We are The Science Social – a voluntary collective of scientists and engineers. 

We want to share our passion and insight, to get you involved in the science conversation and dispel some myths along the way. 

Rebee Penrice-Randal BSc(Hons), MSc(IPH), @Reebola95

PhD Student – Virology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool

Viruses have been a fascination of mine for as long as I can remember, that’s why my friends thought it was appropriate to call me “Reebola”…. Viruses are neither alive, nor dead; they know no boundaries, yet they can stir communities, healthcare systems and drive stigmatisation. They are tiny teeny bits of genetic material wrapped up in a little shell that are able to passively exist and replicate, yet have the potential to cause chaos, well, at least from a human perspective anyway. 

From a teenager to a young adult, I volunteered with a charity that supported people living with HIV, which inspired me to go and volunteer in Africa for 3 months on a community health project. That was it, I was in for a career in infectious diseases and public health.

As a Physiology undergraduate I studied how a human protein impacted the replication of alphaviruses. I wanted to know and understand more about how infectious diseases impact people, the economy and the inequalities associated with disease. So I studied for a Masters in International Public Health, Management and Planning. It provided me with a multidisciplinary outlook on infectious diseases, and I knew I wanted to go on and study emerging viruses. As a PhD student, I look at the genetic code of viruses such as Ebola, MERS-Coronavirus and now SARS-CoV-2. Mainly using the hand-held sequencing device known as the MinION, by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The mis-information crisis motivated me to bring together fellow scientists who were passionate about communicating science, in a way we can all hopefully understand. 

Katie BSc (Hons), AWeldI

Project Leader – Additive Manufacturing

Hi! I’m an Engineer (technically), but I have a background in Science and studied Human Physiology at university first. I switched to the dark side and started researching Medical Additive Manufacturing (that’s 3D printing for the rest of the world!) for my PhD 3 years ago. Viruses themselves? Not really my thing (honestly they’re a bit creepy). But advocating for healthcare, developments, and accuracy of reporting on clinical evidence? Definitely. I’ve been a healthcare volunteer for many years as well as my academic background, and I want to help other people understand what’s going on from the ground up.

Lucia Livoti BSc (Hons), MRes (Neuroscience)

PhD Student – Pharmacology, Centre for Drug Safety Science, University of Liverpool

Call me Cia (chee-ah), your friendly neighbourhood scientist. I love all things science, and have a passion for science communication.

I believe that by opening up the conversation in an engaging, clear and creative way we can encourage non-scientists to follow their curiosity. Who knows where that will lead!

I am currently in the final year of my PhD studying drug induced liver injury and the way in which the liver responds to toxic insult. My PhD work is in contribution to a European consortium, TransQST, which aims to improve safety of medicines from nonclinical to first in man.

Ben Jones BSc (Hons),

PhD Student – Virology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool

I’ve been fascinated by Viruses since watching Contagion (not a recommended film during these troubling times!), and especially since I realised I lacked the work ethic for medical school. My undergraduate degree was broad based Biological sciences, & I almost got distracted by the joys of animal behaviour and plant molecular biology, before returning to nasty pathogens with a year at the University of Cambridge researching Human Papillomaviruses. From here the path was set, & my PhD focuses on Ebola virus & Coronaviruses. My projects focus on the impact of co-infections on these pathogens.

Dr Jordan Clarke

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Virology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool

I became obsessed with biology at a young age after watching Jurassic Park (cowering in terror, through my fingers). I wanted very badly to be a paleontologist until I realised dinosaurs were dead and gone, and that bones were somewhat boring compared to the real thing. Following this, I pursued my own personal genetic quest to reanimate dinosaurs by studying genetics at the University of Glasgow. It was here that I was first introduced to the fascinating, peculiar, selfish genetic elements that are viruses. I then switched my focus from reanimating prehistoric lizards and undertook a PhD in virology which focused on the characterisation of louping ill virus (LIV), an important animal pathogen in the UK. Throughout my PhD I engaged in genome sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, and good old-fashioned molecular biology. After graduating I joined the Molecular Virology Research Group at the University of Liverpool. Here, I study the interface between the immune system and influenza A virus infection in the respiratory tract. Outside of science I enjoy films, TV, botany, and Buckfast. I’m still very fond of Jurassic Park.

Charlotte, (BSc)Hons, @charrigb

MRes Clinical Sciences Student – Infection Biology and Global Health, University of Liverpool

If there’s 2 things my undergraduate degree taught me, it’s that viruses are seriously cool. But the societal impacts? Seriously not cool. Viruses have been something I’ve been obsessed with since I first studied them, from learning about what a virus is to my master’s projects hopping between HIV, Lassa, Ebola and Chikungunya. I’ve been driven by this love. The on-going pandemic highlighted to me the need for trained scientists to be in the public eye translating the latest research to the public. This is something I’ve become passionate about and what motivated me to join The Science Social.