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The Royal Academy of Arts has named the University of Oxford's Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert as one of its Honorary Fellows.

She joins a list of eminent individuals from beyond the art world who are nominated by the Academy's President - currently Rebecca Salter PRA.

Saïd Professor of Vaccinology Sarah Gilbert is the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The vaccine, tested by the University of Oxford in clinical trials of over 23,000 people in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, is now in use in many countries around the world in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Gilbert said: ‘I have worked in the development of vaccines against infectious pathogens for many years and in the last two years have been able to draw on all that I have learned in order to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. I have been so fortunate to work with a very talented and dedicated team who made it possible to develop a vaccine in less time than anyone thought possible.’ 

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists.  Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

The Academy is governed by up to 100 Royal Academicians who are all practising artists or architects.