Imperial modellers were among those recognised for their contributions to the UK’s COVID-19 response, as part of a government advisory group.
Researchers from Imperial’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and Jameel Institute joined colleagues from institutions across the UK to share this year’s Weldon Memorial Prize, awarded for their work to inform the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Weldon Memorial Prize is awarded annually by Oxford University for ‘noteworthy contributions to the development of mathematical or statistical methods applied to problems in Biology’.
This year, the award was given to the SPI-M-O group, whose epidemiological modelling supported the UK’s policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SPI-M-O included many members of the MRC GIDA team, with a few attending the award ceremony at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on Monday (13th November).
The committee said: Under great pressure to deliver results quickly, and under immense public scrutiny, SPI-M-O both built on existing science and developed new epidemiological and statistical techniques to understand the spread of the virus and how it might be controlled. The importance of good and timely disease modelling for policymakers has never been as clear.
The award medal was accepted on behalf of SPI-M-O by Professor Graham Medley, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Professor Julia Gog, from the University of Cambridge.
Professor Medley said: “The time and expertise given to improving the COVID-19 national response is a huge achievement of the infectious disease dynamics community and should be recognised.”
Commenting on the medal award, Professor Neil Ferguson, Director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and the Jameel Institute, said: "This award recognises the strong collaborative efforts of the UK’s scientific community in responding to the COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, groups like SPI-M-O worked tirelessly to provide key information to enable governments to make informed decisions."
Feature image: Members of the team at the prize ceremony. (Left to right: Dr Lillith Whittles, Prof. Neil Ferguson, Dr Marc Baguelin, Dr Thomas Rawson, and Dr Anne Cori) Image Credit: Marc Baguelin.
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
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