TDR Global profiles

TDR has been supporting scientists in research and training in a wide variety of areas – basic science, product development and implementation research, to name a few. This site celebrates some of the achievements that these scientists have made, and documents the impact – sometimes in very surprising and unplanned ways.

Dr Muhammad Homayoon Manochehr

Translating evidence to policy in Afghanistan to improve health care access in remote areas

This profile shows how postgraduate training at the American University of Beirut allowed Dr Manochehr to transition from Afghanistan’s national TB control programme to the General Directorate of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Public Health, where he is making an impact in improving health care access in remote areas of the country.

Pascale Allotey

A career focused on gender equity

Pascale Allotey’s early work in anthropology and gender provided critical evidence that contributed to women receiving protective bednets. Today she’s teaching policy-makers and researchers to work together on implementation research.

Dr Razia Fatima, Pakistan

A champion for operational research to End TB in Pakistan

Dr Razia Fatima’s passion to serve poor communities motivated her to pursue a medical degree and dedicate her career to tuberculosis (TB) control in Pakistan. Today she is a national champion for operational research to improve health and build a strong research network to End TB.

Dr Modest Mulenga, Zambia

A life of malaria research in Zambia and beyond.

Chair of TDR’s Joint Coordinating Board Dr Modest Mulenga grew up modestly. His father was a miner in Chingola, Zambia, and no one from his family had yet gone to university. But he had dreams that took him to one of the top universities in the world and led to a life of research and service.

Dr Clara Agutu, Kenya

Increasing access to needed treatments in Kenya

After her first experiences managing clinical trials in Kenya, Dr Clara Agutu came away with a strong conviction. Knowing how to do a clinical trial was not enough. She wanted to learn everything there is to know about bringing a new medicine or vaccine to market. As a TDR-sponsored Clinical Research and Development Fellow, she is acquiring precisely those skills.

Raffi Balian

An American teenager with an Armenian heritage gives back

How tuberculosis and smoking rates in Armenia came to be analyzed by a 17-year-old American student is a story of heritage, technology, and community service. TDR’s operational research training called SORT IT (Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative) was the medium that allowed a young man to address a major health issue.

Dr Margaret Gyapong, Ghana

Ghana’s heroine of health

Margaret Gyapong’s lifelong passion for the sociocultural aspects of health arose from a single experience: observing that many people defecated on Accra’s beaches and wondering why. She was at the time a recent university graduate doing field work for a study on women’s health during pregnancy as part of her national service.

Dr Atupele Kapito-Tembo

Establishing a national network of women health scientists

Atupele Kapito-Tembo’s work with communities in Malawi has been focused on malaria, HIV, maternal and child health, health systems strengthening and schistosomiasis. She’s also developed a national network of women to help career development planning.

Dr Pauline Byakika

Empowering Ugandan women to have medical and science careers

When she became a doctor in 1999, Ugandan scientist Pauline Byakika couldn’t wait to see her first patient. Her schooling finally finished, she was eager to put her skills to work in Uganda’s public sector. With an adult HIV prevalence rate of more than 10%, and the re-emergence of other diseases as a result of the epidemic, the need for skilled care was greater than ever.

Professor Hannah Akuffo

Research leads to global health advocacy

Hannah Akuffo, TDR’s outgoing Joint Coordinating Board chair, credits a childhood bout with pneumonia to initiating her interest in science that resulted in a career in infectious diseases. She is now professor of parasitology and senior research advisor at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Professor Lenore Manderson

A medical anthropology career serving those most in need

Lenore Manderson’s work in medical anthropology has helped to find answers to problems of health and disease inequalities, and lack of access to care.

Dr Jackie Badaki

Advocating for Nigerian women in science, technology and innovation

Jackie Badaki’s work in examining stigma and acceptance of new drugs has helped Nigeria manage lymphatic filariasis. Now she’s mentoring younger women to develop their own careers in science.

Professor Rosanna Peeling

Diagnostics research saving lives

Rosanna Peeling has spearheaded ground-breaking global efforts in diagnostics of infectious diseases including malaria, sexually transmitted infections, visceral leishmaniasis and dengue, and introduced rapid testing in many countries around the world.

Dr Lyda Osorio, Colombia

Reducing the toll of neglected tropical diseases like malaria and dengue

In her first year of medical school Dr Lyda Osorio was already clear on her path. She would devote her career to one mission: reducing the toll of neglected tropical diseases like malaria and dengue in her country, Colombia, and across Latin America.

Dr Phumla Sinxadi, South Africa

Expanding clinical trials capacity in South Africa

Dr Phumla Sinxadi has an ambitious - yet achievable - goal. She wants to be the first research scientist to run clinical trials from A to Z – meaning from Phase I through Phase IV – with fellow pharmacologists at the University of Cape Town. The mentors for her fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are striving to help her meet her goal.

Dr Rajander Sharma, India

Vector control in India

Rajander Sharma has devoted a lifetime to vector control in India, applying advanced entomological techniques discovered as a TDR grantee and contributing to the reduction of malaria in the country.

Sitan Traoré, Mali

A mentor to Malian women

Senior scientist Sitan Traoré is an expert entomologist – and a resource for younger colleagues. She has led an inter-institutional network of 16 health research institutions in Mali to raise the visibility of women’s contributions to health research.

Dr Leonard Ortega, Philippines

From Filipino physician to global malaria advisor

Dr Leonard Ortega, the newly appointed team leader of technical support and capacity building at the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, comes from deep experience in the Philippines, Myanmar and the South East Asia region.

Aster Tsegaye, Ethiopia

Empowering women scientists in Ethiopia

Aster Tsegaye of Ethiopia was able to leverage the small TDR grant into something bigger that both expands support for women and also improves laboratory capacity.

Elizabeth Akinyi Ochola, Kenya

Mentoring young women African scientists

Elizabeth Akinyi Ochola of Kenya is one of 9 TDR grantees exploring ways of increasing the number of women in science in Africa. She is building on the government of Kenya’s commitment to address gender inequality and helping to support young women to develop research careers.

Dr Bill Brieger, United States of America

Scientist, advocate, teacher, tweeter

For as long as he can remember, American Bill Brieger was interested in Africa. He managed to live and work there for more than two decades conducting pivotal research into how communities can better manage illnesses like malaria and river blindness, and today continues his support through innovative online courses.

Dr Shiva Raj Adhikari, Nepal

Expanding the use of health economics in Nepal

One of the new TDR IMPACT grantees, Nepal’s Dr Shiva Raj Adhikari, is working to expand his country’s understanding of the importance of health economics to improve health system efficiency. The grant provided support for training, the establishment of a network and a manual.

Dr Nahla Gadalla, Sudan

Unraveling the mystery of malaria drug resistance in Sudan

Nahla Gadalla grew up knowing she would become a scientist, but little did she know that she would go on to one of the most important scientific puzzles in her country -- why Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite responsible for malaria, has a high capacity to develop resistance to antimalarial drugs.

Dr Jorge Motta, Panama

Strengthening the voice of disease endemic countries

What does a doctor from Panama do when he is selected by his country to represent them on the TDR Joint Coordinating Board? When he sees that many of his colleagues from other low- or middle-income countries are quiet and not bringing up issues and he’s Jorge Motta, he shakes things up.

Dr Jesse Uneke, Nigeria

Translating scientific knowledge into policies in Nigeria

In Nigeria, policy-makers have increased their awareness and use of research evidence to develop health systems policies, thanks in part to a 2013 TDR Impact Grant. Dr Jesse Uneke used his support to develop workshops and a mentorship programme that is starting to pay off.

Gehad el-Ghazali, Sudan

A career investigating malaria parasite drug resistance

For some kids, it’s outer space, for others dinosaurs. But for a Sudanese boy by the name of Gehad el-Ghazali, it was the human body — how it works and why, the cells and circuits, the muscles and blood — that sparked an early interest in science.

Mary Ann Lansang, Philippines

From psychology to malaria research to community studies

More than anything about her childhood in the Philippines, Mary Ann Lansang loved learning. From primary school in her hometown of Baguio, a small city in the mountains of Luzon, to college in the capital, Manila, Lansang was a standout student for whom subjects like science and math were nothing but fun.

Yongyuth Yuthavong, Thailand

Building science capacity in Thailand

After long days in the lab, Yongyuth Yuthavong would get out and talk to anyone who would listen. And his message was simple: developing a science policy was not only necessary for growing the ranks of Thai scientists, it was vital to the country’s future.

Thomas Nchinda, Cameroon

Building careers and institutions throughout Africa

As a young doctor in Cameroon, Thomas Nchinda learned firsthand the limits of medicine in a resource-strapped setting. It was the early 1960s, and the newly independent country was still struggling to meld its once disparate East and West ̶ former colonies administered by the French and British, respectively ̶ into one unified republic.

Rodrigo Corrêa-Oliveira, Brazil

Launching a career and strengthening Brazil’s research capacity

It was a TDR grant that launched Professor Rodrigo Corrêa-Oliveira on an impressive life-long career in immunology. And not just him; at least three-quarters of Brazil's immunologists have benefited from TDR support during their careers. “Very rarely do you meet someone who didn’t get money from TDR for their research,” he says.

Christian Happi, Cameroon

Tracking Ebola cases and mapping antimalarial drug resistance

Cameroonian scientist Christian Happi, an expert in molecular biology and genomics, is providing key support to the current Ebola outbreak and helping build Africa’s intellectual infrastructure.

Fernán Agüero, Argentina

Bioinformatics in Argentina to fight neglected diseases

Fernán Agüero was immensely excited when he entered the field of bioinformatics. With a background in molecular biology and parasitology, he helped local groups to sequence small fragments of DNA to discover new parasite genes. So exciting was the work, it led to a lifelong commitment to bioinformatics.

Marian Warsame, Somalia

A woman scientist’s long journey from Somalia to WHO

Few scientists, men or women, have overcome the odds Dr Marian Warsame faced as a young girl growing up in Somalia. The eldest of ten children, Marian learned from an early age that to get ahead as a girl, she would have to study hard. And that she did, always excelling in school and finishing at the top of her class.

Dinesh Mondal, Bangladesh

Eliminating VL – the impact of TDR grants

Bangladeshi scientist Dinesh Mondal rose from modest roots to become one of the country’s leading experts on the control of visceral leishmaniasis. He got his start with TDR grants that provided the evidence for insecticide-treated bednets and for testing a new treatment in real-life conditions. For a boy from rural Bangladesh, the son of a day laborer with never more than a few taka to his name, Dinesh Mondal had seen a great deal of the world.

Mario Grijalva, Ecuador

Chagas research champion wins hearts and minds

When Mario Grijalva left his native Ecuador for graduate studies in the US, he had never heard of a disease called Chagas. Neither had most of the rural populations who lived with and died of the disease, the physicians who mistook its symptoms for cardiac problems, nor politicians. Grijalva, who had returned to study Chagas, had his work cut out for him.

Abraham Aseffa, Ethiopia

An Ethiopian research institute grows with TDR support

Political unrest in the 1970's Ethiopia changed the fate of Abraham Aseffa, a budding engineering undergraduate. The student movement that helped topple the old imperial order also resulted in closed universities. When they reopened, there was no room for re-admission, only some spaces at a new medical school. Luckily Aseffa embraced this unplanned career that eventually would lead to helping build one of Africa's most prestigious research institutes.

Saw Saw, Myanmar

Making her way

Dr Saw Saw, a Burmese social scientist and TDR grantee, is helping her native Myanmar address the challenge of tuberculosis. Her research and work with patient self help groups has led to changes in the national tuberculosis programme, and she is now looking beyond her country. By the time she was 10 years old, Dr Saw Saw knew she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Su Su, a nuclear physicist and one of the few female scientists in what was then Burma.

Nélson Martins, the Democratic Republic of East Timor

From doctor to researcher to minister of health

Long before he was the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, Dr Nélson Martins served as a physician to his fellow countrymen as they fought for independence from Indonesian rule. Indeed, within months of earning his MD in 1998, the young doctor found himself heading up emergency health services for guerilla fighters and displaced populations in the country’s mountainous interior, where together violence and disease had taken a heavy toll.

Abdoulaye Diabaté, Burkina Faso

New approaches to reducing Anopheles mosquito breeding and malaria

Dr Abdoulaye Diabaté received the Royal Society Pfizer Award 4 November for his work on the biology of male Anopheles mosquitoes and methods to interrupt mosquito mating. Dr Diabaté is head of medical entomology at the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante/ Centre Muraz in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and began his research many years ago with a TDR re-entry grant on mosquito mating behavior.

Uche Amazigo, Nigeria

Uche Amazigo receives major recognition

Dr Uche Amazigo, the former Director of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) received the 2012 Prince Mahidol Award in Public Health and an honorary Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa on 17 April 2013. The awards recognize major contributions to global public health from this Nigerian who made an impact far beyond her roots.