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Professor W Howard Evans

Emeritus Professor

School of Medicine


Emeritus Professor W. Howard Evans was born in Brynaman, at the time a mining village near Swansea, Wales at the beginning of the second world war. He was educated at Liverpool University, obtaining a first class honours degree in Biochemistry. His postgraduate research at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London in neurobiology led to the award of a PhD in 1965. Postdoctoral work was carried out at the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of California (UCLA) Medical School, where his research team sequenced the largest protein at that time, subtilisin Carlsberg (274 amino acids).

In 1967, he was invited by the Nobel laureate immunologist, Sir Peter Medawar to join the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London. During his 25 years at the Institute (now re-invented as the Francis Crick Institute in Central London), Dr Evans became one of the world's experts on cell surface biochemistry, authoring hundreds of refereed papers, a large number in the Biochemical Journal where he became a series editor and editor of the reviews section. He also edited, authored or co-authored textbooks, with two translated into Russian, German and Japanese.

In 1993, he joined the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales where, supported by research grants from the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and others, he built up a team of researchers with a world-wide reputation on the mechanisms underpinning cell-cell communication and regulation. Nowhere is cell cross-talk more important than in the heart, and his research team was located at the Sir Geraint Evans (no relation!) Wales Heart Research  Institute.