THE Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) Science Director, Dr Fredros Okumu has won an international research prize.
Dr Okumu is among 41 scientists from 16 countries, around the world, selected by philanthropies as international research scholars to receive a whopping 26.7m US dollars, with each receiving 650,000 US dollars.
According to a statement showing a list of winners and their projects issued yesterday, Dr Okumu’s research focus will be on eliminating dominant malaria vectors in rural Tanzania.
The award is a big boon for scientists in their careers and offers the freedom to pursue new research directions and creative projects that could develop into top-notch scientific programmes.
“This is an outstanding group of scientists who will push forward biomedical research worldwide and we are thrilled to support them alongside our philanthropic partners,” said David Clapham, HHMI’s Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer.
The scientists selected as International Research Scholars represent a diverse array of scientific disciplines and geographic locations. Scholars hail from research organisations and institutions across the world.
Their research covers a broad variety of biological and medical research areas too, including neuroscience, genetics, biophysics, computational biology and parasitology. “We are excited to join with our partners in supporting these superb scientists.
We look to them to bring transformative innovation to priority global health problems,” said Chris Karp, Director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Biomedical research is increasingly at the core of the work of our research institute, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência,” said Gulbenkian Institute Director Jonathan Howard. HHMI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation announced the 2017 International Research Scholarship competition on 29 March, 2016. Dr Okumu originally trained as a Public Health Officer at the College of Health Sciences, Moi University, in Kenya.
He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Parasitology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a second Master’s degree in Geo-information Science, Earth Observation and Environmental Modelling from Lund University, Sweden.
In 2012, Dr Okumu earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Infectious Tropical Diseases from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is currently working towards a Master of Business Administration in International Health Management at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland.
Since 2008, Dr Okumu has been studying human-mosquito interactions and developing new techniques to complement existing malaria interventions and accelerate efforts towards elimination.