These volunteers are making short videos on TikTok and Instagram to explain their part in the vaccine effort.
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.
Dr Paul Ian Cross is a subject matter expert in clinical trials at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) in England. Paul leads on the development of learning materials for doctors, nurses, researchers and scientists involved in the research response to Covid-19 and is also a clinical trials auditor. He has a background in Microbiology and completed his Master’s degree and PhD at Cardiff University. Paul is involved in several science communication projects across healthcare and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. Paul’s passion is writing STEM-inspired books and creating STEM content to introduce children and their families to the wonders of science.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Anna Blakney is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the Shattock laboratory at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on the development of self-amplifying RNA as a vaccine platform, a novel type of RNA that is able to make copies of itself once it enters a cell. During the pandemic she has focused on the vaccine formulation and testing it in preclinical animal models to determine whether it was safe and immunogenic.
Julio Sempere is a Biochemist and Microbiologist working for the National Centre for Microbiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, based in Madrid.
Julio works in the Spanish Pneumococcal Reference Laboratory, in the Vaccine Preventable Bacterial Diseases Unit, evaluating new vaccine serotypes of the pneumococcus and the impact of vaccines in invasive pneumococcal disease. Julio researches bacteria biofilms, approaching new treatments against antibiotic resistant bacteria, and studies the interaction of pathogens with the immune system. His interests are in vaccines, clinical microbiology and immunology.
Julio is a Madrilenian (born and bred in Madrid) and since watching Grey’s Anatomy, he’s wanted to become a scientist. Julio also enjoys cycling and running, and before the pandemic, he used to love going to the gym.
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.
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.