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

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

@profgalitalter

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.

@nhssugardoc

Dr Partha Kar

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.

@dr.vanderslott

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.

@profpillaipoet

Professor Shiv Pillai

Shiv is Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences & Technology at Harvard Medical School where he’s Director of the immunology postgraduate programmes, and a Group leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, where his lab is located. He is a world leader in the study of fundamental B-cell development. Currently his lab is studying the immune response to Covid-19, where they have identified a potential way in which the disease’s cytokine storm may inhibit development of a strong antibody response by the immune system.

@drshamaila

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.  

@dr_will6

Dr Will Budd

Will is a Clinical Research Physician at Imperial College London. After graduating this year in medicine, Will had to shield for most of the first wave of the coronavirus because of a Renal Transplant he received in 2016. Instead of working on the hospital wards he is running vaccine trials, assessing eligibility, vaccinating participants and following them up. The facility he works in is trialling both the Oxford and Imperial Covid vaccine candidates.

@drcappuccini

Federica Cappuccini

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! 

@gustavocienciacabral

Dr Gustavo Cabral

Gustavo leads the team that is developing a Brazilian vaccine for Covid-19 at the University of Sao Paulo. His work also focuses on vaccines for the Chikungunya and Zika viruses. His research centres on the use of “virus-like particles”, which was the focus of his postdoctoral studies at the universities of Oxford in the UK and Bern in Switzerland.

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Community

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

@microelisa

Elisa Ramos Sevillano

@britsocimm

British Society for Immunology

@DrSatyajit16

Satyajit Mohapatra

@Vaccinologist

Melvin Sanicas

@ChinthaparthiR

Chinthaparthi Prabhakar Reddy

@DrTimMastro

Dr Tim Mastro

@ArthurCaplan

Arthur Caplan

@VenkataraoDr

Dr E Venkata Rao

@DrVedantha

Dr Vedantha Srinivas J

@naveenthacker

Naveen Thacker

@KindrachukJason

Jason Kindrachuk

@EdBelongia

Ed Belongia MD

@drsanjaykrai

Dr Sanjay K Rai

@SheuliPorkess

Sheuli Porkess

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

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About

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.