MEET THE TEAM
Long Covid SOS was established in June 2020 during the early months of the pandemic and is staffed entirely by volunteers with lived experience of Long Covid. We are now registered with the Charity Commission and our governance is provided by a board of trustees
We have played a major role in generating awareness of the condition through social media and press campaigning. We work closely with the NHS, RCGP, Dept for Health and Social Care, NICE, ONS, NIHR and the WHO and also collaborate with researchers in order to further our mission of Recognition, Research and Rehabilitation for people with Long Covid. Moving forward we aim to continue to be an active voice, providing an informed and lived experience perspective to national and international organisations as well as the research community
MEET THE TEAM
Chair of Trustees
Linda is an independent researcher, and a visiting researcher at Southampton Business School (SBS), University of Southampton. In a previous life, Linda worked as a senior manager in the public sector, most recently in the research councils (which fund postgraduate research in the UK and run science and technology facilities). She is an experienced Chair, trustee and mentor.
On leaving University Paul qualified as an accountant and has worked in local government, central government and latterly in the charity sector in senior finance positions. Having retired from full time work in 2018 he has continued to work part time in the charity sector as a finance manager. Besides being a Trustee for Long Covid SOS he is also a trustee for a local wildlife trust and regularly volunteer at a Covid vaccination centre in south Oxfordshire.
His interests are social justice and all individuals having access to proper healthcare and housing. He enjoys walking and visiting nature reserves.
Karen became ill with presumed Covid-19 in March 2020 and has subsequently been given a clinical diagnosis of Long Covid/Post Covid Syndrome.
Karen currently works in the UK clinical research infrastructure as a Business Development Manager. She has a PhD in developmental genetics. After a period of post-doctoral research, she went into research management. She has worked in the public, charity and commercial sector.
Amitava Banerjee is Professor of Clinical Data Science, University College London, and Consultant Cardiologist at University College London Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trusts. He is a researcher, educator and clinician with interests spanning data science, cardiovascular disease, global health, training and evidence-based healthcare. He has been active clinically and academically throughout the pandemic and is leading the NIHR-funded STIMULATE-ICP study looking at many aspects of Long Covid, including a large clinical trial of potential treatments.
After qualifying from Oxford, he trained in Oxford, Newcastle, Hull and London, completing a Masters in Public Health at Harvard(2004/05), an internship at World Health Organisation(2005) and DPhil in epidemiology from Oxford(2010). He was Clinical Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine in Birmingham, before moving to UCL in 2015
Gemma is a Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers – with a focus on healthcare and regulatory law. She has extensive experience in health law, regulation, and advocacy. She spent a number of years as a Lay Authority member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) including a term as Deputy Chair of the HFEA, as well as being Chair of a Licence Committee and Chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee. Prior to this she held trustee/committee roles with a number of organisations working in the fields of development and sexual and reproductive health and rights, including young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Jo's main career was in Whitehall, where she worked at the centre of Government for over twenty years, holding senior positions in communications, policy, strategy and governance. She worked directly with many Ministers over the years.
Jo now works as a consultant and coach. She advises organisations who want to have a better understanding of - and engagement with - Government. And she runs a Board Effectiveness Practice. Recent Board Review clients include the Food Standards Agency and Suffolk County Council.
Jo is an experienced Non-Executive Director, notably for a large Government Agency (the Government Internal Audit Agency) 2017-2020, where she sat on the main Board and ARAC, and Chaired the Remuneration and Nominations Committee. She is a Council Member at the Institute of Osteopathy, and a member of ARAC. She was a Trustee and ARAC member of the Road Safety Trust.
Melanie is an independent consultant working with Family Offices and Foundations. As an experienced charity CEO, she is highly skilled at strategy development, all stages of implementation, and with a focus on governance and process.
Melanie was the CEO of the Freelands Foundation for seven years, setting up and running a visual arts and arts education charity for Elisabeth Murdoch. Prior to that, Melanie was a private banker, having held senior positions at Deutsche Bank and UBS. Melanie began her career as a Management Consultant at Marakon Associates.
Melanie holds an MBA from INSEAD in France, a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, which is where she is from.
OUR EXPERT ADVISORS
Prof Danny Altmann
Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London
Danny has advised policymakers including the House of Commons and House of Lords Science Committees, the APPG on Coronavirus, the Cabinet Office, Sir Keir Starmer and the Shadow Cabinet, the Welsh Assembly, the EU, The Scottish Parliament, WHO, NICE and the Department of Health. For over 20 years Danny has edited medical journals including Oxford Open Immunology, Immunology, and Vaccine.
He is a trustee at the Medical Research Foundation and a board member for the African Research Excellence Fund. He previously headed strategy on infection, immunity and population health at the Wellcome Trust.
Danny's research interests focus on the immunology of infectious diseases including severe bacterial infections, SARS-CoV-2, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus. He also has a long record in autoimmunity research. His SARS-CoV-2 research is published in journals including the Lancet, Nature and Science. He is currently heading an NIHR-funded research programme to look at mechanisms of pathogenesis and development of new diagnostic tests in a large cohort of individuals with Long Covid.
Dr Gail Allsopp
GP and Clinical Policy lead for Royal College of General Practitioners
Dr Gail Allsopp is a GP in the midlands and the medical director for clinical policy at the RCGP. She has led on Long Covid since 2020, ensuring GPs have up to date national guidelines on the condition by working with NICE and SIGN on the 'Managing the long term effects of COVID 19' (Long covid) guidance and translated this into educational material for GPs. She is co investigator on the STIMULATE-ICP NIHR funded study on Long Covid and hopes that learning from this disease can improve the health of everyone with a long term condition or hidden disability.
Dr Deepak Ravindram
Consultant in Pain Medicine, Berkshire Long Covid Integrated service (BLIS) lead
Dr Deepak Ravindran is the lead for the Berkshire Long Covid Integrated service (BLIS). He is full time NHS Consultant in Pain Medicine at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading UK and has huge experience in looking after complex multisystem conditions.
He has over 20 years of experience in Pain Medicine and holds uniquely a triple certification in musculoskeletal, pain medicine and lifestyle medicine. He helped set up the award-winning community pain service for Berkshire (IPASS) in 2015.
He is an active researcher and a keen educator and is a published author of the Best Selling book “The Pain Free Mindset” (Vermillion, 2021).
Dr. Stéphanie Longet
Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Immunology specialized in Infectious Diseases and Vaccines at the International Centre for Infectiology Research in Lyon/Saint-Etienne.
Stephanie is an expert in infectious diseases, mucosal immunity and vaccination. Following a PhD in Life Sciences in Switzerland and a first postdoctoral experience in Ireland in the field of intestinal infections, she joined the High Consequence Emerging Viruses Group at Public Health England then at the University of Oxford. She was working on immune responses induced by Ebola virus when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Since 2020, her research is focused on SARS-CoV-2 infection- and COVID-19 vaccine-induced systemic and mucosal immune responses in preclinical models and humans. She has now joined the International Centre for Infectiology Research as Assistant Professor in Lyon/Saint-Etienne in France to develop intranasal vaccine platforms and understand mucosal immunity following respiratory virus infection.
Stephanie had symptomatic COVID infection in June 2022 and she is now suffering with Long COVID. Every day this health problem pushes her to pursue COVID research in order to find solutions to reduce infection rates and to understand immune mechanisms underlying persistent symptoms post-viral infection.