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Dr Jane Osbourn of AstraZeneca and UK BioIndustry Association thanks colleagues as she is made an OBE

Dr Jane Osbourn, vice-president of research and development at AstraZeneca and chair of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), has thanked her colleagues and collaborators after being honoured in the 2019 Queen's birthday honours list.

Jane Osborne, of AstraZeneca (11929095)
Jane Osborne, of AstraZeneca (11929095)

She has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to human monoclonal antibody drug research and development and biotechnology.

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

Site leader for AstraZeneca’s facility at Granta Park, she also chairs the cross-campus leadership team for the biopharmaceutical company in Cambridge, where it is building its global headquarters and R&D facility on the Biomedical Campus.

An advocate for UK life sciences sector, she has helped to develop Cambridge's life sciences ecosystem, and is a director at both Babraham BioScience Technologies and Cambridge Enterprise.

She 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 1990s.

“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.”

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca and co-chair of the Life Sciences Council, said: “On behalf of AstraZeneca, I am delighted to congratulate Dr Jane Osbourn for her award of an OBE in recognition of her services to human monoclonal antibody drug research and development and biotechnology. This well-deserved honour reflects her contribution to biopharmaceutical science over more than 25 years, from Cambridge Antibody Technology to AstraZeneca and MedImmune.

“Jane’s leadership in UK life sciences includes championing the biotech sector through her position as chair of the BIA and contributing to the growth of the UK’s scientific ecosystem. I would also like to recognise her authentic commitment to building skills through STEM and education outreach, in particular for women in science”.

Steve Bates OBE, who is CEO of the BIA, said: “Jane Osbourn is a pioneer in our sector, leading on world-class research and contributing to blockbuster discoveries such as HumiraTM, which has benefitted patients not only here at home but across the world.

“She has been a passionate advocate for the UK life sciences sector, while working closely with government agencies and businesses to expand the science and research infrastructure in Cambridge. Through her leading role in the BIA she has championed the UK’s vibrant and important biotech industry. Her skills go far beyond just science, she is also a fantastic communicator and leader.

“She has and always will be a trailblazer in our sector and I’m delighted that she has received this award.”

Jane joined what was Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT)/MedImmune, in 1993, having earned 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.

She also completed 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.

Passionate about science education and the development of the UK biotechnology sector, Jane was elected chair of the board of directors of the BioIndustry Association in 2015.

She has presented at a number of parliamentary select committees and served as a member of the UK Medical Research Council Industry grant award assessment panel.

In 2016 she was recognised in the PharmaVoice 100, and also in Fierce Pharma’s 'Fierce Women in Biopharma' – one of 15 women in the global industry noted for their leadership, providing mentorship and helping increase opportunities for women in science.

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