Hats off as Aberdeen Professor honoured

An Aberdeen academic has been presented with an honorary degree from the University of Hull.

International fish immunologist Professor Christopher Secombes from the institution’s School of Biological Sciences received the honour as a reflection of his significant achievements in his field.

His research career began with PhD studies at the University of Hull and has taken him around the world.  He is currently Regius Chair of Natural History at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Secombes has studied fish immunology for over three decades and has in excess of 350 publications on this subject.

He is an editor of Fish & Shellfish Immunology and is on the editorial boards of Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology and Molecular Immunology.

In 2007 he was awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Alexander Ninian Bruce prize for his “outstanding contribution to our understanding of the immune system of fish, particularly salmonids”, and in 2013 he was awarded life membership of the newly formed International Society of Fish & Shellfish Immunology.

He is a past President of the International Society for Developmental and Comparative Immunology (2003-2006) and a past Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Aberdeen (2002-2011).

Speaking of the honour Professor Secombes said: “This is a wonderful honour which is incredibly generous and without doubt a highlight in my career to date.

“It is a great privilege to receive this honour from my alma mater. The supporting and encouraging environment at the University of Hull allowed me to get the most out of my PhD studies and I made many good friends along the way.

“My degree stood me in good stead as I embarked on my first steps to a career in biology.”

Professor Secombes is one of nine distinguished individuals being honoured by the University of Hull this week.  Stage and television actress Sheridan Smith, science broadcaster Kate Bellingham and Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare are among those also receiving honorary doctorate awards from the institution.

Professor Calie Pistorius, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull, said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to recognise outstanding individuals – some of whom are Hull alumni, and all have some connection with this region - with honorary doctorate degrees. Not only does it reward them for breaking new ground and being at the top of their respective fields, but it also presents our graduands with the opportunity to hear about the lessons these stars have learned along the way to their current successes. These role models have been chosen to inspire our graduands as they embark on the next chapter of their lives, and maybe one day in the future we will be welcoming them back to return the favour.”