Nicola took part in this year’s Oxford London lecture, held by the University of Oxford in association with The Times as an annual showcase for the best of Oxford’s research.
This year’s speaker was Professor Adrian VS Hill who gave a lecture on the development of the Ebola Vaccine; the dilemma that faced public health officials, vaccine companies and academic vaccine developers in late 2014 and the response that ensued.
Nicola joined the panel chaired by Times columnist Alice Thomson alongside Dr Johann Van Hoof, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Diseases at Cruccell Holland B.V in the Netherlands; and Professor Chris Whitty, Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, discussing the lessons to be learn from the Ebola outbreak and taking questions from an audience filled with young scientists and researchers.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, which Nicola Chairs, completed an inquiry in to what lessons the UK can learn about the Ebola global health crisis and the use of scientific advice in similar emergencies. The resulting report made recommendations on how the UK can improve its response to disease emergencies, and the Committee has followed this up with questions to the Health Secretary on the state of knowledge on the Zika virus.
Nicola says The Oxford London lecture is a brilliant way to showcase the ground-breaking research underway in Oxford and discuss timely scientific issues. The UK must be ‘research ready’ for outbreaks like Ebola and we must improve our capacity to produce vaccines. A future epidemic may be less containable than Ebola or Zika and spread within the UK as well as overseas.
It was fantastic to sit alongside these experts to examine the lessons to be learnt and how we can put them in to practice.
You can watch video’s of the lecture and panel discussion through this link.