Intrigued by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 2016 Annual Meeting Travel Awardees, we reached out to some of them for a special Q&A series. The Travel Award, an honor bestowed on several dozen awardees, provides full funding for new researchers to attend and actively participate in the meeting.
We wrap up our series with Patrick Mukadi, who has focused his research on DRC Ebola survivors—a unique group given the country’s 40-year history of Ebola outbreaks.
Armed with a biochemistry degree, Smriti Sharma has devoted much of her research in Varanasi, India, to improving understanding of the immunology and molecular biology of the visceral leishmaniasis, the lethal disease transmitted by the bite of a sand fly.
Julius Mulindwa has devoted his postdoctoral research at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to this African trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness; he hopes his research will lead to new drug targets and improved diagnostic markers.
Researcher Miryam Romano took a special interest in chagas disease during her graduate studies, in part because it is endemic to her home country of Argentina, where she says it is a serious public health problem—especially for the most impoverished people.
Peru native Marlon Saavedra researches malaria in the Peruvian Amazon, the region with the highest endemicity in his home country; although there has been a reduction in the malaria cases in the Americas in recent years, Peru reported an increase in the incidence of the disease, with more than 60,000 cases in 2015.
The first of our series with ASTMH travel grant awardees, Gadalla, a Sudanese infectious diseases researcher focused on malaria, said the diverse ASTMH meeting “was like going to at least 3 different meetings in 3 different continents."