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Queen Mary Alumni

Alumni Angles: In conversation with Professor Sir Andrew Pollard

We are absolutely delighted to announce that on Wednesday 4 May, the Alumni Engagement Team held the third and first in-person installment of our ‘Alumni Angles’ event series which aims to showcase the talent in the Queen Mary alumni community.

Alumnus Professor Sir Andrew Pollard speaking at our Alumni Angles event

The hybrid event ‘Alumni Angles: In conversation with Professor Sir Andrew Pollard’, was a huge success with 150 guests attending in person on our Whitechapel campus and 527 guests registered online, from 38 countries around the world. This event brought together alumni, students and staff and was followed by a drinks reception in the foyer of the Perrin Lecture Theatre. It also gave our guest speaker the opportunity to return to his educational roots after 33 years!

During this event, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard FMedSci (Medicine MBBS, 1989), Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group - the team who were responsible for developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 - gave a presentation on the conception, roll-out and success of the vaccine to date and detailed the challenges along the way. He also answered a series of thoughtful questions from our in-person audience and event chair, Dr Vanessa Apea, Consultant in Genito-urinary and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. During the evening, guests also heard from President and Principal, Professor Colin Bailey CBE, and our Vice-Principal (Health), Professor Sir Mark Caulfield.

Keep an eye on our social media and other communications for information about the next exciting event in our Alumni Angles engagement series.

Find out more about our speaker, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard qualified from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1989. He is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

His research includes the design, development and clinical evaluation of vaccines in the UK, Asia, Africa and Latin America, including those for COVID-19, typhoid, meningococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus, plague, pertussis, influenza, rabies, coronavirus and Ebola.

Sir Andrew was Chief Investigator for the clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in 2020, which led to the authorisation of the vaccine for use in more than 175 countries with over 2.5 billion doses distributed by the end of 2021. In the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021, he received a knighthood for services to public health, with special recognition of his work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Follow Professor Sir Andrew Pollard on Twitter.

Find out more about our chair, Dr Vanessa Apea

Dr Vanessa Apea is a Consultant in Genito-urinary and HIV Medicine and Clinical Lead for Sexual Health at Barts Health NHS Trust. She has been an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London since 2019.

Dr Apea is Clinical Co-lead of Amplifying Lives, a Barts Charity-funded community-based study into vaccine reluctance amongst Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in east London. She is passionate about reducing inequalities in healthcare and has a particular research interest in participatory approaches and the intersection of race, gender and health. Dr Apea received an NHS 70 Windrush Award for her contribution to improving health equity in 2018.

Follow Dr Vanessa Apea on Twitter.




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