The first scholarship to be awarded in Harry’s memory was “The Harry Lownds Memorial Scholarship” was announced by Sussex University on 1 July, alerting students planning to register for its Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology MSc of the opportunity for a graduate whose personal circumstances might otherwise hinder them from taking up their place to receive £3,000 in additional financial support. The University, Harry’s former course-mates and contacts he had made through placements at the MRC Mammalian Genetics Laboratory in Harwell and at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford made sure that the scholarship was widely advertised among potential MSc Genetics students.
Harry’s family were very pleased to learn at the beginning of September that the University had decided to award the scholarship to a recent graduate of the University of Coventry, Ieva Didziokaite. During her Biomedical Sciences degree Ieva spent a placement year back in her homeland of Lithuania as part of the Erasmus+ programme working for Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics. There she gained molecular genetics experience and she is now looking forward to expanding her knowledge and skills with a view to pursuing her passion for genetics research in the future. Her aspiration is to work for the 100,000 Genomes or subsequent projects, analysing whole genome sequences in rare diseases and cancer, and to see how personalised medicine can change the world’s healthcare systems.
As a result of fundraising efforts by Harry’s family and friends in the six months since his death over £14,500 has now been raised towards the Scholarship Fund. This should allow a scholarship to be awarded in his memory through to at least 2023 – and his family intends to continue fundraising to ensure that this can be sustained for many years to come.