Obituary: Professor Julian Crampton

Professor Julian Crampton, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, has sadly passed away aged 66 after a lengthy illness.

Professor Julian Crampton’s association with Liverpool started in 1983 when he founded the Wolfson Unit of Molecular Genetics at the School of Tropical Medicine.

In 1991 he was appointed by the University to a personal Chair in Molecular Biology.  He made distinguished research contributions to the fields of tropical diseases and human genetic disorders specialising in the treatment of malaria and venomous snake and spider bites.

In 1996 he became the founding Head of the School of Biological Sciences which was formed by the merger of the Departments of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology and Environmental and Evolutionary Biology.

In 2000 he was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for regional affairs. During this time he worked extensively with Liverpool City Council and Liverpool John Moores University in the creation of the Liverpool Science Park.

In 2005 Professor Crampton left Liverpool to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, a position he held for ten years until his retirement in 2015.

He was acknowledged by his peers as a respected leader and his contribution to higher education was recognised in the 2015 Queen’s birthday honours with the award of a CBE.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Janet Beer said: “I had the privilege of working alongside Julian as a fellow Vice Chancellor on the Board of UUK. He was always the voice of well-informed reason and he will be sadly missed.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement Professor Dinah Birch said: “Professor Crampton’s death will be deeply felt by many members of staff in the University of Liverpool. He made a major contribution to our research in the treatment and prevention of tropical diseases, and never lost touch with colleagues in Liverpool after becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton in 2005. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time”

Emeritus Professor Kelvin Everest said: “In addition to the distinction in research which Julian Crampton brought to his role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, he played a central part in the dynamic period of development in the University following the appointment of Sir Drummond Bone as Vice-Chancellor in 2002.

“The three years up to 2005 saw an adventurous new approach to academic staff appointments, a thorough overhaul and modernisation of the University’s corporate communications, branding and marketing, major initiatives in the estate, and, perhaps most strikingly, the bold venture to create a new University in China, owned by Liverpool and shaped on UK principles. Julian was pro-active in all of this activity, and always combined his energies and ideas with a friendly and unstuffy presence.”

Emeritus Professor Jon Saunders said: “In addition to his many contributions within the institution, Julian was instrumental in promoting the University within the research community represented by the North West Universities. He was also the architect and driving force behind the creation of the N8 collaboration between the research-intensive universities of the North, an enterprise that provided a model followed by other regional research alliances within the UK. Julian was an energetic, generous and sympathetic academic colleague who will be greatly missed.”

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