Dr Alan Howard, founder and chairman of the Howard Foundation, died peacefully on 24 June 2020 at the age of 91.
Born in Norwich in 1929, Alan Howard gained a place at the City of Norwich School where he specialised in Chemistry. In 1948, he won a place at Downing College Cambridge to read Natural Sciences. In the following year he was awarded an exhibition and graduated in 1951. He then worked in the department of medicine and was awarded his PhD in 1955. He continued working at the University until 1992.
Following work on Atherosclerosis and Obesity, he became secretary to the newly formed Obesity Association in 1967. From 1973 to 1979, he worked with others to turn research on helping morbidly obese patients into a product for the public which became the Cambridge Diet. He created the Howard Foundation in 1982 and in 1984 formed the Cambridge Manufacturing Company to market the Cambridge Diet. The business was sold in 2005.
In 1995, Dr Howard began research into Macular Degeneration and the importance of Carotenoids. This led to work with Dr John Nolan and the funding of research at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland and a recent UK patent on nutritional supplements to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from WIT in October 2019.
The Howard Foundation has made significant donations to Downing College Cambridge and in 2009, Dr Howard was awarded the Chancellors 800th Anniversary Medal for outstanding philanthropy, given by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.