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Postdoc Academy


As many of you will already know Professor Chris Abell passed away on Monday night.

Chris Abell was the very first Director of Postdoctoral Affairs for this University and I had the great pleasure of working alongside him for many years.

Chris was a kind and compassionate man who went out of his way to enable changes to help this community, something we must all be immensely grateful for.

The work to build the Postdoc Academy into what it is today is very much a perfect tribute to a man who cared deeply about people and championed these causes by bringing to bear his knowledge, reputation and energy to make things happen in the labyrinth that is Cambridge.

I am confident there would be no Postdoc Academy, no Postdoc Centres and no postdoc framework without Chris Abell. He will be missed and all our hearts go out to his wife Katherine and his son Daniel.

I will end by quoting some of the messages I have received from so many of you already.

“Chris always made me feel human, and that I had something to bring to the table”

“Chris always made time for us, not matter how busy”

“There would be no Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge if it were not for Chris”

“There was something special about Chris. Whenever you talked to him, you could see how wise and considered he was but you never felt intimidated or discouraged. I always felt rather the opposite, I felt encouraged to engage in discussion, I felt listened to and challenged to bring ideas. Postdocs were partners, he understood us, our needs, struggles and did something about it.”

A digital condolences book has been set up, which you can view and contribute to:

With all best wishes,


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