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Emma Bolam

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Duration: 0:36:04 | Added: 22 May 2023
Georgina Ferry interviews Emma Bolam, Head of Production (Clinical BioManufacturing Facility), 24 November 2022.

Topics discussed include (00:00:30) early interest in science, interest in natural history, studies at Oxford Brookes University, NHS work as a laboratory assistant, Therapeutic Antibody Centre and work as a production technician as part of the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, and later takeover by a team from the Jenner Institute to work on the manufacture of viral vector vaccines; (00:04:37) professional learning and development through career, work in laboratories and eventual progression as Head of Production; (00:06:50) vaccine projects at the Clinical BioManufacturing Facility [CBF]; (00:09:40) work in 2019 on an Ebola vaccine; (00:10:49) first awareness of COVID-19; (00:11:47) involvement in the planning for work on COVID-19, including postponement of the Ebola vaccine manufacture; (00:13:22) work to begin the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine; (00:16:00) safety procedures implemented onsite; (00:16:49) atmosphere during this time amongst the team and those working to manufacture the vaccine; (00:17:55) communications with Phase II trial manufacturer Advent; (00:18:40) ability to slow down work after the first clinical trials in April 2020, involvement of AstraZeneca; (00:19:40) resuming of Ebola vaccine project; (00:20:16) unusual nature of the Clinical BioManufacturing Facility in an academic setting; (00:20:50) viral vectors used for vaccines; (00:21:45) press exposure and scrutiny during the pandemic, including interviews in Welsh and for Welsh media; (00:24:06) collaborative nature of the work on the COVID-19 vaccine, involvement of Professors Sarah Gilbert and Teresa Lambe in designing the vaccine; (00:25:30) benefits of collaboration for future work with other groups; (00:27:13) personal response to the threat of infection by COVID-19; (00:29:07) impact of the work on personal mental wellbeing and that of the team at the CBF; (00:31:21) sense of satisfaction from working on a high quality and safe vaccine during the pandemic, including donations of food and support from the community; (00:32:40) the nature of the team at the CBF; (00:34:11) changes in approach as a result of the pandemic experience; (00:35:03) plans for the future.

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