London-based Malaysian surgeon Dr Amalina Bakri has been selected to join a team of scientists from Imperial College to search for the COVID-19 vaccine
In a press release, Imperial College said early findings show that animals given the vaccine are able to produce neutralising antibodies against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
The team is currently developing the vaccine further and will test whether it can produce the same response in humans, ultimately creating the cure for COVID-19.
Dr Amalina, a PhD research fellow at the university, will join the team to facilitate the vaccine trials
"The first of the UK vaccine trials, led by Dr Katrina Pollock, has started at the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility at the Imperial College," tweeted Dr Amalina yesterday, 22 April.
"I am involved in recruiting healthy volunteers and vaccinating them in the next few weeks."
The UK government has allocated GBP22.5 million (approximately RM121 million) in funds to support Imperial College's research
Dr Amalina said the University of Oxford is also involved in the vaccine trials, but Professor Robin Shattock from Imperial College is developing a separate vaccine.
"There are two vaccine candidates at present," explained the doctor, who also holds a Master's Degree from the University of Cambridge.
According to the Imperial College website, the UK government is also providing an additional GBP20 million (approximately RM107 million) to the University of Oxford for the vaccine trials.
UK health secretary Matt Hancock said it is the first human trial in the UK.
"The first human trials for vaccines begin in the UK on Thursday, 23 April," he said in a tweet.
"We are giving the two leading UK vaccine teams at Oxford and Imperial all the support they need to make it happen."
Go get it done, Dr Amalina!
Similarly, Dr Noor Hisham has been selected to join a team of prominent scientists in the global fight against COVID-19:
Last month, a Malaysian PhD student was developing COVID-19 rapid test kits along with a group of scientists in the UK:
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