The 2022 Royal Society Buchanan Medal has been awarded to Richard Moxon, Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, in recognition of his work helping pioneer the field of molecular microbiology. The Buchanan Medal is awarded annually for distinguished contributions to the biomedical sciences.
Professor Moxon was asked by the late Sir David Weatherall to be one of the founding scientists of the then Institute of Molecular Medicine (now the MRC WIMM). During his time here, Professor Moxon founded the Oxford Vaccine Group. He and his team also identified the genetics of the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), which is the main cause of childhood meningitis. This led to a vaccine for meningitis being developed and rolled out as part of the infant immunisation programme in the UK in 1992.
Professor Moxon's group went on to sequence the genome of Hib and was one of the first groups in the world to demonstrate that this technique can be used to find new targets for vaccines. This technology underpins the development of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine for COVID-19.
Commenting on his award win, Professor Moxon said, "I am very proud to receive this award, because the Royal Society champions excellence in research. I am also humbled, because my career was built on the shoulders of giants who have mentored, supported and encouraged me."
Many congratulations to Professor Moxon!