the prospect of an invitation to Milan he responded: "I'm your man." So charming. We will miss him a lot.
Valerie Bonnelle - Beckley Foundation
The mischievous eyes of a child, that contrasted with a mona-list type of smile, the smile of a man who figured out something precious about life... Gossipy as a young girl and wise as an owl, a man of contrasts, colourful, warm and yet intimidating. One of a kind really... I am glad and grateful I got to know Richard, even just a tiny bit. My thoughts go to all of those who lost this great man, his family and friends, and my former C3NL colleagues.
Stefano Cappa - IUSS Pavia
Dear Richard, we met may years ago at the Hammersmith and we started a conversation about the neurology of language that went on ever since. Even when the interruptions were long, each time we had a chance to spend some time together we could reconnect without effort. Always kind, always humorous, always bright and original. I wll miss you immensely.
Claire Feeney - Former Imperial
I was very sad to hear about Richard’s premature passing. I saw him at Christmas and thought there was more time. It’s hard to imagine that time could ever come to an end for such a strong and energetic man. I always enjoyed seeing Richard during my time at C3NL and beyond. He was a great conversationalist and had many other great qualities. Not only did he himself have a glittering career, he shaped (and rescued) the careers and lives of many people around him. He did this selflessly and with joy. It was a pleasure to have known Richard.
Gail Robinson - University of Queensland, Australia
I met Richard during my time at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London. He was always a keen supporter of neuropsychology in general and language research with patients in particular. I valued his fresh insights and approach - always had many good points to make in a kindly and generous manner! He will be missed by an international community.
John Greene - Neurology Dept, Glasgow
He enthused about his work, and was a very kind and compassionate man.
Sonia Brownsett - QUT/former Imperial
So many memories, so many stories, too few papers, too many (or perhaps not enough) vodka martinis, politics, patients, scuba dives near and far, blobs, the occasional cake-off (which Anna aways won) and, of course, the gossip. A desperately sad time for all those who had the honour of knowing Richard. He was a treasured mentor, incredible teacher and cherished friend. He was a true gentleman and one of our most brilliantly inquisitive minds, the combination of which resulted in an incredible scientist. A man whose passion for his work was infectious and his compassion for all those around him will continue to be inspirational for all of our careers. He had a huge heart, an enormous smile and a humility that ensured that all felt welcomed and encouraged by him. A boss who gave you confidence, a supervisor who gave you courage and a friend who allowed you to put the world to rights armed with a cup of tea…..or a VM straight up. As much as he was loved by us, his academic family, his real passion remained his children and his grandchildren. My thoughts are with them at this time. I hope they can get some comfort from seeing how loved, how important, and how special he was to his colleagues and peers around the world.
Jimmy Bell - University of Westminster
A superb scientist and a great human being. He will be sorely missed by all
Karen Oaksford - Royal Free Hospital
I shall treasure the years when I had the privilege to work alongside Richard delivering the joint neurology/neuropsychology patient demonstrations at the Royal Free. Richard always championed neuropsychology, and he showed such kindness towards his patients...and who can forget his love of a good gossip! He became a greatly respected and admired colleague and I shall miss him dearly.
Praveen Anand - Imperial College London
It was my great privilege to help dear Richard in recent months for his painful neuropathy, induced by chemotherapy, and therefore to meet him regularly and informally. He maintained his charm and humour throughout, unchanged over the years - ever since I first met him at HH in 1982! I am not sure if I have helped him significantly, but he has certainly helped me over the decades. A most wonderful person, clinician, and scientist, all world-class - I will always have the warmest glow and admiration when remembering dear Richard.
Alex Martin - National Institute of Mental Health, US
Over the years our paths crossed maybe a dozen times. I was always happy to see him. A true scholar, a gentleman, and a funny guy. He will be missed.
Jonas Obleser - University of Luebeck
Dear Richard, where are we now! As your last email from November reads: “If I think I can meet up with you without taking the precaution of bringing along a body bag then, yes, delighted to meet up.” – It did not happen, because of an emergency MR you had to take that next morning. And so what would have been our last meeting did never take place. But you have left me with so much to work from and work with for many years to come: I am eternally thankful for that mentorship and friendship and role model you provided, so unexpectedly, as I got all that “for free” simply by hanging out with you; at Imperial, at conferences, in restaurants, hotels, during flights (when you sported that “New York Review of Books issue”). Those thirty minutes at that weird Atlanta convention hall 2006 when you sat me down to jointly re-write that paper discussion were arguably the most influential I have ever spent on scientific writing. I have never since been able to (re-)use the two words “pivotal” and “crucial” without thinking of your bemused yet distinct, fatherly disapproval. Fare well, Richard!
Jason Warren - UCL
In so many ways, Richard led the way by example. He showed us how to write science with panache and how to detonate a lacklustre meeting with a comment. He was a creative and elegant experimentalist. His views on the language system in aphasia were well ahead of his time and, remarkably, became even more lucid after a vodka martini or two. An inveterate gossip, he was a born practitioner of social cognition long before it became a respectable scientific discipline but also forgiving of the foibles of others. He gave me a major break by letting me to use his scanner to do fMRI in dementia patients when few other places were willing to back it. His joie de vivre was enviable and irrepressible and I am glad that the last time I saw him, he was surrounded by his friends and students, holding forth at lunch (over a nice bottle of something) and much entertained by the local Notting Hillbillies. He proves, I think, that the best legacy any of us will ever have is the people we loved - and who loved us in return.
Karalyn Patterson - University of Cambridge
In addition to (a) the overwhelming sadness of losing this unique colleague and treasured friend, and (b) the obvious respect and admiration felt by everyone who knew Richard's research and clinical work, it is an amazing experience to read the tributes to him on this website. They make it clear that Richard somehow made each and every one of us feel that we had a special relationship with him. If that is not an outstanding lifetime achievement, I don't know what is.
David Soto - BCBL (formerly Imperial)
Richard was definitely one of the nicest and coolest guys I met during my time at Imperial. He was part of the interview panel when I was hired late in 2007. When I entered the interview room, he was the one that looked at me with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. Later, he was the one that took the time to show me around the Hammersmith campus in my first visit. I ended up at Charing Cross campus, and despite I did not work close to him he was always extremely supportive and caring during my next 10 years at Imperial. He was not just an outstanding scientist but a really nice person and colleague. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Fatemeh Geranmayeh - Imperial College London
Richard was a rare gem, humble despite great achievements, selfless in supporting others, witty, enthusiastic and exceptionally stoic. When he first interviewed me 10 years ago for an Academic Clinical Fellowship position, I had no idea that the man firing away the questions will turn out to be a precious ally and a cherished friend. When I did get the position, the choice of which supervisor to work with was made incredibly easy by the testimonies and admirations of his then PhD students. He was an exceptional academic supervisor, and a reassuring clinical consultant for the neurology registrars who saved up their challenging Hammersmith cases for Richard to see on the Thursday ward rounds. Richard! I will miss coming into your office in the mornings on my way to my desk for a ‘quick hello’, only to not make it out in the planned time-frame, as the sweet morning greeting would morph into an interesting topic of discussion, scientific mentorship, a random humours anecdote, or your latest artistic endeavour… Richard, I have learnt so much from you and on so many different levels. I feel truly honoured to have known you. My thoughts are with your wonderful family.
Tony Hill - SCUBA buddy
Dear Richard, Many thanks for your company, your wit and your companionship on dives around the world. It was a pleasure and honour to know you. Many of your professional colleagues will not realise what a diver you were. Many times we dove Chesil Cove, a byword for pain and suffering in the dive community, yet we struggled with a smile up that horrible bank that defeated lesser divers. The Solo Diver course - I suspect you are the only one who has passed that course, in freezing UK waters, in their seventh decade. I will treasure these memories and many more. My thoughts are with your family at this time.
Rik Vandenberghe - KU Leuven
Richard was one of the first scientists I had the good fortune to work with as a PhD student. He has remained an inspiring and leading example to me ever since. I hold him in very high respect and will treasure the memories. Despite adversity he was a true winner, Rik
Joanna Bisdee - Life Directions
I have known Richard since we were children. We were in Oxford at the same time and had much fun together in particular on the punt that he co-owned with friends from Magdalen College. Latterly we communicated regularly and Richard would send me carefully crafted cards with pictures of interesting and curious works of art. Our last meeting was a trip to the Saatchi Gallery and of course cocktails. I shall miss him RIP ❤️❤️
Dan Carey - Trinity College Dublin
Richard was a remarkable scientist and a wonderful person. I'll always feel grateful for the brief but insightful interactions I had with him, and for the opportunities I had to learn from those he had trained. His loss will be felt deeply throughout the speech and neuroimaging communities.
Michael Kopelman - KCL
Always a gentleman, immensely knowledgable, wise, and good humoured, as well as a good friend to neuropsychology, I am very sorry indeed to hear of Richard's death. A great loss to all of us.
Duncan Gray - Berkhamsted School
Richard ws a great friend at school, we were in the same house and when he left school I succeeded him as Head of House. We were in the school Rigby team for under 14s right up to the first fifteen. We were both the athletics team, Richard as a hurdler. Have very fond memories of those days at school and Richard was a mentor as well as a friend. A great loss at such a young age.
David Howard - Newcastle University
Forty odd years of friendship and collaboration. A wonderful man, and one of the last remaining advocates of the neurological bow tie. I learned loads from him and we argued a lot - perhaps productively. A catalyst in bringing together the neuropsychology of language and functional imaging - I miss him.
Chris Code - University of Exeter
While I knew Richard was unwell it was not until this afternoon that I heard that he had passed away. I didn't know Richard too personally. We met when he invited me to the scientific fiction world of the wonderfully named 'Cyclotron' at Hammersmith in the late 1980s. I had written a book on aphasia and the right hemisphere that I was very proud of but he was just beginning at that time I think to examine using PET some of the speculations that had emerged over the last couple of centuries about the role of the right hemisphere in language processing, especially in aphasia. We met at many other events, mainly British Aphasiology Soc., and Science of Aphasia meetings. He was a terrific supporter of these events, and of efforts by speech and language therapists to improve the lives of aphasic people - a fairly lone neurologist in the UK to do so. We had many interesting discussions about aphasia and brain and shared a meal or two, where he took my teasing about his bow tie with grace and humour. My thoughts are with his family and friends and close colleagues who I know will miss him, and his gracious style and good humour. I certainly will.
Emer Hughes - KCL
I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Richard Wise. I didn't know him as well as others at Imperial but he stands out in my memory as genuinely lovely person whom I, and I'm sure many others, feel privileged to have known. My deepest sympathy to all his family, friends and colleagues.
Chrystalla Orphanides - Imperial College London
I'm very saddened to hear of this news and my thoughts are with Richard's family and friends at this time. Chrystalla
Mairead MacSweeney - University College London
Richard will be greatly missed by all. Especially at language conferences. Seeing him rise to his feet to ask one of his wonderful questions was always a highlight!
Sarah Hawkins - Cambridge University
I didn’t know RIchard well: we went to the same seminars at UCL for a couple of years (Mondays, 9 a.m., a wonderful start to the week), and I heard him give some talks, always beautifully clear, insightful and leading to better ideas. So I quickly developed the great respect and liking for him that everyone has expressed in this video and the written messages. I feel enriched to have known him and am saddened that he is not still with us. Those who new him better must feel great loss.
Roberto Guiloff - Charing Cross Hospital
I knew Richard since our neurology training days. He followed me in the post of Senior Registrar in Neurology at Kings College Hospital. We used to talk about the goods and bads of that job, always in a light, humorous way. We remained good friends ever since. I enjoyed his sense of humour, wittiness, warmness and friendliness. We shared a number of patients when he was at Charing Cross as we had different special interests, he in higher cerebral functions, me in the neuromuscular system. I remember with sadness when he left Charing Cross years ago, and we gave him a farewell dinner ar a restaurant in Holland Park, which he greatly appreciated. He was a highly intelligent and astute clinician and a brilliant and original researcher. He will be sorely missed.
Martin Rossor - UCL
Dear Richard We go back a long way. Junior hospital jobs and training in neurology. The fun of discovering that our children were studying medicine at the same college. As with all good friendships the gaps between meetings did not matter as we just picked up where we left off; until now You will be greatly missed Martin
Michelle Bovell - NHNN/Hammersmith/Charing Cross Hospital
I had the lovely experience of working alongside Dr Wise, when I was secretary at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospital. He gave me so much advice and help, He will be truly missed.
Paul de Mornay Davies - Middlesex University
Richard gave me my first proper RA job in the early 90's despite the fact that I looked more like a former member of Whitesnake than a researcher at that point in my life. He really started my career in neuropsychology and I will be forever indebted to him and his generosity of spirit. He spoke to me as an equal and made me feel welcome in the world of academia and science. Very sad day.
Sophie Molloy - Imperial
My sympathies for your loss. Richard was a wonderfully inspiring neurologist & an incredibly affable workmate who always had a happy & relaxed demeanour to patients & colleagues alike.
Aldo Faisal - Imperial College London
Richard was a great scientist and could share fun stories and deeper scientific thoughts in a seamless stimulating discussion. A loss for science and us.
Wendy Best - UCL
When I met Richard, usually at Language Conferences, he was sometimes controversial, often thought-provoking, always fun, warm and witty. He will be missed. Warm wishes to family and friends.
Simon Taylor-Robinson - Imperial College London
A wonderfully kind man, gifted beyond belief, a man who wouldn't trade anything for the truth. I shall miss his wisdom, gentle humour and clarity
Cathy Price - UCL
Richard was such a talented and entertaining person with so much passion for his work, family and friends. He pioneered non-invasive neuro-imaging studies of language function for 3 decades and was the most brilliant and inspiring teacher and speaker. I will always be grateful to him for giving me a chance in the early days, supporting women in science and doing everything with such good humour. Thank you Richard. The world has lost a star. Cathyx
Kate Swinburn - UCL
Richard and I worked together 25 years ago (along with Lizzie Warburton). He set up the research project that produced the Comprehensive Aphasia Test. He was supportively skeptical about my forays into Patient Reported Outcome Measurement alongside 'hard science'. As others have said he was the most generous of men; making everyone around him feel valued, special, challenged, energized, interested and interesting. In my experience he was without ego, but with so much personality, humour and humanity. He was a very very special man. I am so very sorry that I did not know he was so ill. I will miss him.
Mary Crisp - Northwick Park Hospital
I have fond memories of working with Professor Wise in the 1990s -such a thoughtful, kind, caring and considerate man. My condolences.
Heather Angus-Leppan - royal free hospital
Richard's warmth, intelligence, kindness and sense of humour wll be sadly missed, he leaves many many people wholove himand whose lives have been touched by him. thank you Richard for being one of the really lovely and special people in the world!
Dr Bishnu Upadhaya - CENTRE FOR HOLISTIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTHCARE LIMITED
My Condolence to Prof. Richard JS Wise.
Liz Warburton - Cambridge University Hospitals
I think I was probably Richard’s first clinical research fellow (1992). My ‘interview’ took place in the café area at Charing Cross Hospital over a cup of tea –from there we took a car journey in the old brown Rover (remember that?) to the Cyclotron Unit to meet Cathy, and the rest is history….. I had never heard of deep dyslexia but Richard made it sound so fascinating I was immediately hooked. This was part of the magic of Richard – his ability to illuminate cognitive neurology and to inspire others. We saw many stroke patients together (including the one mentioned by Eraldo) and Richard’s wonderful way of bedside assessment I still utilise today. The Wembley neurology clinic was slightly different (‘Oh no Lizzie they’ve all turned up…!’) but Richard was a terrific doctor; kind, empathetic and realistic, able to converse with anyone from any walk of life. We had great fun at the Hammersmith, at a very special time. There are so many memories. We spent many hours chatting and gossiping over the imaging data only interrupted (rightly) by Emily saying ‘daddy when are you coming home?’ Sending love and very best wishes to Richard’s family from Cambridge
Yen Tai - Imperial College London
Richard, despite his scientific achievements, was always down-to-earth and approachable. He was one of the best raconteurs I have ever met. He managed to maintain his sense of humour and optimism while battling his illness. He will be greatly missed by everyone, including friends, colleagues and patients.
Mark McPhail - Kings College London
I met Richard during my time at Imperial and was greatly impressed by his knowledge, kindness and deeply scientific approach to his investigations. He always had a new insight and whats more approached the work and publication in an ethical and supportive way. There are many hepatologists with an interest in neuroscience who will miss him greatly.
Anna Kuppuswamy - UCL
I did my PhD at Imperial (2006-2009) during which time Richard was the PhD students' tutor at the department. Although he wasn't directly involved in my PhD, he took the trouble to travel to Charing Cross from Hammersmith hospital to be at my PhD upgrade! we had some interesting discussions about my PhD and after completion of my PhD he helped with post-doc positions. Although my contact with him was brief, I distinctly remember our conversations!
Zarinah Agnew - UCSF
Richard - what can I possibly say? I came to you as a stranded phd student back at the old Cyclotron unit at Hammersmith Hospital. I was in all sorts of strife, I remember knocking on your door and you peered out of your office and told me to come and sit down. As you would joyfully recount to everyone and sundry for years to come, I promptly burst into tears :) Thankfully you took me under your wing, and I found my home in your lab. Over vodka martinis, you taught me all about academic politics (baboon behaviour as you called it) and steered me away from getting caught up it it all. You gave so much time to your favourite thing - chin wagging over the science. You gave me hilarious but wise relationship advice. You brought me the wonderful Sophie K Scott and the rest has been history. A wonderful and supportive science family grew under your wings, and it will only continue to grow. You were then and have remained such an incredible source of scientific and human inspiration for me. You went out to bat for me and you changed my life, I will channel you and your mentorship always. PS. Sometimes when I am reading especially dry reviewers comments, I hear them in your voice.
Guillaume Thierry - Bangor University
For me, the greatest people have two qualities: They are clever and kind. This world has plenty of smart bastards. It also has so many kind souls whose penny has seldom dropped. And the latter seem to be steered by the former, for as long as human history has left observable traces on the surface of this earth. Richard was amazingly clever. And he was so kind. He was one of them, one of the greatest. He understood. He cared. And he did these things with touching discretion, with immense grace. That he will be missed is such an understatement that one aches to write, let alone say, it. Mind you, that makes sense. Richard passing away, one feels shut down for a good while, refraining to engage in the very act that he has dedicated so much time to understand. Thank you, Richard. Thank you for the signs. Thank you for the reassurance that this world still embraces human light, and hoping you captured glimpses of it all the way, pressing in good time on the ladybird button.
Paolo Muraro - Imperial College London
Richard was an inspiring person on every front. His memories remain a source of inspiration available to all those who have had the privilege to meet him. Of course I am deeply saddened by his loss but it is also clear that Richard left a durable mark behind that outlives him.
Lyndsey Nickels - Macquarie University
I last saw Richard many years ago, but his warmth, humour and intellect from those days have not faded in memory. However, for my partner, the strongest memory of Richard was the pain he inflicted when attempting to insert a canula for a PET scan! Perhaps hands-on isn't always the best! Richard's smile over his bow tie will stay with me, make me smile and regret that it is to be seen no more.
Elena Olgiati - Imperial College London
I remember when I first met Richard on my first day at Charing Cross Hospital in September 2014. He was doing his Monday clinic, and he was (obviously) wearing cufflinks with his initials on them. Richard, together with Paresh, supervised my clinical training when I left Milan for London to complete my doctorate in Neuropsychology. He later supported my research - my first imaging study was born. Richard was.. magnetic. His enthusiasm about science was contagious. I feel privileged to have been able to get to know him. My thoughts are with his amazing family. Ciao Richard! I wish we had more time.
Rodrigo Braga - Harvard University
Richard, it is hard to put into words how highly and dearly I regard you. I tried to do this at our last phone call, and ended up garbling something about you being a great mentor. Your response was classic: "I always pay for my round when it's my turn" :) You treated me as a peer from day 1 of my PhD, you encouraged me to think for myself and pursue my ideas, but most of all you made research seem like a fun way to pass the time with friends. I will treasure the long conversations in your office, imbued with genuine warmth and mutual respect, and will carry your voice and example with me, always. Rest in peace, enjoy the martinis, & hope you brought your best bow tie!
Tim Griffiths - Newcastle University
Richard was a joyful presence in neurology and an enthusiastic scientist with a generous scientific spirit. We first met in 1989 when he was kind enough to let me do some auditory PET experiments when I was a medical SHO. He was a great source of advice then and lighthearted banter ever since.