MRC Festival 2019 Presenter Series: Dr. Julia Mwesigwa, Working Towards Zero Malaria

Dr Julia Mwesigwa is a clinically-qualified malaria epidemiologist from Uganda. She joined the MRCG at LSHTM in 2012 to implement a five-year cohort study aimed at understanding the transmission dynamics of malaria at village level in the five administrative regions of The Gambia. Working under the supervision of Prof Umberto D’Alessandro, she has led several nationwide surveys to monitor the asymptomatic and clinical malaria epidemiological trends and conducted annual mass antimalarial drug administration in several communities as a possible malaria control intervention, in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program of The Gambia.

Dr Mwesigwa won the competitive MRC Unit The Gambia PhD training fellowship in 2016. Her PhD research focuses on understanding the microepidemiology of asymptomatic malaria after mass treatments and assessing the performance of novel malaria diagnostic tools. Dr. Mwesigwa has authored and co-authored over 26 publications and is the first author on six of these.  Her work in The Gambia has received international recognition and she has won several awards, including the “Young Investigators Award” from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2018.

Julia’s goal in the immediate future is to successfully complete her PhD and start a post-doctoral fellowship while continuing to conduct field epidemiology studies. Her passion is to work with driven and passionate Global Health teams doing work that aims to eliminate infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her career as a female field epidemiologist has been challenging but very fulfilling, partly due to good mentorship and having a very supportive family.

At the festival, Julia will engage with our guests on the reservoir of malaria infection in The Gambia, exploring prevention, surveillance and strategies to eliminate malaria.