These volunteers are making short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort.
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.
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. Anna Blakney is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and a former research fellow at Imperial College London. The Blakney Lab is a multidisciplinary group of engineers, immunologists and molecular biologists investigating the interactions between RNA, biomaterials and the immune system to prevent and treat disease. During the pandemic she focused on vaccine formulation and testing to determine whether it was safe and immunogenic.
On top of her long hours in the lab, Blakney wants to help spread accurate info about the vaccine. “I think, as academics, we have a duty to educate not only other students and scientists but the public as well,” she says. “I think it’s largely changed now but, at the beginning of the pandemic, the lag time between what was going on with the science and the public knowing about it was really long. So I made it my mission to get the word out there.
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.
Vicky is a senior researcher at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analytics (VIDA) research unit in South Africa. Vicky has extensive laboratory experience in both microbiology and molecular biology and is currently one of the lead scientists on the Oxford-AstraZenica vaccine trial in South Africa. She is also the scientist overseeing several Covid-19 surveillance trials taking place at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
Dr Partha Kar is a Consultant and National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes, NHS UK. Partha is part of the national team that undertook the data analysis around Covid-19, which subsequently contributed to vaccine prioritisation via JCVI, as well as risk tools such as Q-COVID risk tool developed by Oxford. Partha has also helped in developing information portals and language specific videos to help increase uptake of Covid-19 vaccines, by working with colleagues across the UK.
Partha is involved in diabetes care, and championing technology access in diabetes (Libre, CGM in Type 1 Diabetes). He has led work on interactions between HCPs and patients (“Language Matters”), pioneered online self-management programmes for diabetes, as well as being co-creator of TAD (Talking About Diabetes) and Type 1 Diabetes comic (Volume 1, 2 and 3). Partha is an avid user of social media to engage with patients and was recognised as a “Social media Pioneer” by HSJ in 2014. He also writes a monthly blog for the BMJ, has a personal blog (“Sugar and Spice: Wish all things were nice”) and a podcast (“Sweet Talking”). Partha was recently awarded an OBE for “services to Diabetes care”.
A huge fan of movies and an avid reader of comic books, Partha’s favourite food is Biriyani, but generally any good food, with a partiality towards Vietnamese too! He speaks English, Bengali and Hindi. Loves cricket and holidays where you do nothing.
Rômulo is a Biophysicist and PhD student in Immunology and Infection at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was studying at the University of Califorina-Davis in the USA before returning to Brazil during the pandemic to help with research on the new coronavirus. His work focuses on understanding the mechanisms that make our bodies develop immunity against Sars-CoV-2 and the reasons why some people develop severe illness while others experience mild symptoms.
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.
Follow the people working on all aspects of science that will make these coronavirus vaccines safe and effective
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.