Kolkata: A woman from Kolkata is playing a crucial role in the Oxford University team trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, which could potentially end the pandemic.
Chandra Datta, 34, who lives in Oxford, is working as a quality assurance manager at the university facility manufacturing the anti-viral vector vaccine — ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 — which started human trials last week.
Her parents, 65-year-old Samir Kanti and 58-year-old Kaberi Datta, live in Kolkata’s Golf Garden area. While they are proud of their only daughter working as one of the main scientists working on the vaccine's development, they are also worried since the death toll and new cases in the United Kingdom has only continued to rise.
"My daughter has always been ambitious and intelligent. The way the coronavirus is spreading, I was extremely tense about her wellbeing," said the mother
Chandra went to Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School and has a B.Tech in engineering and biotechnology from the Heritage Institute of Technology. She moved to the UK in 2009 to study for an M.Sc in bioscience (biotechnology) at Leeds University.
She then worked in several roles before last year landing her plum job at Oxford where she works at its Cinical Bio-manufacturing Facility, which manufactures viral vector vaccines for early-phase clinical trials all over the world and is currently testing the COVID-19 vaccine developed at the Jenner Institute.
Chandra's father said she had come home last December and had stayed for a couple of weeks. "That was the last time we met her. I am proud that my daughter is associated with such a noble cause," he added.