Dr. Alyson Ann Kelvin is a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently involved in the evaluation and development of COVID-19 vaccines for Canada. Her cutting-edge research has led to important discoveries in the fields of viral immunology and vaccinology including the timely development of COVID-19 preclinical models and vaccines in Canada.
Her work is focused on emerging viruses and the development of vaccines for these viral threats. She studies how the immune system is regulated to develop immune memory during viral infection and viral vaccine immunization. Dr. Kelvin’s research has followed the outbreaks of several emerging viruses including SARS-CoV, pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, seasonal avian influenza viruses (H5N1 and H7N9), chikungunya virus, Zika virus, and now the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Kelvin is an active member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine design; the Executive Committee of the Canadian Society for Virology; and the editorial committee for the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. She holds a PhD from the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Queen’s University Belfast (2007) and a HBSc with a Concentrate in Cell Biology from Western University (2003).
Dr. Kelvin is also passionate about science communication to fight misinformation and inspire budding scientists. Supporting women in science and encouraging young females to pursue careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) are essential goals of her outreach. In addition, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kelvin is committed to communicating the complex nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and vaccine development to help communities navigate through the pandemic as safely with as little stress as possible. She feels that access to accurate information will enable safe choices and the establishment of productive policies that are beneficial for community health. Dr. Kelvin is often featured on news broadcasts as well as podcasts including CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, The Current, and CBC’s Cross Country Check-up.