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This prestigious 3-year Fellowship aims to stimulate new scientific discovery and translation and to facilitate skills and people transfer between researchers in academia and industry.

Celgene is a global biopharmaceutical company that uses cutting-edge technology and innovative science to discover new medicines for patients. In partnership with the Oxford Medical Sciences Division, Celgene has co-developed and provided support for a Translational Research Fellowship Programme.

The goals of this scheme are to stimulate new scientific discovery and translation and to facilitate skills and people transfer between researchers in academia and industry.  

This programme offers fellows an opportunity to gain exposure to the field of commercial drug discovery and development. Fellows will have an assigned company mentor and where appropriate be encouraged to spend some time based in Celgene's laboratories.

Funding will be awarded to Oxford Principal Investigators to support 3 year fellowship projects for early career researchers that demonstrate a clear translational value to the advancement of therapeutics. Three to four awards are made annually.

Currently there are 22 fellows working with Celgene and you can read about their projects here

Fellowship funding may be used to support clinical (Grade E64) or basic research scientists (Grade 7/8) committed to translational science and interested in obtaining experience with drug development in an industrial setting. 

Fellowship applications may include a named fellow, but this is not necessary as the project selection criteria are driven by scientific fit with company science and expertise. 

It is expected that a suitable fellowship candidate will be identified by the Principle Investigator within 6 months of notification of successful project selection.

Prospective Principle Investigator applicants should submit their project online via the Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS) using the standard application form (this form is also available through IRAMS).

If a proposed fellow is known at the application stage, please include their CV at the end of the form. Applicants can only upload a single PDF to IRAMS so multiple PDFs will need to be combined. 

Applicants should notify their departmental administrators of their intention to submit a proposal (information on the fellowship terms for Department administrators and HoDs can be found here).

Applications must be signed off by Department Heads and Departmental Administrators before final submission on IRAMS. 

Proposals should be targeted to research areas of interest for Celgene which can be found here.

If you would like to book a 1:1 to discuss you potential application with Celgene Scientists, these happen in March each year. Please complete the Pre-application questions and email to before the deadline which will be published when the next call goes live. 

Full proposals will be reviewed by a Joint Steering Committee in mid-June. 

Following notification of an award, successful applicants are required to liaise with Celgene to ensure the workplan and timelines are acceptable to both parties, prior to the project agreement (contract) being signed. 

Successful applications with a named fellow could expect to begin from 1st Oct following the award in June (subject to contracting).

Projects needing to recruit a fellow could expect to begin from 1st Jan following the award in June (subject to contracting and ease of recruitment).


The 2019 call for Fellowship Applications has now closed. Please check the website for information in early 2020. 

For all enquiries please contact Charlotte Bell, Industry Partnerships Manager, Medical Sciences Division Business Development and Partnering Team


Telephone: 01865 289877

If you would like to book a 1:1 to discuss you potential application with Celgene Scientists on Tuesday 19th March 2019, please complete the pre-application questions and email to before 12 noon on Monday 25th February. 


Professor Sir Marc Feldmann (Oxford)

Professor Fiona Powrie (Oxford)

Professor Chas Bountra (Oxford)

Dr. Maxine Allen (Oxford)

Dr. Rupert Vessey (Celgene)

Leon Carayannopoulos (Celgene)

James Carmichael (Celgene)

 Current Fellows

Nora Bengoa-Vergniory Pablo Cespedes Hannah Chen

Nora Bengoa-Vergniory

Pablo Cespedes

Hannah Chen

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, DPAG

Translational Research Fellow, NDORMS

Research Fellow, NDM

'Inhibition of alpha-synuclein aggregation and glial activation as a therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease'

'Studying the effects of citrullination on the dynamics of receptor-ligand pair interactions at the Immune Synapse'

'Definition of new drug targets for fibrosis in Crohns'

PI: Richard Wade-Martins


PI: Alison Simmons

Hebe Chen Liliana Cifuentes Image credit: Medical Sciences Division and John Cairns

Hebe Chen

Liliana Cifuentes

Amy Cross

Postdoctoral Researcher, NDM

Clinical Research Fellow, NDORMS

Postdoctoral Scientist, NDS

'Investigation of epigenetic and post-translational modifications in altered STAT3'

'Protein kinase C-θ and PD-1 as a therapeutic target in inflammatory arthritis'

'Combination therapy of low dose regulatory T cells and low dose IL-2 to prevent rejection in transplantation'

PI: Professor Holm Uhlig & Dr. Arian Laurence

PI: Graham Ogg, Peter Taylor, Mike Dustin

PI: Dr Joanna Hester & Dr Fadi Issa

Melanie Dunstan Michael Fitzpatrick Image of Sarah Gooding

Melanie Dunstan

Michael Fitzpatrick

Sarah Gooding

Research Fellow

Clinical Research Fellow, NDM

Research Fellow, RDM

'Ultra low-dose IL-2 therapy in autoimmune diabetes'

'Use of unbiased T-cell receptor repertoire sequencing to identify novel T-cell subsets involved in coeliac disease and increase the accuracy of the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity'

'Determining changes in clonal/sub clonal architecture and relation to immune marrow environment enabling tumour persistence/relapse in myeloma'

PI: John Todd, Claudia Monaco

PI: Elizabeth Soilleux, Paul Klennerman

PI: Paresh Vyas, Udo Oppermann, Karthik Ramasamy

Tariq Khoyratty Thomas Layton Sarah Sasson

Tariq Khoyratty

Thomas Layton

Sarah Sasson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NDORMS Clinical Research Fellow, NDORMS Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellow, NDM

'Defining an early signature of neutrophil extracellular trap formative predictive of responses to PAD4/2 inhibitors in rheumatic patients'

'Single cell analysis of the fibrotic landscape in Dupuytren's Disease'

'Checkpoint blockade-mediated autoimmune colitis as a model for gut immune homeostasis'

PI: Irina Udalova, Raashid Luqman PI: Jagdeep Nanchahal PI: Paul Klenerman, Oliver Brain



Past Fellows


Heidi Olzscha.png Lynn Quek.png

Heidi Olzscha

Lynn Quek

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Oncology

Research Fellow and Clinical Haematologist, RDM

'Unravelling the role of E2F-1 citrullination in inflammatory disease'                                         

'Clonal and Functional heterogeneity in AG221-treated IDH2 mutant Acute Myeloid Leukaemia'

PI: Nick La Thangue

PI: Paresh Vyas

Inhibition of alpha-synuclein aggregation and glial activation as a therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease

Supervisors: Richard Wade-Martins (Oxford) and Irit Rapley (Celgene)

Fellow: Nora Bengoa-Vergniory

Several lines of research have shown that a-syn aggregation is the underlying cause of PD, and astrocytes and microglia have also been reported to play an important role in a-syn clearance and neuro-inflammation. Therefore, the aim of this project is to determine the role of glia in a-syn clearance, development of neuro-inflammation and neuronal cell death in the central nervous system using in vitro and in vivo models, in order to find novel therapeutic strategies for PD. With in situ detection methods for a-syn aggregation, patient derived iPSCs, protocols to differentiate them into neurons, microglia or astrocytes, and a highly relevant mouse model, we will be able to determine the roles glial cells play in the “oligomeric progression” of the disease. This will not only allow us to paint a global picture of the disease, but also to take advantage of these insights in order to translate findings into therapeutic approaches, which will ultimately result in an important advance for PD.


Supervisors: Professor Peter Taylor (Oxford), Professor Michael Dustin (Oxford), Professor Graham Ogg (Oxford) and Leon Carayannopoulos (Celgene) and Rolli Khattri (Celgene)

Fellow: Liliana Cifuentes 

This project will apply advanced imaging and use of small molecule inhibitors to understand the role of PKC-θ in the pathobiology of inflammatory arthritis. In conventional T cells PKC-θ co-localises with the TCR and is necessary for downstream signals, whereas in regulatory T cells PKC-θ adopts a distal position and negatively regulates suppressive function. This study will examine the localisation and function of PKC-θ in conventional and regulatory T cells from patients with inflammatory arthritis or healthy controls. Insight provided by these studies will guide development of PKC-θ small molecule inhibitors as therapeutic agents. The co-inhibitory molecule PD-1 is upregulated on chronically stimulated T cells and delivers signals that inhibit T cell function. These studies will also evaluate the combination of PD-1 agonists and PKC-θ inhibitors as an approach to inhibit T cell responses.


Supervisors: Professor Jagdeep Nanchahal (Oxford), Dr. Dominic Furniss (Oxford), Professor Kim Midwood (Oxford) and Welin Xie (Celgene) and Jerry Horan (Celgene)

Fellow: Thomas Layton

Dupuytren's disease is a fibrotic disorder of the hand in which the fingers progressively curl irreversibility into the palm. Recent studies showed TNF converts palmar fibroblasts from Dupuytren's patients into myofibroblasts that are responsible for matrix deposition and contraction in fibrotic disorders. The goal of this project is to identify pro-fibrotic TNF signalling pathways for development of highly specific therapeutics in Dupuytren's and other fibrotic disorders. Planned studies will investigate the molecular pathway through which TNF cooperates with canonical Wnt signalling to promote palmer fibroblast cell differentiation as well as the upstream regulators of TNF secretion. These studies will apply ex vivo models using samples from disease tissues. Data generated by these studies will complement a clinical trial of TNF inhibition for early Dupuytren's disease.


Supervisors: Professor Alison Simmons (Oxford) and Kamal Puri (Celgene)

Fellow: Hannah Chen

Fibrosis is a common complication of inflammatory bowel disease that is neither prevented nor reversed by current anti-inflammatory therapies. This project will apply new methodologies for isolation and molecular phenotyping of stromal cells from colonic or small bowel biopsies. This analysis will allow reclassification of intestinal stromal subsets and will provide insight into subset composition in IBD or IBD fibrotic tissues compared with healthy controls. In addition, stromal cells subsets isolated during different stages of disease will be examined for responses to innate stimuli to uncover molecules or pathways that contribute to the pro-fibrotic state. This project will advance mechanistic understanding of intestinal fibrosis in human disease and may reveal targets for development of biomarkers or new therapies.