In Memoriam: Dr. Tutis Vilis

tutis-vilis.jpgIt is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Professor Dr. Tutis Vilis, a distinguished scientist, educator, researcher, husband, father and grandfather. He passed away on February 18, 2023 at the age of 75.

Dr. Vilis was born on August 15th, 1947 in Germany to Lithuanian parents. He received the Gold Academic Achievement Award from The Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario while at University of Ottawa and completed his graduate studies in Physiology at McGill University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972.

He went on to have a remarkable career in academia, making significant contributions to the field of neuroscience. Throughout his career, Dr. Vilis was highly respected for his work on the neurophysiology of eye movements and his research on the neural mechanisms underlying perception and action. 

He has won many awards including his innovative course on Human Sensory Physiology, the Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the UWO Schulich Educator Award (Undergraduate Medical), and the Neurosciences Ear & Eye Award. 

Dr.Vilis (Professor Emeritus) was a dedicated and passionate teacher, and his impact on generations of students was immeasurable. He was known for his ability to make complex concepts accessible to his students, and his legacy can be seen in the countless individuals whose lives he touched through his teaching and mentorship.

He is especially proud of his 31 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, 19 of whom have gone on to become university professors across Canada and the world, all now with their own active research programs.

He received the Queen's Jubilee Award for his community service as member of the executive of the Urban League of London and as President of the Masonville Resident’s Association.

In addition to his contributions to science and education, Dr. Vilis was also a gifted artist, and his creativity and passion for the arts were evident in his paintings and wood carvings.

Tutis will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, Lithuanian community and the scientific community. 

A celebration of life will take place this spring. The full obituary can be red on the Donohue Funeral Home website.