Follow these scientists working to get us safe and effective Covid vaccines. Ask them anything.

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Featured Guides

These volunteers are making short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort.


Purvi Parikh

Purvi Parikh, MD, FACP, FACAAI is one the investigators for the Covid-19 vaccine trials at the New York University Vaccine Center.

Purvi is an adult and paediatric allergist and immunologist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill and is currently on faculty as Clinical Assistant Professor in both departments of Medicine and Paediatrics at New York University School of Medicine.

She is an avid vaccine champion with the UN Foundation’s vaccine program Shot@life.  She is highly passionate in health policy and travels to Washington, D.C. multiple times per year to speak with legislators to influence health policy.


Shamaila Anwar

Shamalia is currently project managing the National Institute of Health Research ‘COVID and Me’ programme to address inclusivity in vaccine research and reaching underserved communities.

Dr Shamaila Anwar is a senior manager at the National Institute for Health Research where she has worked for the last 6 years managing key initiatives in Cancer, Surgery and Oral and Dental Health Research.

Shamaila completed her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Bradford and has a background in the development and management of clinical trials across a number of different specialty areas.  


Samantha Vanderslott

Samantha Vanderslott is interested in public attitudes to vaccination, for routine vaccines and during outbreaks, as well as vaccine policies, in how these differ across countries and time. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began she has been researching views about potential vaccines and the increase in misinformation and disinformation.

Samantha is a health sociologist based in the Oxford Vaccine Group, at the University of Oxford, UK. She has worked there for the past four years following her PhD in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Her research mainly uses qualitative methods and concentrates on health, society, and policy topics.


Dr Simone Richardson

Dr Simone Richardson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Antibody Immunity Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Simone’s work is focused on understanding how antibody function contributes to protection against COVID-19. Her team is focused particularly on how these can be used to protect HIV infected individuals from COVID-19. They are currently measuring these in South African vaccines to better understand which functions of antibodies are associated with vaccine protection.

Simone is a 2020 L’Oreal UNESCO postdoctoral fellow awarded for her work on COVID-19, and, an early career fellow of both the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery. She holds a diploma in science communication from Stellenbosch University and is passionate about lending her voice to science. 

Outside of work, Simone loves to cartoon, hike and read manga and historical non-fiction – never at the same time. She often can be caught being a total kid and building some form of Lego or annoying her Yorkshire Terrier. 


Professor Galit Alter

Galit is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where she specializes in the study of antibodies. Her lab, located in the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard where she is a Group Leader, studies immune responses to Covid-19 vaccine candidates to help the design and selection of those that will give the most protection against the disease. A two-time recipient of the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital Research Scholars Award, Galit was elected a member of the American Association of Microbiology in 2019.


Jaqueline Goes de Jesus

Jaqueline Goes de Jesus is a biomedical scientist, in charge of the genetic sequencing of the new coronavirus in the first cases of Covid-19 in Latin America. She is currently working as a fellow at The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), as part of her post-doctorate at the São Paulo Institute of Tropical Medicine – University of São Paulo (IMT-USP), within the Brazil-UK Centre for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology (CADDE). Jaqueline also carries out research in the field of the following emerging arboviruses: ZIKV, DENV, CHIKV, YFV, ORV and MAYV.


Nathan Peiffer Smadja

Nathan Peiffer-Smadja is a physician specialised in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, a fellow of the French Society of Infectious Diseases, a PhD candidate in Public Health and a Honorary Clinical Research Fellow at Imperial College London. He is currently living in France and has worked on the Covid-19 Vaccine for over 6 months.


Sean Elias

Sean Elias is working as part of the Covid-19 vaccine trial team both in the lab and as part of the SciComms team at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford.

Sean is a postdoctoral immunologist and  ‘Public Engagement with Research’ (PER) leader based. He has a keen interest in the human immune system with previous work on T cells, B cells and antibodies for various diseases including Malaria, Ebolavirus, Salmonella and now Covid-19. On the SciComms front, Sean has a keen interest in developing educational materials for schools and the general public, in particular through the medium of board games. During the pandemic he has also provided photos, videos, explainers and most recently GIFS to the world’s media on behalf of the Covid-19 vaccine research team.

When not in the lab Sean is a keen triathlete, cricketer & football player, avid board gamer and lover of ALL things Star Wars.



Follow the people working on all aspects of science that will make these coronavirus vaccines safe and effective


Prof Madhu Gupta


Mary Kesteffens


The Vaccine Confidence Project


Shivani Kshirsagar


Prof Katie Ewer


Kamran Zaman


Elisa Ramos Sevillano


Beate Kampmann


Naveen Thacker


Jon Klein


Michael Mina


Michel Kazatchkine


Mariet Feltkamp


You can help too

Thousands of volunteers around the world are signing up to help trial these vaccines to make sure they’re safe and effective.

Find a trial near you


Team Halo is an effort to support and celebrate the inspiring collaboration between scientists all over the world to help us end this pandemic with safe and effective vaccines.

The ‘halo’ represents the ring of connected science that circles the globe.

All participation is voluntary. If you’re involved in the vaccine search and would like to be listed on this site, please get in touch.

Team Halo was established in partnership with the The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London’s school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It is proud to collaborate with the UN Verified Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Support is provided by Luminate, IKEA Foundation and the Global Challenges Foundation.