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BRC receives Freedom of the City of Oxford

This article is more than one year old.

The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) was awarded the Freedom of the City of Oxford at a ceremony at Oxford Town Hall on 17 May 2023.

The honour - the highest Oxford City Council can bestow - was accepted by Oxford BRC Director Professor Helen McShane. The awarding of the honour was announced in January.

Proposing the awarding of the Freedom of the City to the BRC, Councillor Louise Upton praised its role in the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which had saved millions of lives worldwide, but also the other medical breakthroughs that BRC researchers had been responsible for.

Accepting the award, Professor McShane said it recognised 'the contribution of thousands of Oxford-based researchers, clinicians and members of the public who undertake and support our research.'

She added: "As an organisation rooted in two of the city's great institutions - Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford - it gives us enormous pleasure and pride to be recognised by the city we call our home and of whose thriving clinical academic ecosystem we are an integral part."

Professor McShane noted that the success of the BRC was founded not just on the best in academic healthcare research and NHS clinical excellence; "it also benefits from the wider clinical academic ecosystem in this city; from the thriving life sciences sector; and from the support of the people of Oxford. In short, our success is inseparable from the fertile environment in which we are located. This honour that you bestow on us this evening belongs to the whole city."

At the ceremony, the Freedom of the City was also awarded to the former General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Baroness Frances O'Grady.