The nominee chosen by the judging panel to receive the title University of Hertfordshire Alumnus of the Year 2016 was Dr Timothy Bliss.
During the late 1970s as a day-release student, Dr Bliss studied for and was awarded a BSc degree in Mathematics from The Hatfield Polytechnic in 1975.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Hertfordshire in 2014 in recognition of his success as an alumnus and his immense contribution to advancing the understanding of the complexities of the human brain.
When he received his honorary doctorate and describing his 1970s Hatfield studies, he commented, "Although I believed that mathematics would help me in my research, it was the pleasure of immersing myself in the subject with a group of enthusiastic mature students, and the excellence of the teaching, that has stayed with me down the years".
Dr Bliss, alongside two other renowned scientists, won the 2016 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Prize. The highly-prestigious prize, was awarded to the trio for their ground-breaking research on the cellular and molecular basis of Long Term Potentiation and the demonstration that this form of synaptic plasticity underpins spatial memory and learning.
Tim has also been awarded many other important prizes such as the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Neuroscience (together with E Kandel) in 1991, the Feldberg Prize in 1994, and the Ipsen Prize for Neural Plasticity (together with Richard Morris and Yadin Dudai) in 2013. In May 2012 Dr Bliss gave the annual Croonian lecture at the Royal Society on the "Mechanics of Memory".
University of Hertfordshire Vice-Chancellor, Professor Quintin McKellar, commented: “Throughout his long and most distinguished career spanning four decades, Dr Bliss has mentored, inspired and nurtured a whole generation of neuroscientists who are flourishing and working in laboratories all over the world.
"He is an inspirational figure and is a very worthy winner of the University of Hertfordshire 2016 Alumnus of the Year”.