We are a group of scientists and healthcare professionals from around the world, working to end this pandemic by volunteering our time to address Covid-19 vaccine concerns and misinformation.
Our #TeamHalo videos bring you accurate, up-to-date facts on the safety & effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Team Halo was established as part of the United Nations Verified initiative in partnership with Purpose and the Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Support is provided by Luminate, IKEA Foundation, and Capgemini.
APPLY TO JOIN
Team Halo is interested in hearing from experts who have been working to address the COVID-19 pandemic in their professional lives and who are also established as educators on social media with over 10,000 followers. This would include healthcare workers as well as scientists, such as virologists, epidemiologists and vaccine developers. If you would like to apply to join Team Halo please fill out this application form and we will contact you in due course.
These are the many faces, diverse voices, and brilliant minds behind Team Halo.
Dr Federica Cappuccini is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford. Since the beginning of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine clinical trials in April 2020, Federica has been a part-time member of the COVID-19 team processing and testing blood samples collected from volunteers in the UK. In particular, the team is looking at the magnitude and durability of cellular responses as a read out of vaccine immunogenicity. Federica has recently become a full-time member of the COVID-19 team as one of the senior immunologists in the paediatric study of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.
Federica started working at the Jenner Institute in 2013 in the Prostate Cancer Vaccine group and has been initially responsible for the preclinical experimentation of candidate prostate cancer vaccines administered as monotherapy or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Previously, Federica graduated at Roma Tre University in Rome with a project on rotavirus infectivity and neutralisation, aiming at developing a new therapeutic intervention against human rotavirus infections targeting a capsid viral protein. She then completed my doctoral studies at the Uniklinikum Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, where she investigated the immune modulation and pathogenesis of radiation induced lung tissue damage in order to identify therapeutic targets for treatment or prevention of radiation related side effects.
As an Italian, Federica enjoys good food, wine and coffee. She loves travelling and cherishes moments spent with friends, be it for a meal out, a board game night, a walk in the park or a squash match. She also enjoys going to the gym and running, and hopefully will complete a marathon and a sprint triathlon in 2021!
Natalia Pasternak is a microbiologist, with a PhD and post-doctorate in Microbiology, in the field of Bacterial Genetics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is the former director in Brazil of the international festival of scientific communication “Pint of Science” (UK), columnist for the Brazilian national newspaper “O Globo”, for The Skeptic magazine (UK), and Medscape (WebMD). She also hosts two weekly radio shows “The hour of Science” at Brazil’s CBN national radio station. She contributes as a visiting professor at the Public Administration School at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo, and as a research collaborator at the University of São Paulo.
She is currently the publisher of Question of Science magazine and president of Question of Science Institute, the first Brazilian Institute for the promotion of skepticism and rational thinking. She is the first Brazilian to become a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) – USA, in recognition of outstanding work in the promotion of science, skepticism and critical thinking. In 2020, and again in 2021, she was chosen Brazilian of the year in Science by IstoE Magazine. She was chosen Personality of the year by the Group of Latin America Daily Newspapers, and received the Ockham Award from The Skeptic magazine, for the promotion of skepticism and rational thinking in Brazil. She has written two books on popularization of science, Science in our daily lives, which won Brazil’s National Literature prize for best science book in 2021 (Prêmio Jabuti), and Against Reality: science denialism, its causes and consequences. She was the only Brazilian listed by BBC as the 100 most influential women of 2021, and she is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University, at the Center for Science and Society, by invitation of Professor Stuart Firestein. Her research focuses on how to improve science communication and combat denialism and misinformation, bringing scientific thinking for future policy makers, and helping to create an international collaboration for science-based global policies.
Dr Samir Gupta is a Respirologist, Clinician-Scientist and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. He completed his medical training at McGill University before specializing in Respirology at the University of Toronto. He has a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology and a fellowship in Knowledge Translation Research.
Samir has always had a specific interest in science communication. His academic research further strengthened his resolve that making science accessible and interesting is an urgent need in today’s online world. Samir started his television career at Global with the segment called “On Call With Dr. Gupta,” and is now a medical correspondent across properties on the Canadian Broadcaster, CBC. He appears on multiple networks and communicates about health and science across electronic, print, radio, and television media. As a leading media voice in the COVID-19 pandemic, Samir’s online “explainers” have been viewed over 10 million times. His latest channel is “The Feed With Dr. G.” This work has mostly focused on vaccine safety and the benefits of vaccination, and his research includes work on the behavioral determinants of vaccine hesitancy.
Samir was born and raised in Canada, and like most Canadians, he makes the best out of winter by doing things like sledding and skiing, but his first love has always been dance! As an Indo-Canadian he retains deep ties to India and runs a global health mission in the south of India. He is fluent in English, French, and Hindi, and a big fan of Bollywood!
Dr Kiran Morjaria is a junior doctor and comedian based in Manchester. He is working on the front line admitting and treating patients with Covid-19. In his spare time he volunteers at a Covid-19 vaccination hub as a vaccinator.
Kiran graduated from Leeds Medical School in 2017, where he was awarded the SPARK scholarship for enterprise, and is currently training to be a GP. He has performed comedy across the national circuit and continues to make medicine accessible and fun online.
Kiran’s big passion outside of medicine is comedy. He also enjoys staying active, he is a keen gym-goer, tennis player and vegetarian foodie.
Follow #TeamHalo Guides for science-backed, shareable videos about COVID-19 vaccines.
You can help too
Hundreds of volunteers around the world are joining Team Halo. If you’re a scientist or healthcare professional who would like to get involved, please get in touch.