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Featured Guides

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


Dr Ajay M Verma

Dr Ajay Verma is a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Physician working in Northamptonshire, UK. Ajay treats patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and other chronic Gastroenterological disorders. He is an advocate for COVID vaccines, regularly posting social media content on the safety, efficacy and importance of vaccination for the benefit of patients, and fellow health care professionals.

Ajay has clinical interests in inflammatory bowel diseases, and early colorectal cancer. He is also an active clinical researcher and is the research and development director at Kettering General Hospital (KGH) and the Gastroenterology Speciality lead for NIHR East Midlands clinical research network. Ajay is also a chief clinical information officer, a role he enjoys as KGH endeavours to be one of the most digitally advanced hospitals in the UK.  On a national level, Ajay is the chair of the New Consultants Committee at the Royal College of Physicians and sits on the SWiG (Supporting Woman in Gastroenterology) and Colorectal section committees for the British Society of Gastroenterology.  Ajay is active on Twitter, regularly posting #GastroTwearls: educational Gastroenterological content for health care professionals and patients.

Ajay enjoys spending time with family, his wife Vini is an Interventional GI Radiologist, his son Luca is 6, his daughter Bella is 4. He is a sports fanatic – Football, Cricket, Tennis, American Football. He plays badminton to a reasonable standard (his assessment). He also loves reading books – especially when on holiday!


Shamaila Anwar

Dr Shamaila Anwar is a Science Communicator and Team Halo Guide. She has a PhD in epidemiology and a background in health research and is interested in understanding health inequalities and improving health and science literacy through community engagement.

Her work during the COVID pandemic has focused on understanding societal views about vaccines, the impact of misinformation and disinformation and how to effectively communicate health messaging to underserved communities.


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.


Rômulo Neris

Rômulo is a Biophysicist and PhD student in Immunology and Infection at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was studying at the University of Califorina-Davis in the USA before returning to Brazil during the pandemic to help with research on the new coronavirus. His work focuses on understanding the mechanisms that make our bodies develop immunity against Sars-CoV-2 and the reasons why some people develop severe illness while others experience mild symptoms.


Dr Punam Krishan

Dr Punam Krishan is a Scottish NHS General Practitioner, Clinical lecturer, writer and media medic with a specialist interest in mental health, women and children’s health and lifestyle medicine. 

Punam is involved in the vaccination roll out at her practice and also being from a south asian background, she has been involved in educating her community around vaccine hesitancy as well as in the media.

Punam is a Glasgow girl with an Indian heart, a mum to two young children (one of whom was born in lockdown!). She is fluent in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. And also a keen runner and a qualified meditation teacher.


Dr Karan Rangarajan

Dr Karan Rangarajan is a surgeon in the NHS and Honorary Clinical Lecturer for Undergraduate Medicine at the University of Sunderland.

Karan combines education with entertainment on social media. Right from the start of the pandemic, Dr Karan has been bringing unfiltered, easy to understand bite sized information to the public to combat vaccine & COVID myths & misinformation and help tackle vaccine hesitancy with his “viral” vaccine videos.

He is fluent in Hindi, Tamil & German and is a keen swimmer & cricketer.


Mellanie Dutra

Dr Mellanie Dutra is a biomedical graduate from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), and has a Ph.D in neurosciences. She is currently a Postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry at UFRGS. She has also been working in the field of Science Communication, specifically around COVID-19, since the beginning of 2019. She currently coordinates the COVID-19 Analysis Group, a national network of volunteer researchers working on COVID-19 pandemic which she set up in February 2019. 

Mellanie is a member of InfoVid group, UPVacinas and Todos Pelas Vacinas. She’s accustomed to doing media work with newspapers, TV, Radio, Podcasts, and live streams, in an effort to explain the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines as a safe and reliable public health tool. 

In her spare time Mellanie enjoys watercolour painting. She also plays guitar, likes to read books about science and loves to eat pizza! 


Dr Monica Peres Oikeh

Dr Monica Peres Oikeh, is A General Practitioner currently working in cork, Republic of Ireland. She is a graduate of trinity college Dublin.  As a GP,  she looks after patients of all ages and genders. She is passionate about health promotion and uses social media- Tiktok and Instagram to deliver health tips.  She believes now more than ever, people should be able to access credible sources of information regarding their health. She is also working with the Department of Health in the Republic of Ireland to facilitate this and is one of the doctors administering the Covid19 vaccines in vaccination hub.

Monica is Nigerian Irish. Pre-pandemic her favourite thing to do was to hop on the plane and explore a new country ( 5 continents and counting), but she has recently got a lovely dog called Maya and now loves to spend time with her instead. She also loves cooking, learning new languages and spending time with family.



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


Paolo Bonanni


Jason Kindrachuk


Elisa Ramos Sevillano


Chinthaparthi Prabhakar Reddy


Otavio Ranzani


Prof Katie Ewer


Vipin M. Vashishtha


World Medical Association


British Society for Immunology


Shivani Kshirsagar


Anurag Mishra


Debasis Nayak


Sandeep Panigrahi


Ed Belongia MD


Dr Tim Mastro


Dr. Angela Rasmussen


You can help too

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

Find a trial near you


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.