Oxford jab creator to deliver Richard Dimbleby Lecture

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The Oxford jab creator is to deliver the Richard Dimbleby lecture (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
The Oxford jab creator is to deliver the Richard Dimbleby lecture (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, one of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine inventors, is set to deliver this year’s prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture.

The scientist will deliver the 44th edition of the annual lecture on December 6, the BBC announced on Friday.

The lecture, named in honour of the late broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, features influential speakers from academia, arts and business and the royal family.

Whilst my natural home is working with my lab team on vaccine research and development, it’s an absolute honour to be asked to deliver this year’s Dimbleby Lecture

Dame Sarah

Dame Sarah will join the ranks of the Prince of Wales, then-International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

Dame Sarah said: “Whilst my natural home is working with my lab team on vaccine research and development, it’s an absolute honour to be asked to deliver this year’s Dimbleby Lecture in Oxford.”

The Oxford professor is credited with saving millions of lives through her role in designing the coronavirus vaccine.

She has been making and testing vaccines for more than 10 years, mainly using antigens from malaria and influenza, and initiated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine project in early 2020 when Covid first emerged in China.

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, one of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine inventors, is set to deliver the prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture on December 6 (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, one of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine inventors, is set to deliver the prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture on December 6 (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The vaccine developed by her team is used in more than 170 countries around the world.

The vaccinologist received a damehood earlier this year for services to science and public health in Covid vaccine development.

A Barbie has been created of Dame Sarah, who also had a penguin named after her at the Sea Life London Aquarium.

BBC One and BBC iPlayer will broadcast Dame Sarah’s speech from Oxford University, with David Dimbleby introducing her.

The lecture has been on pause for two years due to the pandemic.

Carla-Maria Lawson, the BBC’s head of daytime, early peak and events, said: “We’re thrilled Dame Sarah Gilbert has agreed to deliver this year’s prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture.

“The integral role she has played in the race to protect us from coronavirus and her ground-breaking work in pioneering lifesaving drugs make her truly inspirational.”

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