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Group photograph taken at the Oxford-BMS Alliance Day in 2022
Group photograph of Oxford-BMS Fellows and Principal Investigators, taken at the Oxford-BMS Alliance Day 2022

The Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Fellowship Programme supports postdoctoral fellows carrying out cutting edge 3-year translational projects. Since its establishment in 2015, the programme has supported 37 Fellowships that aim to stimulate new scientific discovery and translation and generate a cohort of scientists that can navigate within and across academic and industry spheres to bridge translational challenges.

The three new fellowships will support postdoctoral researchers and clinicians across the Medical Sciences Division, in Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM) and Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS). James Fullerton (NDORMS), Christopher Toepfer (RDM) and Susie Shapiro (RDM) are the Principal Investigators on the projects, and this is the first time each has been awarded this opportunity.

BMS scientists will provide the researchers with critical scientific input to the translational projects, along with mentorship and exposure to the field of commercial drug discovery and development. There will also be opportunities to carry out research and use facilities at BMS labs in the US and Spain.

Fellow Project Principle Investigators
Roel De Maeyer

In vivo human immune challenge to determine the pharmacology and mechanism of action of immunomodulatory therapeutics

James Fullerton, Mark Coles, Duncan Richards (NDORMS)
Yiangos Psaras

Identification of Mavacamten non-responders in genotype positive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, HCM using human iPSC-CMs

Christopher Toepfer, Hugh Watkins (RDM)
Rupen Hargreaves Clinical utility and biological impact of platelet-biased myeloid mutations Susie Shapiro, Adam Mead, Charalambos Antoniades (RDM)


We are delighted to receive this Oxford- Bristol Myers Squibb fellowship. The focus of our study is to understand how cardiac myosin inhibitors, such as mavacamten, works in patients with a variety of different mutations in genes that encode the proteins of the cardiac sarcomere, which cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) a disease that afflicts approximately 1 in 500 people. This opportunity could help us gain deeper insights into the mechanisms that drive HCM and potentially better understand the therapeutic utility of mavacamten in a variety of patient groups.

Dr. Christopher Toepfer

Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Science, Radcliffe Department of Medicine


We are delighted to receive an Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb fellowship and look forward to developing a collaborative and productive partnership. Certain genetic mutations in blood cells (myeloid mutations) are associated with a high risk of developing blood clots in arteries and veins, both in people with overt blood cancer and those without. We have recently used a novel approach to identify myeloid mutations in patients, which is more sensitive than standard techniques.  Our study will use this novel genetic sequencing technique, coupled with state-of-the-art heart imaging, to better understand the association of blood clots with myeloid mutations, the underlying disease mechanisms, and identify new potential therapeutic targets. This fellowship provides a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of cutting-edge laboratory techniques as well as insight into industry.

Dr Susie Shapiro

Consultant Haematologist

Associate Professor of Haematology, Radcliffe Department of Medicine


The Oxford Centre for Clinical Therapeutics' mission is to advance experimental medicine, developing novel translational approaches to catalyse early phase drug development. We are honoured to have been awarded an Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb fellowship which will support the evaluation and advancement of a specific human immune challenge paradigm: keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH) administered in conjunction with different adjuvants. The powerful synergy afforded by this unique academic-industry collaboration will lead to the creation of a novel experimental platform capable of rapidly and efficiently evaluating immunomodulatory drugs intended for use in diverse diseases, with the ultimate aim of accelerating patient access to novel therapies.

Dr James Fullerton

Associate Professor of Clinical Therapeutics, NDORMS, University of Oxford

Honorary Consultant in Acute General Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Oxford University Hospitals


Past Fellows who have been supported though the programme have gone onto assume positions in both academic and industry. In 2022 Nora Bengoa-Vergniory departed Richard Wade-Martin’s Group in Oxford, to set up her own Group, the Laboratory of Aggregation and Glial Activation, at Achucarro, Basque Centre for Neuroscience. Nora’s group studies alpha-synuclein aggregation and neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease, which was the focus of her Oxford-BMS Fellowship. Melanie Dunstan, former Fellow supervised by John Todd and Claudia Monaco is now working as an Immunologist/Cell Biologist at Emergex Vaccines. Hebe Chen and Stefanie Slevin, both former Fellows within NDM joined Exscientia as Senior Cell Biologists.

The programme benefits from dedicated support from the Business Partnerships Office, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, and the Global Alliances team at Bristol Myers Squibb.

For more information on the programme and upcoming opportunities please contact