Obituary: David John Manners, Professor of Biochemistry at Heriot-Watt University

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David John Manners, Professor of Biochemistry. Born: 31 March, 1928 in Castleford, Yorkshire. Died: 16 October, 2017 in Edinburgh, aged 89.

Professor David John Manners, FRSE, passed away peacefully, in Edinburgh, on 16 October, 2017. Professor Manners was born on 31 March, 1928 at Castleford, Yorkshire. His parents were George and Gwendoline Manners. David had a happy childhood with his brother Norman.

He attended Castleford Grammar School where he achieved his Higher School Certificate and a County Major Scholarship which took him to Fitzwilliam House, Cambridge University, 1946-1952. At Cambridge he gained a First Class Degree in the Natural Sciences.

After completing his Ph.D in Biochemistry at Cambridge he began his academic career in 1952 as a Lecturer then Reader in Chemistry at Edinburgh University. He worked there with Sir Edmund Hurst, the distinguished carbohydrate chemist.

In 1965 he became Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Brewing and Biochemistry, Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh. Although a biochemist whose research was based on the chemical composition of carbohydrates, he developed the biological side of the department and remained Professor of Biochemistry and Head of Department when the department became Brewing and Biological Sciences and Heriot-Watt College became Heriot-Watt University.

Prof Manners was a distinguished teacher and academic, publishing more than 150 scientific publications including a small book called Brewing and Biological Sciences at Heriot-Watt University 1904-1989.

His clarity with words and his expertise in carbohydrate research led him to a wide range of editorial work for scientific journals such as Biochemical Journal, Carbohydrate Research, Carbohydrate Polymers, Journal of Cereal Science and Journal of the Institute of Brewing.

He was a consultant at the Brewing Research Foundation in Surrey. His input on the chemistry of starch and the gums of the cell walls of cereals such as barley and wheat helped the Foundation to improve the processing of cereals during brewing and distilling. Other work relating to science, education and industry include being external referee of grant applications for various scientific institutions.

He was also a member of the Research and Development Committees of the Potato Marketing Board (Inveresk Research International) and the Carnegie and Caledonian Research Scholarship Awards. Prof Manners supervised the research work of a large number of Ph.D and M.Sc. students.

He was Professor Emeritus of Heriot-Watt University and had both DSc. and Sc.D degrees and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Institute of Biology and a member of the Institute of Brewing for many years.

In contrast to his scientific work, Prof Manners had a keen interest in trains and stamp collecting.

Prof Manners is survived by his wife Gweneth, brother Norman, children Stephen and Judith, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Professor Sir Geoff Palmer