The Symposium commenced with an opening speech from Professor Sir Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute, who gave a snapshot of the history of vaccines and current success stories including the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the R21 Malaria vaccine. This was followed by the first keynote presentation from Professor Helen Fletcher, Johnson & Johnson, who shared some of her career experiences and lessons learnt in academic and industrial vaccine research.
The presentations and posters from the students and early career researchers throughout the day highlighted the incredible breath of research across the NDM, in topics of global importance including bacterial vaccinology, viral vector platforms and vaccine immunology. During the longer 15-minute talks there were many inquisitive questions from the audience, and it gave the presenters the opportunity to reflect upon their work and consider new ideas and perspectives. The 3-minute talks provided a glimpse into the breadth of ongoing research, encouraging further conversations during the breaks.
In the afternoon Professor Andrew Farlow, Global Health Policy Partnership, gave an inspiring keynote presentation on the challenges with vaccine distribution and how young researchers can join the journey in improving vaccine equity. This was followed by more student talks and subsequently by a career focused session from NDM graduates and guest speakers who shared their career advice and guidance, including talks from: Dr Richard Morter (University of Warwick, Medical Student Graduate), Dr Rachel Tanner (University of Oxford, Associate Professor), Dr Catherine Huntington (AstraZeneca, Associate Principal Scientist) and Dr Joe Illingworth (DJS, Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer).
The Symposium concluded with the prize ceremony led by Professor Katie Ewer, and Professor Robert Gilbert, NDM Director of Graduate Studies, who were very impressed with the calibre of work presented during the Symposium. Many congratulations to the following winners for their excellent talks and posters:
Rebecca Strain (DPhil Student, Medawar Building for Pathogen Research) – best 15-minute presentation
Aljawarah Alrubayyi (DPhil Student, Jenner Institute) – best 3-minute presentation
Shuailin Li (DPhil Student, Jenner Institute) – best poster
To celebrate a successful day there was a drinks reception and dinner hosted at the college, allowing attendees to continue their discussions throughout the night. The day was organised entirely by DPhil Students: Adam Khan-Qureshi, Marco Polo Peralta Alvarez, Rebecca Makinson, Samuel Provstgaard-Morys, Meera Madhavan, Christopher De Voss, and Adam Norton-Steele, with the support from Professor Katie Ewer, Assistant Director of Studies at the Jenner Institute.