Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

NDM's Professor Sarah Gilbert has been awarded the Royal Society for Arts’ (RSA) Albert Medal for her work on the Oxford vaccine. Professor Gilbert is Professor of Vaccinology and the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARSCoV-2, with approval for use in many countries around the world.

Sarah Gilbert

The RSA Albert Medal is awarded annually to recognise the creativity and innovation of individuals and organisations working to resolve the challenges of our time. Professor Gilbert receives the 2021 honour for her services to collaborative innovation for the global common good. She is the 156th recipient of the medal, which was instituted in 1864 as a memorial to Prince Albert, former President of the Society.

Previous recipients range from scientists to artists to social campaigners: they include Alexander Graham Bell in 1902 for the invention of the telephone; Marie Curie in 1910 for the discovery of radium; Stephen Hawking in 1999 for improving public awareness of physics; and Tim Berners-Lee in 2002 for the creation of the World Wide Web.

Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: ‘It is a great honour to receive this award. The creation and the development of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine came after I had worked in this field for many years, learning how to move quickly from a concept to a licensed vaccine, which involves many steps along the way. With a great team at Oxford we developed a ‘vaccine for the world’ which is now being used to save lives in many countries, which was our goal from the very beginning.’

The Medal will be awarded in a pre-recorded ceremony, which will be broadcast on Wednesday 14 April 2021 at 18.00 BST as part of the RSA’s Living Change campaign.

Matthew Taylor, RSA chief executive, said: ‘The RSA’s Albert Medal celebrates the best in innovation, and the Oxford vaccine is a huge triumph for British creativity, research and development. The path set by Professor Gilbert and her team shows how public, private and philanthropic sectors can collaborate in the public interest.

‘Changemakers in every field, seeking new, more effective approaches to complex global challenges, will draw valuable lessons from the Oxford project.

‘I am delighted Professor Gilbert has accepted this award, joining the ranks of distinguished innovators the RSA has honoured over the past 150 years, from Marie Curie to Stephen Hawking.’

Similar stories

How did people in Europe and SE Asia experience the first COVID-19 wave?

An international team, led by Phaik Yeong Cheah, conducted an anonymous online survey from May-June 2020, asking 5,058 people in Thailand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Anne Osterrieder and colleagues report the unequal impacts of public health measures, and the prevalence of ‘fake news’.

T-cell ‘training grounds’ behind robust immune system response seen in adenovirus vaccines

Adenovirus vaccine vectors, such as the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 construct which has risen to prominence as a major vaccine for COVID-19, may generate robust long-term immune system responses, according to scientists from the Universities of Oxford and the Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen, Switzerland

HIV vaccine trial starts at Oxford

NDM's Jenner Institute today started vaccinations of a novel HIV vaccine candidate as part of a Phase I clinical trial in the UK.

RECOVERY Trial identifies another effective COVID-19 treatment

The RECOVERY Trial, the world’s largest randomised trial of potential COVID-19 treatments, has found that a monoclonal antibody combination developed by US company Regeneron reduces deaths for hospitalised COVID-19 patients who have not mounted their own immune response.

NDM Researchers recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

The pioneering work of members of the University, including research into tackling the Coronavirus pandemic, has been recognised in The Queen's Birthday Honours List.

University of Oxford to launch Pandemic Sciences Centre

The University of Oxford has today announced the launch of a new centre of global research collaboration and excellence, the Pandemic Sciences Centre. The Pandemic Sciences Centre will harness the strong global research collaborations that the University of Oxford has developed over more than forty years. Its mission will be to ensure that the world is better equipped to create global, and equitable science-driven solutions to prepare for, identify, and counter future pandemic threats.