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
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 Amy Proal
Dr. Proal is a microbiologist and President/CEO of PolyBio Research Foundation - a non-profit studying the chronic consequences of viral, bacterial, and fungal infection. She conceptualises and coordinates large-scale collaborative research projects among scientific teams studying infection-associated chronic illnesses such as Long Covid, ME/CFS and Long Lyme Disease. In that capacity she directs PolyBio's Long Covid Research Consortium (LCRC): a scientific collaboration to rapidly and comprehensively study Long Covid, with a focus on the persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissue. Dr. Proal also serves as Research Director for the Mount Sinai Cohen Center for Complex Chronic Illness. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Georgetown University and a PhD in microbiology from Murdoch University in Australia.
Prof Mark Faghy
Professor Faghy (Far-he) leads the COVID-19/Long COVID research group at the University of Derby (UK) and has a proven track record in designing and delivering research projects to increase the understanding of COVID-19 sequalae and the wider impacts upon functional status and quality of life. Alongside several clinical investigations, Professor Faghy has incorporated qualitative/mixed methods approaches into the research to ensure that the lived experience can be captured as part of the continued need to learn and develop knowledge in the pandemic response. This has yielded a series of academic publications in high-ranking journals, policy briefs and invitations to submit evidence to parliamentary exercises, including the UK COVID-19 inquiry. Professor Faghy’s research group has obtained an international reputation for research excellence and being patient centred, a reputation that is being used to inform the design and continued response to the ongoing health challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19/Long COVID research group is situated within the Biomedical and Clinical Exercise Science at the University of Derby and the group is supported by academics with experience in clinical research in chronic disease areas and patient centred research that is driven to improve the knowledge and understanding and translate this into real world impacts that improve patient outcomes.
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.
Vicky van der Togt
Vicky is Director of Development for the US-based non-profit organization Research-Aid Networks
After developing Long Covid early in 2020, Vicky developed a global collaborative community-led network called Pandemic-Aid Networks, which focused on advocacy, education, and research on the topic of COVID, prevention, and Long Covid. Through this network she facilitates community engagement, research and community-led action.
She's published research in collaboration with Long Covid SOS, on the symptoms of Long Covid on the effects of vaccines and the promotion of non-evidence based therapeutics in Long Covid support groups in collaboration with Long Covid groups from different countries. She is currently working on testing the hypothesis that an acid-base imbalance may be underpinning Long Covid that her team published in April 2023.