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10 June, 2019 - 11:55 By Tony Quested

Majesty of Cambridge science and technology honoured by The Queen

Jane Osbourn AstraZeneca

Cambridge and East of England life science, industry and technology entrepreneurs figured large in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Dr Jane Osbourn, Vice-President of Research & Development at AstraZeneca and chair of the UK BioIndustry Association, and Darktrace co-founders Poppy Gustafsson and Jack Stockdale all won OBEs.

Other recipients of OBEs were Mike Ashmead, MD of Cambridge engineering innovator Encocam, for services to exports and engineering, and Professor Mike Bevan of the John Innes Centre in Norwich who was honoured for his work in plant genomics.

Two university of Cambridge professors were awarded CBEs – Sylvia Richardson, who is director of the MRC Biostatistics Unit at Cambridge University, and Anna Vignoles from the faculty of education.

UEA professor, Marie Corinne Lyne Le Quere earned a CBE for her work in the area of climate change work. Sophie Wilson of Broadcom in Cambridge was similarly honoured for services to computing.

Jane Osbourn of AstraZeneca said: “This OBE  is very much a reflection of a lot of years of team effort.” 

The accolade is for services to Human Monoclonal Antibody Drug Research and Development and Biotechnology. 

An expert in antibody engineering, Dr Osbourn has authored many key publications and patents and has made a significant contribution to the discovery and development of a number of marketed drugs and more than 40 clinical candidates. 

Jane is also site leader for AstraZeneca’s facility at Granta Park and chairs the cross-campus leadership team for AstraZeneca in Cambridge, the company’s global headquarters.

She has also been a passionate advocate for the UK life sciences sector and made a major impact on the development of the life sciences ecosystem in Cambridge, where she is currently a director at both Babraham BioScience Technologies and Cambridge Enterprise. 

Dr Osbourn said: “It is a great honour and privilege to receive this award. The life sciences sector is unrecognisable in terms of technology, research areas and scope compared to when I was a researcher at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge in the early 1990’s. 

“The UK is at the forefront of innovative therapies and research, while cementing itself as the third biggest biotech cluster in the world and long may that continue.

“Science only progresses through shared endeavour, and I would like to thank all the many colleagues, collaborators and mentors I have worked with over the years for their skill, hard work and support.”

Jane joined AstraZeneca, formerly Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)/MedImmune, in 1993. She obtained a First Class degree in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge and completed a PhD at the John Innes Centre for Plant Science Research in Norwich. 

This was followed by a Post-Doctoral position at Rutgers University, New Jersey before moving into medical research through a British Heart Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Department of Medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. 

Darktrace, the world’s leading cyber AI company anchored in Cambridge, twas celebrating at the double as its EMEA CEO, Poppy Gustafsson and CTO, Jack Stockdale, were each appointed OBEs in recognition of their services to cyber security.

Gustafsson said: “Jack and I are humbled and honoured to receive this very special recognition from Her Majesty the Queen and delighted to represent the UK’s thriving technology sector. 

“In accepting this honour, I would like to recognise in particular the talented mathematicians and software engineers in our Cambridge headquarters who make our technology world-beating, as well as the company’s original backers and especially Dr Mike Lynch for his support and mentorship. This is a very proud moment for the whole company.”

Dr Lynch, founder of Invoke Capital, the first investor in Darktrace, commented: “Cyber security is one of the great unsolved problems and an area where advances in AI are going to be nothing short of transformative. But while there are high levels of interest in AI, true innovation is hard to come by. 

“Developing a reliable AI system that works at the scale, speed and level of accuracy that Darktrace does, is a major engineering feat, and is helping enterprises and institutions fight the developing cyber-threat. I am delighted to see Poppy and Jack honoured for their outstanding achievements at Darktrace.”

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