Owen named Officer of British Empire

Renowned Western neuroscientist Adrian Owen has been named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) as part of the 2019 New Year’s Honours list recognising “the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people” across the United Kingdom.

Owen’s OBE award will be presented to him by Queen Elizabeth II or her vice-regal representative at a special ceremony in early 2019.

“I’m absolutely delighted that our scientific research is being recognised through this award” Owen said. “It came as a complete surprise and I am incredibly thankful to be honoured in this way by my country of birth and its Queen.”

This year’s awards include a damehood for model, actress and singer Lesley Lawson (aka Twiggy); a knighthood for record breaking cricketer Alastair Cook following his retirement from international cricket; and a knighthood for award-winning author Philip Pullman, for services to literature. An OBE is rarely awarded to scientists.

Owen has spent the last 25 years pioneering breakthroughs in cognitive neuroscience. His work has been published in prestigious journals such as The Lancet, Nature, Scienceand The New England Journal of Medicine. He is perhaps best known for discovering in 2006 that many brain-injured patients, previously believed to be permanently unresponsive are, in fact, conscious and aware.

Before assuming his Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western in 2011, Owen was a senior scientist and Assistant Director of the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Owen received his PhD in Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, England, and his B.Sc. in Psychology from University College London, University of London.