I started my scientific career at the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia where I had initially worked as a research assistant and then as scientific officer on several disease programmes including Malaria. I completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical science from the University of Westminster and then moved to the University of Aberdeen, where I completed a PhD in microbial proteomics. My PhD was focussed on identifying protein biomarkers for pneumococcal colonisation and invasive disease pathogenesis.
After completing my PhD, I joined Prof Sarah Gilbert’s group as an antibody assay specialist to support the clinical development of vaccines against emerging viral pathogens such as MERS-CoV, Lassa and Nipah viruses using the simian adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) vaccine platform technology. My role involves the characterisation of the humoral responses induced by vaccines against these emerging viral pathogens using standardised, validated assays.
Recently, I am involved in one of the world leading phase III clinical trial for the development of a vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) against the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus. Apart from developing and validating the antibody assay used as the primary readout for assessing the vaccine-induced antibody response, I also co-lead a team involved in measuring the magnitude and durability of the antibodies induced by the vaccine in both UK and oversea trial volunteers. In addition, we are also interested in understanding the functional characteristics of the antibodies generated against the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.