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.
Dr Nighat Arif is a NHS General Practitioner (GP) who has been working on the Covid-19 frontline caring for patients and has contracted Covid-19 herself. Now Dr Nighat’s surgery is administering Covid-19 vaccines.
Dr Nighat is a family GP specialising in women’s health and family planning. She is based in Buckinghamshire and is able to consult fluently with patients in Urdu and Punjabi. Nighat is also the resident doctor on BBC Breakfast, ITV’S This Morning and BBC LookEast, updating viewers on the latest medical news. Additionally, Nighat is an ambassador of many charitable causes including Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, HerSpirit and is heavily involved with supporting NHS Blood and Transplant.
Dr Nighat remains authentic to her values as a British Pakistani, Muslim woman and mother navigating and uniting the different cultures in a positive way. She has integrity, substance, humanity and style and approaches life with humour. Nighat is married with three young boys, she loves baking, spin classes with friends, watching movies and reading.
Faith Uwadiae is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Her research is within the field of immunology and focuses on understanding the link between malaria and a type of cancer called Burkitt’s Lymphoma. She started her scientific career by pursuing a BSc in Biochemistry at King’s College London, before undertaking an MRes in Biomedical Research and a PhD in Immunology, both at Imperial College London.
Currently, Faith is also an Early Career Representative for the British Society of Immunology’s Forum, working to raise issues and ideas to create policy change to shape UK immunology. Faith is passionate about improving racial diversity in STEM and does whatever she can through university and public engagement lectures, events, articles and social media.
Outside of work, Faith spends her free time doing science in other ways: homebrewing beer and baking with a blog to document these food adventures. She is also obsessed with podcasts and recently became a lockdown cyclist – and she loves it.
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.
Dr Andrea Mazzella, MRCP (UK), is a Research Physician working in the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre, and one of the investigators of three Phase III clinical trials investigating the Janssen, Novavax and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines for Covid-19. His role involves discussing the trials with volunteers, assessing their eligibility and conducting follow-up and pharmacovigilance with hundreds of trial participants.
After qualifying from medical school in Italy with an Erasmus exchange programme in Spain, Andrea moved to England to work as a doctor in the NHS. Once he completed Core Medical Training, he studied at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for a master’s degree in Epidemiology. It was during this year that the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded; he graduated and decided to join the team of researchers working on COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
Andrea grew up on a tiny island in the Mediterranean and loves returning home and sailing. He has a geeky passion for linguistics and is powered by dark chocolate and nonna’s struffoli.
Tyler is a proud member of the nursing profession. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lakehead University (Canada), initially working in critical care and cardiac intensive care. He then pursued a Master of Nursing degree from the University of Toronto (Canada) and transitioned into the nurse practitioner role, where he now specializes in pulmonology. His role includes the care of hospitalized patients (mainly patients with respiratory issues and those leaving the intensive care unit) and ambulatory patients with a variety of issues like asthma, COPD, chronic cough and interstitial lung disease. More recently Tyler has been following patients with PASC (long Covid) as well.
During the course of his career, Tyler has become passionate about combating health related misinformation, mainly related to vaccines and more recently COVID-19 and has built up a large Tik Tok following. He was also involved in the COVID-19 vaccination roll out at his organization where he was able to vaccinate hundreds of patients. Tyler’s passion extends to the clinical setting where he loves taking opportunities to educate patients – whether it be about their disease process, health promotion/prevention, or even debunking myths about vaccines (specifically influenza and COVID-19 vaccines!).
Outside of work, Tyler is an avid traveler (when Covid permits). He will find any excuse to get on a plane and visit somewhere (whether it’s Las Vegas or Europe). He also loves food, food and more food (and he will try anything once!). Of course with food comes the need for staying fit, and prior to the pandemic he was an Orangetheory Fitness fanatic! Recently, however he has fallen in love with his Peloton which has become a part of his regular routine. He also loves dogs and his current pride and joy is his pug, Titus. He is also a proud Canadian, now transplanted into the USA.
Dr Brooke Vandermolen is a practicing Obstetrics & Gynaecology registrar doctor, who has worked and trained in a variety of London NHS hospitals. Brooke is experienced at dealing with all aspects of women’s health and pregnancy. Brooke created her educational platform “The OBGYN mum” via which she shares insights and tips around pregnancy, fertility, menopause and more through social media and blog posts. She is an experienced medical writer, and creates digital content for the The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and NHS England to translate trending topics into evidence-based, relatable bite-sized media. She also promotes information about the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy and its impact on fertility to tackle the misinformation.
Brooke is mum to 2 preschoolers who keep her very busy but whenever she gets a spare second she loves spinning and yoga and has developed a recent passion for interior decorating!
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.
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 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.