Dr. Teresa Lambe, an Irish scientist working on the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, saw massive success this past weekend.
Lambe “practically broke down” with happiness upon hearing the news that the interim results of the vaccine passed their latest phase of clinical trials and reported efficacy in combating the COVID-19 virus.
Speaking to The College Tribune, the UCD College of Science stated that they were “immensely proud of the achievements of Dr. Lambe, one of [their] outstanding alumni”.
Lambe studied in UCD for both her BSc and Ph.D. in Pharmacology before attaining her position as Associate Professor and Investigator with the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford.
In light of her recent achievements, The College Tribune reached out to Lambe for an interview about her time at UCD.
She recalled how much she enjoyed her time at UCD, sharing fond memories of “making lifelong friends and meeting [her] partner” as well as “escapades in Lonegan’s pub in the old Montrose Hotel”.
Lambe insisted that UCD was the “obvious choice” for her as the university has a “great reputation for Science and Engineering”, an area she knew she wanted to specialise in following the Leaving Certificate.
Looking back on her experience, Lambe expressed her appreciation for UCD’s flexibility in allowing her to do a joint honours degree. The ability to commit herself to two science areas that she really enjoyed greatly contributed to her time at the university. Lambe also credits her enjoyable time at UCD as one of the main reasons she decided to stay in academia.
Concluding her interview, Lambe thanked UCD’s College of Science, in particular, the Ph.D. she conducted under Professor Finian Martin for equipping her with “tenacity, determination and scientific rigour”. She said that without this, she could not have progressed her current vaccine development activities.
The College of Science has called Lambe “an inspiration to our students, [who] shows them the potential a UCD Science graduate has to make a real difference in the world”. They also wish to welcome Lambe back to campus to address her alma mater once the circumstances permit, congratulating her on her “immense achievements”.
The major difference between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the Moderna/ Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines is it only requires refrigeration, whereas the latter require freezers for storage. Full results of the vaccine are due to be released in the coming weeks.
Oisin MagFhogartaigh – Reporter