Agnel and Sony

Fourth up in our Pandemic Pioneers series is husband and wife duo Agnel and Sony, who together have created a mega-database that’s already proving vital in the global fight against Covid-19.

“CoVal is basically a bridge. We’re building a bridge.”

So says 34-year-old computational biologist Sony Malhotra, half of a husband and wife team based at the CCP-EM Scientific Computing Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus outside Oxford. Beside her sits 37-year-old partner Agnel Praveen Joseph, Senior Computational Scientist and Coronavirus Structure Task Force member.

Together this scientific ‘power couple’, both valued members of STFC’s…


David Payne — A Professor of Materials Chemistry at Imperial College London and Director at The Research Complex at Harwell

Third up in our Pandemic Pioneers series is David Payne. A Professor of Materials Chemistry at Imperial College London and Director at the Research Complex at Harwell, and someone who has performed a heroic if undercelebrated role in the fight against Covid-19.

“I don’t think our default setting is we exist between pandemics. It’s the other way around. We live our lives and pandemics happen.”

So says David Payne, the softly-spoken 38-year-old Director of the Research Complex at Harwell, a science-led national resource based at the Harwell Science and Innovation campus just outside Oxford.

“Research Complex is a meeting of…


David Brown — Managing Director Project MOVE

We’re looking at Harwell’s Pandemic Pioneers, the scientists and innovators based at Harwell Campus who are helping us all build back better. Next up in our series is David Brown, Partner at Forty-Two and mastermind & Managing Director for Project MOVE.

“The security guys named him Colin” chuckles David Brown.

A 19 tonne Mercedes Citaro city bus might seem an unlikely recruit in the global battle against Covid.

But according to his creator David Brown, 52 year-old partner at Harwell-based solutions design agency Forty Two, ‘Colin’ might just help change the face of Covid testing and vaccination.

“I was chatting…


Daren Fearon, Beamline Scientist, Diamond

We’re looking at Harwell’s Pandemic Pioneers, the scientists and innovators based at Harwell Campus who are helping us all build back better. First up in our series is Daren Fearon, a chemical biologist and ‘beamline scientist’ who works at Diamond Light Source — the UK’s national synchrotron facility. Daren’s soft-spoken Glaswegian demeanour cloaks the global significance of the work he and the XChem team are doing to help investigate the protein building blocks which are crucial not only to our current COVID vaccines, but to an eventual treatment for the virus.

“Everyone has a different name for it. ‘The Spaceship’…

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