The billboards popping up around Bristol with important Covid message

  • Watch Katie Rowlett's report

A billboard campaign has started in Bristol to tell some of the human stories behind the Bristol scientists helping fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

The vaccine poster project is the brainchild of Bristol photographer Tom Skipp, who wanted to portray some of the key people behind coronavirus research at the University of Bristol.

His photographs show scientists in their place of work over the past year; be that laboratories, hospitals or at home.

The images will be on display at five locations in the city until Sunday 9 May.

Director of the Bristol Vaccine Centre at Bristol Medical School Prof Adam Finn. Credit: Tom Skipp

Mr Skipp said: "I was really worried that people don't trust science and that they only see scientists next to government figures.

"I was worried about the uptake of the vaccine especially amongst minority communities, and I wanted to find out the stories behind the people who are trying to fight coronavirus, while going through the same struggles we all have during the last year."

Dr Ore Francis, who appeared in one of the photos, said he "hopes it has some kind of impact".

The research associate at the University of Bristol has been using a replica virus, which acts the same as Covid-19, to carry out tests over the past year. The risk is low as it is not the real coronavirus, but the reward is high.

Dr Ore Francis works as a Research Associate at The University of Bristol.

Dr Francis said: "We use this low-risk alternative to look for antibodies that target the key protein that the coronavirus uses to attach to cells and affect those cells.

"We are putting these tools in the hands of other researchers and that is just crucial in getting through this pandemic."

Dr Rajeka Lazurus is a consultant in infectious diseases at the BRI who is also included in the project.

She's been leading clinical trials testing for coronavirus vaccines in the South West.

Dr Lazurus said: "Over the past year we've recruited over 2,500 volunteers into the vaccine studies and that has meant that certainly for the Oxford vaccine that vaccine has been licenced and now it's been used to save tens of thousands of lives around the world."

The photograph of Dr Rajeka Lazarus is on display in Kingsland Road.

Where to see the billboards

  • 92-98 Kingsland Road, BS2 0QZ - Drs Ore Francis, Research Associate and Rajeka Lazarus, a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at UHBW

  • 28 Stapleton Road, BS5 0QX - Dek Woolfson, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the Bristol BioDesign Institute

  • 34 Ashley Road, BS6 5NS - Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics at Bristol, Director of the Bristol Vaccine Centre at Bristol Medical School and lead of Bristol UNCOVER

  • 265 Church Road, BS5 9HU - Dr David Mathews, Reader in Virology;

  • Trinity Road, BS2 0FJ - Dr Christy Waterfall, Senior Research Associate.

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