2020 Albert B Sabin Gold Medal for Professor Gordon Dougan

Professor Dougan FRS, FMedsci, Fellow of Wolfson since 2008, recognised for his work in vaccinology.

Gordon Dougan

The Albert B Sabin Gold Medal has been awarded each year since 1994 by the Albert B Sabin Institute in Washington, and named after the the inventor of the oral polio vaccine. The medial is the highest international award for contributions to vaccinology and disease control and it is given to a distinguished member of the public health community who has made extraordinary contributions in the field of vaccinology or a complementary field.

The Medal was awarded to Gordon for his leadership across the full spectrum of vaccines and vaccinology. 


The Sabin Vaccine Institute awarded its 2020 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal to Professor Gordon Dougan not for one accomplishment, but for a life-long commitment to innovating the development and delivery of vaccines, translating scientific research into practical tools and encouraging the next generation of leaders in vaccinology. - Sabin Vaccine Institute

Gordon was born in Scunthorpe in the north of England and is the first UK national to win the award. After obtaining a PhD from Sussex University he trained with Professor Stanley Falkow in Seattle, a Lasker Prize winner and world leader in studies on how bacteria cause disease. The team was one of the first in the world to apply gene cloning to vaccine development. He continued this work as a lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, helping to define vaccine antigens for animal diseases.

His work has focused particularly on making quality, low cost vaccines that can be used by those who normally cannot afford them. There are many vaccines and vaccine initiatives that would not have been developed without his strategic vision. His research work has helped to redefine our understanding of how infections spread around the world, a subject of direct relevance to the current COVID-19 epidemic.

During the coronavirus pandemic he helped set up testing for COVID-19 in the hospital healthcare workers, established safe containment facilities for handling the SARS-CoV-2 virus and worked on the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium virus sequencing project, tracking virus movement into and across the UK. He recently gave a lecture Working in Research Through the COVID-19 Crisis to the Wolfson College Science Society, a recording of which can been viewed in our Media Collection.

Warm congratulations to Gordon on this well-deserved recognition. Read more about the Medal and Gordon's work.