We are delighted to announce that the winners of the Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Award 2020 are Professor Quentin Sattentau (Oxford University) and Professor Ben Davis (Rosalind Franklin Institute and Oxford University). The team will receive an award of £300,000 over three years to fund their research on creating a vaccine for HIV.

The aim of the annual Interdisciplinary Award is to develop new collaborative studies between researchers in different fields to make advances that will have real benefits to patients. This year’s award was in recognition of the interface between medicine and chemistry. 

The research team recently integrated chemistry, molecular biology and immunology in a novel approach to generating strong immune responses to specific sugar molecules (known as glycans) found in viruses . They now plan to use this approach to design a vaccine that will provide protective antibody responses against HIV. This strategy also has the potential to not only create new vaccines against other viruses that have had a global impact, such as SARS-CoV-2, but to also instruct the immune system to attack cancer cells.