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The Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine and the Race Against the Virus


02 Nov 2023

  • Start: 18:30
  • End: 20:30

Royal Society, London

Professor Catherine Green (U93) speaks about the race – not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus.

Professor Green, along with Professor Sarah Gilbert have written a Bestselling book Vaxxers which reveals the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it.

It is a story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm; they separate fact from fiction; they explain how they made a highly effective vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching; and they give us hope for the future.

Alumni and friends of the College may book below to join us at the Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, for this informative talk followed by a drinks reception.


Professor Catherine Green

Catherine is an expert biologist who primarily researches chromosome stability during the replication of DNA and creating vaccines for clinical trials. Her team have developed several novel vaccines for human trials for malaria, Ebola, TB, influenza, Zika, MERS, amongst others.

She is Associate Professor in Chromosome Dynamics at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, a Monsanto Senior Research Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford and leads the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s Clinical BioManufacturing Facility (CBF), where she specialises in creating vaccines for clinical trials.

Prior to this, Catherine was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Curie Institute, Paris, where she studied DNA damage in human cells. She was a Cancer Research UK Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, and worked at the University of Sussex exploring sunlight exposure damage to DNA.

Catherine was awarded an OBE in 2021 for services to Science and Public Health. She was awarded the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) scholarship to complete her PhD research and prior to this, completed a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge.