Bvlgari and the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute names first scholars

Bvlgari and the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute have announced the next stage of their pledge to build a pandemic-free future by awarding the inaugural Bvlgari Scholarships.

Following the announcement in June of a new philanthropic relationship between Bvlgari and the University of Oxford, Bvlgari pledged a donation to support DPhil students in vaccine research.

The Jenner Institute confirmed that students Cameron Bissett and Rebecca Makinson will this month start their DPhil courses, after being appointed as the first cohort of Bvlgari Scholars. They were chosen after “demonstrating remarkable academic potential and merit in the field of vaccine-related immunology,” added the university.

A 2020 graduate of Oxford’s M.Biochem degree, Bissett will be focusing his DPhil on vaccine studies against respiratory disease, principally SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19. While Makinson, who has worked at the Jenner Institute as a research assistant for the past two years, further to an integrated master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Durham University, will focus her DPhil on in-depth characterisation of the cell-mediated immune response to COVID-19 vaccines, in the context of different age groups and exposure to other human coronaviruses.

Oxford’s Professor of Vaccinology Sarah Gilbert, said: “We are very grateful to Bvlgari who have enabled Cameron and Rebecca to focus on their vital research free from financial worry. I hope these students are the first of many more future cohorts of Bvlgari Scholars.”

Jean-Christophe Babin, chief executive of Bvlgari, added: “It is an honour to support the brilliant young scientific minds of tomorrow, Bvlgari Scholars Rebecca Makinson and Cameron Bissett and work closely with the world-leading University of Oxford to embrace a common vision in the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.”

Bvlgari’s philanthropic donation to the University of Oxford comes as part of the company’s commitment to preventing pandemics now and in the future. Since February, this has seen the brand finance a flow cytometer for the Jenner Institute, a 3D high-definition microscope for the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, and medical-grade hand sanitiser, manufactured by its fragrance production houses and donated extensively to support frontline medical staff throughout Italy, Switzerland and the UK.

Image: courtesy of The Jenner Institute by John Cairns

 

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