This prize is awarded annually for ‘noteworthy contributions to the development of mathematical or statistical methods applied to problems in Biology’. This year it was given to the SPI-M-O group (part of SAGE) in recognition for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards committee said "Under great pressure to deliver results quickly, and under immense public scrutiny, SPI-M-O both built on existing science and developed new epidemiological and statistical techniques to understand the spread of the virus and how it might be controlled. The importance of good and timely disease modelling for policymakers has never been as clear."
The Warwick team (including Keeling, Dyson, Tildesley, Thompson, Hill, Davis, Moore, Guzman-Rincon, Leng and others) has made multiple contributions to understanding and predicting the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2022, generating results for both SPI-M-O/SAGE and JCVI. This award is a reflection of this joint effort.
Speaking about the award Keeling said "This is fantastic recognition for the scientific calibre of the work performed, as well as the public health impact of the research. I was pleased that Warwick could be part of this collaborative effort that brought together teams of researchers from across the UK to tackle the biggest public health crisis of our lives. I was honoured to attend the prizing giving on behalf of Warwick University, and it was so nice to see the SPI-M-O teams face-to-face after two years of on-line meetings".