Eighty outstanding researchers, innovators and communicators from around the world have been elected as the newest Fellows of the Royal Society, the UK’s oldest independent scientific academy, dedicated to promoting excellence in science for the benefit of humanity.
Dame Sarah Gilbert is the Said Professor of Vaccinology at the Pandemic Sciences Institute, hosted by the Nuffield Department of Medicine. She has pioneered a range of approaches for vaccines targeted at emerging pathogens. She led the development of the ChAdOx vaccine platform, demonstrating its use to make a clinically protective vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and leading programmes in Nipah and Lassa fever. In 2020, she was responsible for a team effort to adapt ChAdOx1 to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for the development of a novel vaccine against COVID-19. The ChAdOx1 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was shown safe and protective against the virus in the lungs and is estimated to have saved 6.3 million lives in the first year of the rollout.
Prof Gilbert said: 'It is a great honour to be elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society. The most eminent scientists of our time are included in the Society’s Fellowship, and I’m humbled to stand alongside colleagues who are making outstanding contributions to science. I’m delighted to play my part in promoting and supporting excellence in vaccinology, ensuring the world is better prepared for future pandemic threats and health challenges.'
Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome our newest cohort of Fellows. These individuals have pushed forward the boundaries of their respective fields and had a beneficial influence on the world beyond. Among this year’s intake are individuals who were at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic response, and those working on global challenges, from TB to climate change. They are pioneering scientists and innovators from around the world who have confounded expectations and transformed our thinking. This year’s intake have already achieved incredible things, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so. I look forward to meeting them and following their contributions in future.’
Along with Prof Gilbert, the cohort of fellows from the University of Oxford includes Prof Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Professor Anaesthetic Neuroscience at the Nuffield Department Clinical Neurosciences; Prof Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics; Prof Dame Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome, President of St John's College, Oxford; Prof Michael Dustin, Kennedy Trust Professor of Molecular Immunology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) and Director of Research at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology; Prof Andrew Goodwin, Professor of Materials Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry; Prof James Maynard, Professor of Number Theory at the Mathematical Institute; Prof Scott Waddell, Professor of Neurobiology at the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour.