Family of tragic cyclist pays tribute to 'fantastic guy'

THE family of an award-winning neuroscientist killed in a crash in Edinburgh this week paid tribute today to "a fantastic guy".

Dr Iain Wilson, 35, from Duddingston, died when his bicycle was involved in a collision with a lorry at the corner of Nicolson Street and West Richmond Street on Tuesday morning.

He was involved in post-doctoral research at Edinburgh University's Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, investigating the mechanisms of learning and memory.

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A statement issued by his family today said: "We are devastated to lose one who was as funny and fun-loving as he was kind and thoughtful.

"It is very difficult to come to terms with what has happened. Iain was a fantastic guy, caring, always interested and enthusiastic and the first to offer help to others. He was devoted to his wife, his family and his work.

"Iain loved to be outside enjoying the world around him and lived his life with gusto. He put a lot into it, and he got a lot out of it. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

"Iain died on his regular commute to work by bike. We would be grateful if anyone who saw the accident would come forward and talk to the police.

"It can't bring Iain back, but it might help us to understand what has happened, and help prevent a similar accident in future."

He was brought up in Alabama and studied psychology in Pennsylvania before completing his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Kuopio in Finland in 2005.

His particular focus was on the ways the aging brain processes spatial relationships. He took up his current post at Edinburgh University three years ago.

He was an enthusiastic outdoor sportsman, regularly running, cycling and hillwalking, once "bagging" a Munro the day after completing the London Marathon.

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He was also an active member of Edinburgh University's orienteering club and spoke five languages, three of them fluently.

While in Finland, he met his wife Silvia Gratz-Wilson. They had settled happily into life in Scotland, setting up home in Edinburgh, close to some of Iain's family.

• Anyone with any information should call Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or Crimestoppers anonymously and in confidence on 0800 555 111.