AN award in memory of a scientist who was killed in a cycling accident is to be launched by the University of Oxford.

Dr Ling Felce, 35, died on The Plain roundabout in St Clements in March after her bike was hit by a lorry.

The university said that she had developed an interest in computational biology after completing the Oxford Biomedical Data Science Training Programme at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and that the new award will “support the next generation of world-leading computational biologists.”

It will offer financial support for researchers to undertake training in the analysis and interpretation of large datasets.

Dr David Sims, associate professor of computational genomics and director of the training programme, said: “Ling was one of the brightest and nicest people we’ve taught on the programme, she really leveraged it to take her career forward, which was great to see.”

Dr Felce had laid the groundwork for the bioinformatic research platform used by the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

After joining the team as a postdoctoral scientist in 2020, she contributed to projects investigating the immune response to infection with covid.

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Professor Tao Dong, from the Nuffield Department of Medicine, said: “Dr Ling Felce joined our team in September 2020 as postdoctoral scientist, and immediately made significant contributions to several of our research projects studying the immune responses to covid.

“Due to the pandemic, most of Ling’s interactions during her first year with us were via Zoom, but she made such an effort to get to know all of her new colleagues, and quickly became a beloved member of our lab family.

"Ling provided invaluable help and advice on several scientific projects, and her contributions will be greatly missed.

“She was always willing to help and support her colleagues and especially the students within the group, and she laid the foundations for our Bioinformatic research platform.

“Ling was an incredibly kind and delightful colleague: we will miss her smiling face in group meetings.

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"She was a very bright young scientist, excited about the future and everything it may bring for her and her young family.

“We are devastated by this tragedy that has taken her at such a promising point in her life. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time."

In July, Robert Whiting, 40, admitted causing the crash in which Dr Felce lost her life. He is due to be sentenced on September 8.

Dr Felce was the third cyclist in six months to lose her life in Oxford. Jennifer Wong, 32, died after being involved in a collision with an HGV in Headington in September and Ellen Moilanen, 44, was killed in a crash with a lorry near Oxford Parkway railway station.

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers. 

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