These volunteers are making short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort.
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.
Christina is an oncology nurse practitioner with a background in biochemistry. She has been a nurse practitioner at the Massachusetts General Hospital for 11 years in both acute care and ambulatory settings. She carries a strong background in basic molecular and cell biology, as well as the care of acutely ill patients in a large academic medical center.
Christina actively manages the clinical care of high risk cancer patients in her day to day job. She has a vested interest in ensuring her vulnerable patients are educated in the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. She also regularly works in the monoclonal antibody clinic where she administers these therapies to high risk COVID-19 positive patients.
Christina is a mother of two young kids, ages 2 and 4, and is married to her wonderfully supportive husband, Dave. She enjoys anything related to true crime, cooking/baking competition shows, and CrossFit (when she has time!). She takes great pride in being a first generation Korean-American, and is passionate about racial justice issues.
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.
Dr Mohan Sekeram is a Nhs General Practioner in Merton, Southwest London. He is currently a regional lead for Personalised Care supporting individuals make decisions around what matters to them. This has been invaluable during current times in addressing concerns of our community.
Mohan has been involved in the vaccination roll in his local borough and in particular coordinating the volunteers. He has worked regularly in the vaccination hubs and involved in many webinars educating local community around vaccine facts. Mohan has also co-ordinated community outreach clinics to increase uptake.
Mohan loves spending time with his family and enjoys many sports. He is a keen runner and support AFC Wimbledon.
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.
Natali Serafin a research scientist working at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analytics (VIDA) research unit in South Africa. Natali’s expertise includes project management, epidemiology, and clinical medicine. She is currently managing a sentinel Covid-19 surveillance taking place at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
Dr Jamie W R Parker MBBChir MRCGP MA (Cantab) is a General Practitioner (GP) based in Nottingham and working in the NHS, helping deliver the Covid-19 vaccines to his patients.
Jamie has been a Senior GP for 10 years, he trained at Cambridge University, and became a fully qualified GP through the Nottingham Vocational Training scheme, in 2010.
On the first day of lockdown, March 2020, Jamie wrote and performed a cover of Disney’s Frozen hit “Let it Go”, “Stay at Home” on his Twitter account. He did this to try and help publicise the importance of the ‘stay at home’ message and social distancing in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The song went viral, and before he knew it, he was on local and national TV and radio, including Sky News, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show and BBC1, being dubbed ‘Nottingham’s singing doctor’. Jamie has since become a regular GP sofa guest on the BBC breakfast show, appearing weekly throughout the pandemic, trying to spread important messages in a calm and measured way.
Jamie lives with his family and three children in Nottingham, and loves the outdoors, sport, and music.
Juan Ambrosioni MD, PhD is a specialist for the HIV / AIDS Unit and Infectious Disease Service and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Barcelona. He is also an infectious disease specialist for the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Juan is involved in the Infectious Disease Service of Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, which runs the SARS-CoV2 vaccine project ‘Development of innovative coformulated mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV2 (Cova-RNA)’.
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.
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Team Halo was established as part of the United Nations Verified Initiative in partnership with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It is proud to collaborate with the Vaccine Alliance and GAVI. Support is provided by Luminate and IKEA Foundation.