Steve Ziegler, PhD
Dr. Ziegler is BRI’s director of academic affairs and leads the Ziegler Lab, which studies how the immune system develops and is regulated. He’s worked with samples from clinical trials for years, but until the Pfizer vaccine trial, he’d never participated in one himself.
To join the two-year study, Dr. Ziegler and all other participants gave informed consent, saying they understand the procedure and any potential risks. Like most clinical studies, half of the participants received the vaccine, while half received the placebo (a shot that has no effect on the body) — and participants don’t know which one they were given. Dr. Ziegler happened to be the first person to receive the shot at BRI.
“It’s important to walk the walk and participate in research when we can,” Dr. Ziegler says. “We need people across the board — age, sex, underlying conditions — to get involved. I’m pushing one of the higher risk groups because of my age and we need the biggest possible dataset to know if the vaccine works. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.”