Professors Teresa Lambe OBE and Katie Ewer, who both played a key role in the UK’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will lead an on-screen exploration into their areas of scientific expertise.
They will aim to offer insights into the world of viruses – how they infect humans, and how humans respond – particularly in the context of vaccine development and infection control. They will also reveal why discoveries and advances made during the ongoing pandemic will have an impact far beyond COVID-19 and are set to change the future of medicine.
Prof Lambe is one of the Principal Investigators at the University of Oxford, overseeing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine programme. From January 2020, she co-designed the vaccine, led the pre-clinical studies and then oversaw the delivery of the immune results needed to support regulatory approval of the vaccine in late 2020.
She said: ‘The Christmas Lectures are such a unique opportunity to share a passion for science, and to encourage young people to stay in science and to stay inquisitive. We need this enthusiasm, now more than ever, to tackle the big questions facing society.’
Professor Ewer is a cellular immunologist and Associate Professor at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford. During the pandemic, she has been an investigator on clinical trials of the Oxford/AZ vaccine, studying samples from volunteers to determine the strength of their cellular immune response to vaccination and how those responses relate to protection against COVID-19 infection.