Ms. Sarah Gilbert – the `brain` behind the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
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Ms. Sarah Gilbert – the `brain` behind the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

(Dan Tri) – AstraZeneca/Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine has become a lifesaver for millions of people thanks to its effectiveness, ease of storage and low price.

Professor Sarah Gilbert and her Barbie doll (Photo: PA).

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic raging around the world, on November 23, 2020, Oxford University and partner AstraZeneca announced important information: the Covid-19 vaccine produced by them together is effective from

This announcement laid the foundation for the approval process of the AstraZeneca vaccine to help the world deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

But few people know that the `mother` of AstraZeneca, Professor Sarah Gilbert, had to race against time, working tirelessly with her colleagues to produce this vaccine.

The road is not paved with roses

Ms Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, one of the world’s leading medical research centres.

She was born in 1962, in a family with a father who was an office worker and a mother who was an English teacher in Kettering, a town in Northamptonshire, Central England.

After completing her doctorate, she began working in industry before returning to academia, joining medical professor Adrian Hill’s research group at the Jenner Institute to begin her studies.

Her life was challenged when she gave birth to her children, triplets.

`There was a time when I thought about giving up my scientific research career and doing something else,` she shared.

Her son Freddie described his mother as someone who was very supportive and always did what was best for him.

At Oxford, Dr. Gilbert quickly became a professor at the prestigious Jenner Institute.

AstraZeneca vaccine results

Ms. Sarah Gilbert - the `brain` behind the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca vaccine (Photo: The Times).

But when the MERS vaccine was only in its second trial, the Covid-19 pandemic started in China in early 2020. She quickly realized she could develop a Covid-19 vaccine the same way she did with MERS.

According to BBC, in just a week after Chinese scientists announced the genetic structure of the new virus, Ms. Gilbert’s team finished designing the Covid-19 vaccine.

But where does the funding come from for clinical trials, which are extremely expensive and time-consuming?

Ms. Gilbert then raced against time in the context of a rapid increase in global deaths due to Covid-19.

`From the beginning, we saw this as a race against the virus, not a race against other vaccine developers… As the person who invented this vaccine, I can make a living

According to Ms. Gilbert’s wishes, AstraZeneca pledged not to profit from the Covid-19 vaccine during the pandemic.

In 2020, Ms. Gilbert was one of the female scientists honored by BBC media in the list of 100 Outstanding Women of the Year globally for her tireless contributions to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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