Funeral of Dr Alan Howard 16th July 2020

The funeral of Dr Howard is on the 16th July 2020 starting at 1pm BST. The service will be live streamed and can be viewed through the area below. After the funeral, the video of the service will be available through the same area. The restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic mean that the congregation is limited to only 30 invited people and it is not possible for them to sing. Alan wanted the format of the service to follow that of his wife Grace Howard who died in 2008. Alan is to be buried in the same grave. Recordings of the four hymns will be played and during the Ave Verum, the live stream and video will show pictures from Alan’s life.

The family ask that any donations be made through this Just Giving page. Donations will go towards domestic facilities at the church.

Filming and live stream provided by WaveFX, Cambridge.

Dr Alan Howard 1929-2020

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.

WIT Awards Honorary Fellowship to Dr Alan Howard

25 October 2019

Today, the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) made the WIT Honorary Fellowship award to Dr Alan Howard.

WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly with Dr Howard

WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly, presenting the WIT Honorary Fellowship to Dr Howard, stated: “The Institute accepts recommendations for the award of Honorary Fellowships relating, not only to scholastic endeavours, but also to those activities which enrich our community, or indeed, society as a whole. Dr Alan Howard is a worthy recipient of the WIT Fellowship in each of these categories.”

Seated alongside Dr Howard are, on his left, Jim Moore, Chairman of WIT governing body and on his right, WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly.
Standing behind Dr Howard is Prof John Nolan, Howard Professor and Director of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland with, on his right, Prof John Wells, Head of School of Health Science and on his left, Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar at WIT.

Click here for further information from the WIT website.

Howard professor honoured at Irish America awards in New York

Patricia Harty, Editor, Irish America magazine, presents the award to Prof Nolan at the Metropolitan Club in New York (Pic: Ben Asen Photography)

Professor John Nolan, the Howard Chair in Human Nutrition Research at the Waterford Institute of Technology, was honoured at a prestigious awards dinner in New York, held on 12th September 2019. Professor Nolan was named among the 2019 Healthcare & Life Sciences 50 announced by Irish America magazine at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. The list celebrates excellence by Irish and Irish-American leaders in fields such as medical care; pharmaceuticals; biotechnology; medical devices; research and development and life sciences venture capital.

Professor Nolan is founder and director of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI). He is also the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (a specialised group within this centre). The NRCI is part of the School of Health Science at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Carriganore campus, where the Howard Foundation UK has invested in research infrastructure, people and studies.

Presenting the awards, Patricia Harty, editor, Irish America, said: “Professor Nolan is an inspiration to all of us. His work is truly revolutionary, especially in the area of nutritional supplementation for visual function. He and the others we recognise and celebrate with our Healthcare & Life Sciences 50 do incredible work with huge positive impacts on the lives of countless people around the world. ”

Special issue of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

Papers from the first BON  (Brain and Ocular Nutrition) Conference at Downing College, Cambridge in July 2018 have now been published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research special issue, Vol 63, Issue 15

Christine Mayer, editor-in-chief stated, “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research is excited to publish this special issue titled ‘Nutrition for the Eye and Brain’. The individual contributions have been selected by the enthusiastic guest editor, Prof. John Nolan. Together, we feel that this issue will help to bring these exciting topics into the wider community of food and nutrition scientists and to inspire collaborations and spark new approaches in nutrition-driven eye and brain research.

In the issue’s editorial, which he dedicated to Dr. Alan Howard of the Howard Foundation, Prof. Nolan wrote: “When we speak about nutrition for the eye and brain, the default will be to provide advice and recommendations in support of good nutrition, healthy eating, a balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, and so on. While all of the above is the standard for good advice, science now suggests that we can be more specific. For example, we can now measure the macro- and micronutrients that have been identified in the eye and brain.

The front cover of the special issue features a digital recreation of artwork titled “Enter,” which has a special backstory: this work was created by artist Marilyn Robinson,who had previously heard Prof. Nolan deliver a guest lecture in Colorado, USA.

The next BON conference will be held in July 2021.


Waterford research underlines key role of diet in cognition and Alzheimer’s disease

A two-year review by a team from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in the School of Health Science at Waterford Institute of Technology, part-funded by the Howard Foundation and the European Research Council, has published a report in the 10th Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. The review focuses on the part played by nutrition in cognition and Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common form of dementia. The report is available here.

More on this review can be found on the WIT website available here and on the Breaking News website available here.

AD research in the TV news

On 20th June the results of an 18 month study, sponsored by the Howard Foundation and pioneered by Dr Alan Howard were announced. This was covered in two TV broadcasts on the same day. Links to clips from these broadcasts are below. The research was conducted at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland in collaboration with the University Hospital Waterford, Ireland.

Click here for the RTE News Clip (2 mins) – their story is from the Irish 1 o’clock News and features  discussion with a couple from Piltown, Kilkenny, Ireland whose lives have been improved as a result of this groundbreaking research.

Click here for the segment from Sky Sunrise News (4 mins) – which contains an interview about the study with Professor Riona Mulcahy. Dr Mulcahy is a consultant specialising in dementia at the University Hospital Waterford and is medical consultant to the research.

Click here to read the news item on our web site that announced the results of this important study..

Could this be the solution for Alzheimer’s disease?

The latest clinical trial sponsored by the Foundation and conducted by Waterford Institute of Technology examined the effect of nutritional compounds on people with Alzheimer’s disease and unveiled a ‘statistically significant’ find. The 18-month study identified that patients receiving a formula containing macular carotenoids and fish oil maintained increased cognitive abilities and quality of life.

Click here to read the full press release on this exciting discovery.

Click here to download a video synopsis (218MB / mp4)

Click here for an interview with Dr Alan Howard in which he describes the events leading up to this remarkable find.

Click here to see the paper published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Recent Papers on Carotenoids and Alzheimers Disease

Since 2009 the Foundation has sponsored numerous clinical trials conducted by Waterford Institute of Technology, and has funded numerous Fellowships, the principal bequest being a Chair in Human Nutrition funded permanently by it from October 2016, the current holder being Professor  John Nolan PhD.

The prominent of numerous recent scientific articles have been:

In the Journal of Alzheimers Disease (Jan 2018) regarding a 12 month study in which a group of Alzheimer patients showed an improvement in memory when given dietary carotenoids. See the paper: for details of this research.

In the MDPI Foods Journal (Feb 2018) describing early trials of how macular carotenoids may be beneficial to human function and health. See the paper: for details of this research.

Latest research sponsored by the Foundation will be presented at the BON (Brain and Ocular Nutrition) Conference to be held 11-13 July 2018 at Downing College, Cambridge.