Professor Sarah Gilbert, Oxford vaccine research lead and Senior Associate Research Fellow at Christ Church, awarded the RSA Albert Medal

Professor Sarah Gilbert at the Jenner Institure. Photo credi: University of Oxford / John CairnsProfessor Sarah Gilbert, Senior Associate Research Fellow at Christ Church, has been awarded the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) Albert Medal for her work as the lead researcher on the Oxford vaccine team.

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 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 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.

Professor Gilbert 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.”

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. 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.”

The Medal will be presented virtually in a pre-recorded ceremony, which will be broadcast on Wednesday 14 April 2021 at 6pm as part of the RSA’s Living Change campaign.