Sarah Gilbert

Join us for this latest instalment of the 2021 Almroth Wright lecture series with Professor Sarah Gilbert.

Please note that this event is open to members of Imperial College London only. Please register in advance if you would like to attend. This event will be hosted via Microsoft Teams; once you have registered, you will receive a calendar invitation and link via email.

For more information about the Almroth Wright lecture series, please visit our website.


The development of vaccine platform technologies has been underway for many years, but since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 the application of these technologies to develop vaccines against known pathogens that cause outbreaks has intensified. The ChAdOx1 adenoviral vector, developed at Oxford University, has been employed to produce candidate vaccines against multiple different pathogens, with clinical trials beginning in 2012.

The first news of a cluster of SARS-like pneumonia cases caused by the virus that was later named SARS-CoV2 came on the last day of 2019. In Oxford, a vaccine was rapidly produced and prepared for clinical trials. The original plans for a small study developed into phase III trials involving thousands of participants across a wide age range on multiple continents. Following a partnership with AstraZeneca, and demonstration of safety and efficacy in clinical trials, the vaccine has been licensed in many countries, and by April, an estimated 200 million people had been vaccinated.

About the speaker

Sarah Gilbert is the Saïd Professor of Vaccinology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of East Anglia and her doctoral degree at the University of Hull.  Following four years as a research scientist at the biopharmaceutical company Delta Biotechnology she joined Oxford University in 1994 and became part of the Jenner Institute (within NDM) when it was founded in 2005. Her chief research interest is the development of viral-vectored vaccines that work by inducing strong and protective T and B cell responses. She works on vaccines for many different emerging pathogens, including influenza, Nipah, MERS, Lassa, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, and in 2020, initiated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine project. Working with colleagues in the Jenner Institute research labs, the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, all situated on the Old Road Campus in Oxford, she is able to take novel vaccines from design to clinical development, with a particular interest in the rapid transfer of vaccines into manufacturing and first in human trials. She is the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 which is now in use in many countries around the world.

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