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Oxford Biomedica CEO awarded CBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List

5 January 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Oxford Biomedica CEO awarded CBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List

The chief executive of Oxford Biomedica, the University spinout which became a household name after creating Britain's Covid vaccine with Astrazeneca, has been awarded a CBE.

John Dawson was honoured for services to UK Life Science as part of the Queen's New Year Honours List.

John joined Oxford Biomedica’s board as a non-executive director in August 2008, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in October 2008.

Prior to this he held senior management positions in the European operations of Cephalon Inc., including Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development Europe.

While at Cephalon he led many deals building the European business to over 1,000 people and to a turnover of several hundred million US dollars.

In 2005, Mr Dawson led the $360 million acquisition of Zeneus by Cephalon. Prior to his time at Cephalon he was Director of Finance and Administration of Serono Laboratories (UK) Limited.

Dr. Roch Doliveux, Chairman of Oxford Biomedica, said: "I warmly congratulate John for receiving this thoroughly deserved recognition. Thanks to his foresight, Oxford Biomedica has grown to become a world leader in cell and gene therapy, helping society during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

"I and the entire board are extremely grateful to John for his warm and resilient leadership and having built Oxford Biomedica as a world leader in viral vectors for cell and gene therapy, enabling so many lives to be saved."

Oxford Biomedica is based across several locations in Oxfordshire, UK and employs more than 740 people.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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