Postdoctoral scientist at UCL
I am a postdoctoral scientist at University College London in the lab of Professor Arne Akbar, and I am currently investigating the effect of age on the phenotype and function of the mononuclear phagocytes. As part of my current role at UCL, I have done numerous public engagement talks and events with older people (>65 years old) where I discuss the effect of age on the immune system and on vaccination responses.
When the BSI asked me if I would like to take part in the Vaccine Ambassador project I jumped at the chance, as I really enjoy speaking to members of the public about immunology. The vaccine ambassador training provided me with the all the facts and also confidence to engage with parents about the benefits of vaccination. The parents I interacted with in Hackney were very grateful for the ability to speak to an ‘expert’ on immunology and vaccinations. They understandably had lots of questions about how vaccinations work and they did not feel that they had enough time with their GP or health practitioner to get the answers to their questions, so were grateful to speak to a scientist.
I found taking part in the vaccine ambassador programme a very rewarding experience and would encourage everyone to take part.