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Three new Oxford-BMS Fellowships were announced across the Medical Sciences Division to support translational research projects.

James Fullerton and Roel de Maeyer
James Fullerton (l) and Roel de Maeyer (r)

James Fullerton, Associate Professor of Clinical Therapeutics at NDORMS, received the prestigious Oxford-BMS award which will support a postdoctoral fellow to carry out a cutting edge 3-year translational project. Since its establishment in 2015, the Oxford-Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Fellowship Programme has supported 37 Fellowships that aim to stimulate new scientific discovery and generate a cohort of scientists who can navigate both within and across academic and industry spheres to address key translational challenges.

Roel De Maeyer, has been announced as the new postdoctoral fellow and will undertake a project entitled 'In vivo human immune challenge to determine the pharmacology and mechanism of action of immunomodulatory therapeutics'. Bringing significant experience in human immunology from his PhD (Prof Derek Gilroy) and post-doctoral training (Prof Arne Akbar) at University College London, Roel will give small amounts of a substance (keyhole limpet haemocyanin, KLH) foreign to healthy volunteers immune system's (the 'challenge') to see how their body reacts. He will develop this model such that it can improve the process of developing medicines.

James said: '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: 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.'

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