Tributes to academic

THE academic world will remember him for his work at the cutting edge of genetics and technology, but a heartbroken mother will remember her son for his kind heart, great hugs and sense of humour.

Carol Davidson, of Devon Hills, yesterday paid tribute to her son Stuart, who died suddenly at home in Seattle, in the US, on December 21 last year.

He was 31.

"He's done some incredible things," she said.

Dr Davidson, a geneticist, attended Mowbray and Summerdale primary schools, Kings Meadows High School and Launceston College, before completing his degree at Griffith University and his PhD at the University of Queensland.

He worked in Seattle for the University of Washington's genome sciences department, before taking a job with Sage Bionetworks in November last year.

The organisation looks at how biological data is gathered, shared and used, for example via mobile phone applications to diagnose medical conditions.

"He was one of Launceston's success stories," Mrs Davidson said.

Mrs Davidson and husband Ian were visiting their daughter Kalynda and her partner James Harding in Melbourne when they learned of his death on Boxing Day.

On Christmas Day, Miss Davidson had just announced she was expecting the couple's first baby.

Dr Davidson's devastated parents have recently returned from Seattle, and have been overwhelmed with messages of support from people who knew and loved their son.

A memorial celebration for Dr Davidson will be held at Launceston's Manhattan Wine Bar at midday tomorrow..

"Hopefully (sharing anecdotes about Stuart) is going to be funny," Mrs Davidson said.

"Otherwise I won't be able to cope."

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