These volunteers are making short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort.
Björn Meyer, originally from Germany, is a virologist working in the Viral Populations and Pathogenesis Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, his research has focused on SARS-CoV-2 infected cells and what happens between cellular and viral proteins. Björn uses these interactions as starting points to target events for antiviral strategies specifically. He is also part of a therapeutic task force that develops assays and drug-screens to test new therapeutics (small molecules, biologics, antibodies, etc.) from academic and industrial partners.
Outside of work, Björn makes the most of living in France — enjoying food and wine with his partner Kerri.
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 Paul F. McKay is a Senior Fellow at Imperial College in London who designed, made and tested Imperial’s self-amplifying RNA Covid-19 vaccine. Paul has worked in the vaccine development field for almost 30 years, completing his PhD at Imperial College and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. His focus is studying the immune response to vaccine candidates, aiming to enhance or tailor the immunity to increase vaccine efficacy and creating new vaccines to various infectious diseases.
Dr Alex Bowmer is a medical anthropologist and a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working on understanding the social dynamics of epidemics and the facilitators and barriers to vaccine deployment in epidemic outbreaks. After completing his PhD, he has spent the past two years working on Ebola, Rift Valley Fever, Swine Fever, and now Covid-19.
Outside of his work on Covid-19, he also works in professional sport as a physical therapist and strength & conditioning coach with teams in the USA and UK.
Wasim A. P. Syed is a Pharmacy undergraduate student at the Ribeirão Preto School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo. Currently, he has a Scientific Initiation scholarship from The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and is studying the human TMPRSS2 protein, involved in the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection process. Wasim is also a science communicator at Vidya Academics and União Pró-Vacina where he carries out projects that fight fake news, especially around Covid-19 and vaccines.
Dr Simone Richardson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Antibody Immunity Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Simone’s work is focused on understanding how antibody function contributes to protection against COVID-19. Her team is focused particularly on how these can be used to protect HIV infected individuals from COVID-19. They are currently measuring these in South African vaccines to better understand which functions of antibodies are associated with vaccine protection.
Simone is a 2020 L’Oreal UNESCO postdoctoral fellow awarded for her work on COVID-19, and, an early career fellow of both the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery. She holds a diploma in science communication from Stellenbosch University and is passionate about lending her voice to science.
Outside of work, Simone loves to cartoon, hike and read manga and historical non-fiction – never at the same time. She often can be caught being a total kid and building some form of Lego or annoying her Yorkshire Terrier.
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.
Ahmad is the Director of the Genomics Center at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital and an Associate Professor of Genetics at Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences in the United Arab Emirates. Ahmad is a leading figure in driving efforts to characterize the epidemiological and genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, identify host genetics factors and RNA expression profiles modulating COVID-19 disease severity in the UAE.
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.