On May 4th we received the sad news that Phil Wakeley, our colleague of APHA Weybridge, UK, died on the Monday before.
For some time, Phil had been fighting bravely against a progressive lung condition, but with great reluctance he had to give up work last November. Since then he has been at home or in hospital, hoping for a lung transplant to treat his condition. Unfortunately this was not to be and Phil was re-admitted to hospital end of April. Over the weekend Phil was able to say goodbye to many family and friends and died peacefully with his partner Clair at his side.
Phil worked in the virology department at Weybridge and later on at the commercial unit of the agency. Eventually he headed the Business Development Team at APHA. During his career Phil contributed greatly to the development of molecular assays for a number of virus genera that are still in use today, in many labs worldwide.
Phil was well known internationally, and also within EPIZONE, where he was very active in a number of workpackages on test development and validation. He was a regular visitor of the Epizone network meetings. His constructive critique and insight and his great sense of humour were much appreciated by the colleagues of Epizone who worked with him. His ability to socialise was also a subject of some renown!
Our thoughts are with his family and friends,
Wim van der Poel
Coordinator of EPIZONE