We are a group of scientists and healthcare professionals from around the world, working to end this pandemic by volunteering our time to address Covid-19 vaccine concerns and misinformation.
Our #TeamHalo videos bring you accurate, up-to-date facts on the safety & effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Team Halo was established as part of the United Nations Verified initiative in partnership with Purpose and the Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Support is provided by Luminate, IKEA Foundation, and Capgemini.
These are the many faces, diverse voices, and brilliant minds behind Team Halo.
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!
Natalia is a microbiologist specialising in molecular genetics of bacteria. She currently works as a visiting researcher at the University of Sao Paolo, at the Vaccine Development Laboratory. She is the Director-President of the Instituto Questão de Ciência (“a question of science”) and an outspoken advocate for scientific thought in public life. She is a columnist for the newspaper “O Globo” and is a regular media commentator on Covid-19 in Brazil.
Dr Kiran Morjaria is a junior doctor and comedian based in Manchester. He is working on the front line admitting and treating patients with Covid-19. In his spare time he volunteers at a Covid-19 vaccination hub as a vaccinator.
Kiran graduated from Leeds Medical School in 2017, where he was awarded the SPARK scholarship for enterprise, and is currently training to be a GP. He has performed comedy across the national circuit and continues to make medicine accessible and fun online.
Kiran’s big passion outside of medicine is comedy. He also enjoys staying active, he is a keen gym-goer, tennis player and vegetarian foodie.
Dr Meenal Viz, Dr Nishant Joshi and baby Radhika are the Joshi trio who have been campaigning for healthcare workers throughout the pandemic. Last year, during the first wave of the pandemic, Dr Meenal Viz was the pregnant protester outside Downing Street when Radhika was a foetus. The protest gained worldwide media attention and now Meenal and Nishant hope to use their platform to spread positivity, hope, and help clear any misunderstandings around the vaccine. Changing the world one TikTok at a time!
Nishant works in General Practice and has played a big role in working with local communities to start important dialogue around the vaccines. He has seen the impact of the virus on ethnic minority groups and has been working closely with community leaders to share informed messages around the vaccine. Meenal has been working from home with Radhika, focusing on campaigns to help inform women who are either pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or breastfeeding to make informed choices around the vaccine.
Outside of work, Nishant is a bassist and writes songs about social injustice with his band, The Palpitations (and Baby Radhika is Nishant’s biggest fan). While Meenal has her own podcast, ‘Meenal’s World’, where she interviews trailblazers every week and hopes to educate and empower women across the world.
Follow #TeamHalo Guides for science-backed, shareable videos about COVID-19 vaccines.
You can help too
Hundreds of volunteers around the world are joining Team Halo. If you’re a scientist or healthcare professional who would like to get involved, please get in touch.