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Following the tragic death of Dr Ling Felce on The Plain roundabout, Oxford, on 1st March 2022, we have created a fund to sponsor researchers to gain skills to strengthen their portfolio for a future in research.

A scientist of extraordinary talent, Dr Ling Felce developed an interest in computational biology after completing the Oxford Biomedical Data Science Training Programme at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM).

Ling Felce“Ling was one of the brightest and nicest people we’ve taught on the programme” says Dr David Sims, Associate Professor of Computational Genomics and director of the training programme, “she really leveraged it to take her career forward, which was great to see.”

Dr Felce’s work laid the groundwork for the bioinformatic research platform used by the Dong group at the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the MRC WIMM. After joining the team as a postdoctoral scientist in 2020, Dr Felce contributed to a number of projects investigating the immune response to infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The bioinformatic suite at the CAMS-Oxford Institute has now been named in honour of these invaluable contributions. Read more here

The Ling Felce Award offers financial support for researchers to undertake training in the analysis and interpretation of large datasets. Awards will be made to support researchers wishing to sign up to the Oxford Biomedical Data Science Training Programme at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM). We hope that, in memory of Dr Felce, this award will help support the next generation of world-leading computational biologists.

In addition, this award will be used to support COI career development fellows to start their own research groups by providing funding for leadership and group management training programmes. It is believed that Ling would have taken up one of these fellow positions during her time at COI. 

Professor Dong shared the following tribute to Dr Felce:

"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 the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. 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 (soon to become a dedicated Bioinformatics centre within the newly established CAMS-Oxford Institute at Oxford University). Ling was an incredibly kind and delightful colleague: we will miss her smiling face in group meetings.

"Ling 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." 

If you would like to donate to this award, please use this link.

Researchers who have received funding through the Ling Felce Award

Guihai Liu, DPhil Student

"I am really grateful for my Ling Felce award-funded place on the OBDS training course. Ling was an expert inbioinformatics and helped me a lot with RNAseq analysis for my DPhil project. Her enthusiasm motivated my interest in analysing large-scale datasets. My DPhil project focussed on SARS-CoV-2 spike specific CD4+ T cells and their anti-viral activity. To characterise spike specific CD4+ T cells, we carried out single-cell RNAseq and bulk RNAseq which required extensive bioinformatics analysis.  Prior to joining the OBDS course, I had only minimal experience of R programme and Linux command. The intensive and formal training has hugely increased my understanding and knowledge of both of these aspects and helped me understand how to analyse my data. Hopefully, after the 4-weeks of full-time training, I will be able to analyse bulk and single-cell RNAseq data."


Peter Wan, DPhil Student

"I am very grateful to receive The Ling Felce Award which fully funded my place in the OBDS course. My project focuses on developing novel therapeutics for cancer treatment. Bulk RNA sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing are important techniques for me to understand the tumour heterogenicity. This course covers all the materials that I need for analysing the sequencing data, and provides me adequate exercises to train my coding skills. More importantly, the teachers are knowledgeable and the classes are interactive. The Ling Felce Award provide me an opportunity to learn the R programming language and methods for analysing RNA sequencing data, which will be very useful for my DPhil study and future career."


Zixi Yin, Postdoctoral Scientist

"I was very grateful for receiving the Ling Felce Award-funded placement for the OBDS training course. I took this course during the first year of my postdoctoral training at Oxford. My background is in immunology and lab-based research. One of my research projects involves using RNA-sequencing techniques to investigate the anti-viral activities of interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) in the context of virus infections. Therefore, I took the course to start learning R programming. Which I found really helpful about this course is the support from experienced trainers, as well as enough time for practice and discussion during the course. After several weeks of intensive training, I am now able to analyse my research data independently. Now I have moved to Yale as a Postdoc. The computational skills I learned from this course also help me in the new job for some imaging analysis work. The Ling Felce Award gave me the opportunity to take the course and opened the gateway to the realm of computational biology."


Noushin Zibandeh, Postdoctoral Scientist

"I am extremely delighted for winning the Ling Felce Award Funding which provides a significant boost to my academic journey and career development. This award helped me to get a qualification to analysis my Single‐cell RNA sequencing which is crucial for my research. Moreover, brings me a profound sense of comfort and confidence. My current research focuses on the understanding of immune ageing combined with the use of immunosuppression after kidney transplantation and its effect on cutaneous immunity. As an immunologist, I've developed the ability to conduct data analysis in my research project independently"


Sarah Short, DPhil Student

"I wish to express my sincere gratitude for being selected as a recipient of the Ling Felce Award, which allowed me to participate in the OBDS training course during the final year of my DPhil studies. My DPhil research is focused on the immunology of transplant rejection, with several sub-projects generating complex bulk RNAseq and spatial datasets requiring robust analysis. This course was invaluable for deepening my understanding of the bioinformatic methods required for accurate analysis of these datasets, as well as refining the coding skills required to progress my work with confidence. The course was expertly delivered so that it benefited every participant in a class of varying skill sets and data analysis backgrounds, and I'm incredibly grateful for the patience and skill of the experienced trainers. Given the ever-expanding volume and complexity of datasets generated in many biological research fields, I firmly believe the skills obtained in this course will not just immediately benefit me, but also prove to be fundamental skills for all of my future research endeavours. The Ling Felce Award was instrumental in enabling me to undertake this opportunity."