The MESA Correspondent volunteers report on the latest in malaria research from conferences around the world. The synopses are shared online, enabling people who could not attend the meeting to read about the latest advances. The MESA Correspondents Program is a collaboration between MESA and the conference organizers.
Busari Lateef Oluwatoyin, Jaipal Singh, Nathalie Amvongo Adjia, Manuela Runge, Ivan Mbogo, Núria Balanza, Nutpakal Ketprasit, Rebecca Pwalia, Lilian Mbaisi Ang'ang'o, Ntui Vincent Ntui-Njock and Jenna Zuromski will cover the science and discussions from the ASTMH 2020 Annual Meeting, which will take place for the first time virtually due to the COVID-19 situation, on November 15 - 19, 2020. Summaries will be posted online on the MESA Correspondents page and on MalariaWorld.
Busari Lateef Oluwatoyin is a PhD Student of parasitology and vector biology at the Osun State University (Nigeria). "Working as a MESA correspondent is indeed a privilege, an opportunity to learn, career development and a render humanitarian service."
Jaipal Singh is currently working as an Entomologist at National level in the Global Fund grant for malaria at Directorate of Malaria Control Islamabad (Pakistan). His experience and expertise in the field of Malaria Entomology and Vector Control in Directorate of Malaria Control (DOMC) are his strengths to work for Malaria control and elimination. "I consider this ASTMH conference a great opportunity to be in a circle of international Malaria experts."
Nathalie Amvongo Adjia is a Research Officer at the Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plant Studies (Cameroon) and a PhD candidate of Parasitology of the University of Yaoundé 1. Her research relates to the bionomics and molecular basis of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors from wetlands across the Cameroon volcanic line. "I am always very excited to learn about the opportunity to join the MESA correspondent team."
Manuela Runge (Northwestern University, USA) is a malaria epidemiologist with a PhD in the application of mathematical modelling of malaria control interventions to inform strategic planning in Tanzania and are currently shifting my focus towards within host-dynamics of malaria. "In 2018 I had the opportunity to join the MESA correspondent program at the MIM in Dakar, which was a remarkable experience. Now in 2020, I would like to repeat the experience as a MESA correspondent and use the opportunity to get the newest insights into the biology and pathology of the malaria parasite."
Ivan Mbogo currently works at the Evolutionary Neurobiology Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology (Japan). As he winds up my PhD research, he believes that his acquired interdisciplinary skills make a valuable asset towards helping in the elimination of malaria, specifically in Uganda. "Being a MESA correspondent will bring me closer to the current research in various malaria fields. As I search for a post-doctoral lab, this will be of great importance to me in choosing the research area to focus on."
Núria Balanza is currently conducting a PhD at ISGlobal (Spain) on diagnosis and prognosis of febrile illness in rural Africa. Her experience in malaria research includes antibody responses to α-Gal, prognostic biomarkers and evaluation of ultrasensitive RDTs in Mozambique, as well as LLIN use in Papua New Guinea. "I think this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from global health professionals while providing synopses to those who are not able to attend the meeting."
Nutpakal Ketprasit has been offered a graduate research student position at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He has been fascinated by the malaria parasites and pursued his dream to become a malaria researcher. "It is my honour and responsibility to join MESA correspondent team for the virtual ASTMH annual meeting 2020. This allows me to work collaboratively with an international team to share current knowledge in malaria to the community. More importantly, this will shape me to be a better scientist through a scientific communication skill I will gain."
Rebecca Pwalia, Chief Research Assistant at Vestergaard-NMIMR Vector Labs, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana (Ghana). Her research interests are medical entomology, malaria vector control, research and development of vector control tools. "I believe this will be a great opportunity to learn and improve my reporting skills and at the same time get to be part of ASMTH 2020. It would also serve as an opportunity to acquire knowledge from other fields in vector control and get to see and listen to world famous scientists."
Lilian Mbaisi is a young Kenyan scientist passionate about tackling tropical diseases. She holds a BSc. and MSc. from the University of Nairobi. In 2016, she joined the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and has been part of the innovative malaria team which recently isolated a groundbreaking malaria-blocking microbe in mosquitoes. She is currently continuing this research, under the supervision of Prof. Ozlem T. Bishop at Rhodes University and Dr. Jeremy Herren at icipe as a PhD fellow at Rhodes University (South Africa). "To be a MESA Correspondent will be indubitably an invaluable experience."
Ntui Vincent Ntui-Njock is a PhD Biochemistry Research Assistant in the Malaria Epidemiology and Drug Resistance Laboratory Faculty of Science, University of Buea (Cameroon). He is a holder of an M.Sc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. His interest lies in malaria parasite genetic diversity and drug resistance with implications in the Intermittent Preventive Treatment-Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) for Malaria in Pregnancy. "I am eagerly looking forward to working as a MESA correspondent to assist in the sharing of updates on the recent developments in malaria research to those who are unable to attend."
Jenna Zuromski is a PhD candidate in Pathobiology at Brown University and malaria researcher trained in molecular parasitology and immunology. Her current focus is the development of a falciparum malaria therapeutic treatment based on her laboratory’s recent finding that antibodies to the novel vaccine candidate PfGARP activate parasite programmed cell death and reduce severe malaria. "I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work as a MESA correspondent for the 2020 ASTMH meeting."