‘More people’ might lose their lives as a result of the tragic death of ‘brilliant’ scientist Dr Ling Felce, her widower said.

The University of Oxford researcher, who was knocked down and killed by tipper truck driver Robert Whiting on The Plain in March, was a trailblazer in the relatively new field of bioinformatics – and had already used computer programme analysis to uncover new insights on the Covid-19 virus.

Now, a new computer office at her former lab has been named in her memory. And a fund has been set up to fund two researchers every year to complete the same six-week bioinformatics training scheme that helped power Dr Felce into the new field.

Speaking at the opening of the new room, her widower James, 35, told the Oxford Mail: “Ling’s skill set was quite rare. Her background was quite rare and, as everyone says, she was a real rising star.

“I’m certain she would have made insights that would have directly impacted human diseases.

“I said in court that more people will die as a result of this and I think that’s true, because either it will take us longer to get to therapies that Ling will have sped up or we will never get to them because of missing the insights she would have made.”

Earlier this month, when the driver who caused the fatal crash was jailed for eight years, Mr Felce said he was certain that his wife’s ‘will only be the first death of this tragedy’. “The people she would have helped will ultimately fall victim to it as well,” he added in a moving tribute.

In the new office space bearing Dr Felce's name in the Nuffield Department of Medicine site in Headington, researchers will be able to sift through huge data sets in order to help their lab-based colleagues identify trends about everything from viruses to cancers.

A fund set up in Dr Felce’s memory has so far raised £2,500 from online donations, with her former bosses at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Oxford Institute adding their own financial support. The fund will support two students every year to complete the six week Oxford Biomedical Data Science Training Programme at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine.

Yesterday afternoon, Dr Felce’s former boss Prof Tao Dong said: “She was a very bright, friendly, helpful presence in the group. Always willing to help and support others, and doing so with a smile on her face.

“Her contributions to our bioinformatics analysis platforms will be invaluable for years to come.”

Dr Felce’s two children, her parents and sister were among those present to see her honoured at the lab.

Older sister, Mei Wong, 38, said: “Today has been bittersweet. It’s great they have set this up in her name, but we are just so heartbroken she’s not here with us. She talked about her work with such passion.”

In March, Dr Felce’s death triggered an outpouring of grief, as well as calls for improvements to cycle infrastructure across the city. The scientist was one of three female cyclists killed on Oxford’s roads in six months.

The council set up a working group to look at changes that could be made to the roads where the tragedies took place. In June, county councillors committed to a ‘Vision Zero’, with the ambition of there being no deaths on Oxfordshire’s roads by 2050. On average, 25 people die on the county’s roads every year, with plans to cut that casualty figure by a quarter by 2026.

To donate to the new fund, visit this link.