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The Sir David Weatherall Graduate Scholarship was initiated nearly three years ago, with its first recipient, Lucas Greder, starting his graduate training in October 2013. The Scholarship was established to support the brightest minds in molecular biology to launch their careers within the world-class research environment at the WIMM.

This year, thanks to the generous support of many donors, foundations and the University of Oxford’s Graduate Matching Funding Scheme, the Scholarship was endowed in perpetuity. The Scholarship will be held at the WIMM and the student will be associated with Green Templeton College. The Weatherall Scholarship will enable the MRC WIMM to continue to support the training and development of the next generation of scientists and clinicians in the field of molecular medicine, following in Sir David’s footsteps.

Professor Doug Higgs, Director of the WIMM, said: “The WIMM’s ethos has always been to create an environment where clinicians and scientists work closely together to discover fundamental principles underlying human biology, and to translate our findings to improve human health. I am delighted to announce that thanks to the generosity of donors from all over the world, this goal is about to become a reality.”

Of Sir David himself, Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust (and alumnus of the WIMM) said: “David continues to be an inspiration to thousands of scientists and his work has saved countless lives globally. There are not many who can truly claim to have saved the world. David is one who has and all of us who have worked with him walk that little bit taller as a consequence.”

Sir David Weatherall welcomed the establishment of the Scholarship in his honour, saying: “Not surprisingly, this Scholarship has particular resonance for me. My first reaction is one of great pleasure and gratitude, not only for the gifts which have flowed from quite the widest range of former students, colleagues and friends, but also to those who, though not presently in a position to give financially, have encouraged these efforts with their kind words.

“Warmest thanks herewith to all who have contributed to this Scholarship.”

The establishment of the Scholarship was celebrated in January this year with a dinner hosted by Green Templeton College (pictured), and all those at the Institute look forward to welcoming the next recipient of the Sir David Weatherall Graduate Scholarship next year.

Pictured (left to right): Chrys Basnayake, Dr Angela Allen, Sir David Weatherall, Dr Dhavendra Kumar and Dr Nancy Olivieri.