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Five new Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowships representing an investment of £3M have been announced today*. The fellowships (formerly Oxford-Celgene) will support postdoctoral researchers and clinicians across five departments within the Medical Sciences Division and the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, providing an opportunity for them to gain exposure to the field of commercial drug discovery and development.

Research scientists working in laboratory

Now in its 6th year, the Oxford-BMS Fellowship Programme stimulates new scientific discovery and translation and facilitate skills and people transfer between researchers at Oxford and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). Oxford’s relationship with BMS continues to grow year on year, with the new 2020 Fellowships taking the total of Oxford-BMS Fellows to 28.

Bristol Myers Squibb focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of innovative therapies for patients with cancer, immune-inflammatory and other unmet medical needs which aligns well with Oxford’s research strengths. Current projects are running across several departments within Oxford’s Medical Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisions, tackling challenging questions in acute myeloid leukaemia, Parkinson’s and a number of inflammatory diseases.


The BMS-Oxford fellowship aims to develop the next generation of translational researchers across many therapeutic disciplines by supporting talented fellows with mentorship from by top investigators.  Moreover, it enables the evolution of the entire field by training the next generation of translational investigators.  Both Oxford and BMS derive benefit today from the research funded by these grants, but, importantly, patients also stand to benefit for many years to come -- from application of this science to drug development, and from the emergence of young, well-trained clinical scientists with exposure to industry.  We are continually impressed by the quality of the applicants and are excited to welcome the 6th class of fellows. - Rupert Vessey, M.A., B.M, B.Ch., F.R.C.P., D.Phil. Executive Vice President and President, Research and Early Development, Bristol Myers Squibb

Fellows carry out world-leading research during their three-year postdoctoral research project and have a unique level of support available through the direction and mentorship of BMS project leads. Both BMS and the University draw value from the opportunity to facilitate skills transfer between researchers in academia and industry and to stimulate new scientific discovery and translation. The Fellows also have opportunities to carry out research and utilise facilities at BMS labs in the US and Spain, in addition to accessing unique training opportunities.

Xin Zhou will be one of the five new fellows in the 2020 cohort. She will carry out her project under the supervision of Professor Blanca Rodriguez in the Department of Computer Science.


We are very excited about this new Oxford-BMS collaboration on modelling and simulation for target identification and evaluation in heart failure. - Professor Blanca Rodriguez, Principal Investigator

The Oxford-BMS fellowship will be a great opportunity for me to dive deeper into the scientific research of heart failure and to know more about target identification in drug development at BMS through working closely with my mentors. - Dr Xin Zhou, Oxford-BMS Fellow

The five new Fellowships for 2020

Fellow Department(s) Principal Investigator(s)

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences

Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Lynn Dustin



Single-cell analysis of autoreactive B cells

Nuffield Department of Medicine

Kilian Huber New Tools for Systematic Profiling of E3 Ligases Complexes and Small Molecule Modulators
TBD Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences Kim Midwood & Christopher Buckley Using cell-matrix ecosystems to define disease progression and treatment response in fibrosis
Xin Zhou Department of Computer Science Blanca Rodriguez Target safety and efficacy evaluation in chronic heart failure using human-based modelling and simulation
Connor Sweeney

Radcliffe Department of Medicine

Nuffield Department of Medicine

Paresh Vyas & Persephone Borrow Harnessing the Graft-versus-Leukaemia Effect in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

We are incredibly excited to receive an Oxford-BMS Fellowship to study how the cellular degradation machinery can be harnessed for the development of novel medicines. This approach bears great potential for the treatment of cancer and many other diseases where new and more effective therapeutics are urgently needed. BMS have pioneered this exciting field of medical research and the fellowship provides us with a wonderful opportunity to combine our passion for fundamental research and technology development with BMS expertise in taking discoveries from bench to bedside. We are looking forward to collaborating with the BMS team to uncover new targets and mechanisms and help bring new options to patients. - Kilian Huber – Principle Investigator

Spearheaded by Professor Sir Marc Feldmann FRS of the University of Oxford and Rupert Vessey, Executive Vice President and President, Research and Early Development, Bristol Myers Squibb, this active alliance between BMS and Oxford catalyses translational research having the potential to make a real difference to the lives of patients, and equip a cohort of researchers with an in-depth understanding of industry research and development.


The need for new therapeutics could not be more evident, as we are in the middle of a pandemic. The Oxford-BMS Fellowship Programme has offered a wonderful way for trainees to get to understand the intricacies of effective research with therapeutic potential. Having access to supervisors and mentors from BMS as well as Oxford offers a unique training opportunity. A successful Pharmaceutical company like BMS has complementary strengths to a leading University like Oxford, and this Fellowship program has helped initiate and sustain valuable collaborations. - Professor Sir Marc Feldmann FRS, University of Oxford

2021 Oxford-BMS Fellowships Round

The 2021 Oxford-BMS Fellowships Round will open on Monday 14 December. Full details on the 2021 Oxford-BMS Fellowship.


Dr Charlotte Bell, Business Partnerships Manager and Alliance Manager for Oxford-BMS provides a point of contact for both BMS and the University of Oxford to catalyse interactions. She manages the Fellowships programme as well as being a point of contact for Oxford academics and BMS mentors.

Useful Links

*subject to contracting


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