There are few things that can rival the satisfaction and quiet pleasure of witnessing the progress of a bright and talented new generation of young professionals blossoming to take their place in society and embark on their careers. And so it is with our recent crop of graduates from Malaria Consortium’s Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship for Entomology. We invested in supporting seven rising stars to nurture their potential to advance along a scientific career, specifically in Medical Entomology. Not only does this support assist deserving, budding scientists, but it helps to alleviate in some small measure the persistent global shortfall in medical entomologists. Vector-borne disease agencies around the world acknowledge the difficulty in filling vacant posts because there are simply not enough medical entomologists in the recruitment pool. This shortfall in skilled medical entomologists does not bode well in a world that is struggling to meet malaria elimination goals, and where mosquito-borne arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika are continuing their spread and impact globally. 

About the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship

In memory of Malaria Consortium co-founder Dr Sylvia Meek and aided by many generous donations, the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship for Entomology was set up in 2016

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In memory of Malaria Consortium co-founder Dr Sylvia Meek and aided by many generous donations, the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship for Entomology was set up in 2016 to support students from across the world to study entomology at universities in Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand.

Malaria Consortium and partnering universities are committed to ensuring Sylvia’s values are carried on by the world’s future entomologists. Sylvia was a great scientist, her dedication and compassion were an inspiration to her associates and colleagues and her legacy will support a new generation of public health specialists in Africa and Asia.

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It is with great pleasure that we acknowledge the recent graduation of our Dr Sylvia Meek scholars, each having received their Masters degrees from the respective universities they attended in Africa and Asia.  

From the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Takalani Makhanthisa received her MSc with distinction, and then published her research findings in the highly regarded journal Parasites & VectorsFunmilayo Egunjobi and Amos Watentena at University of Nigeria also published their findings following their graduation, Amos exceeding all expectations and publishing three papers!  

Looking ahead, Takalani is now undertaking a PhD study through University of Pretoria, while Funmilayo will soon be departing for Duke University in the USA to engage in PhD studies there. Amos is well advanced in searching for PhD opportunities in Australia and the USA.  

From Mahidol University in Thailand, our four students Schobiechah “Wulan” Aldillah Wulandhari, Somsanith “Nith” Chonephetsarath, Muhammad Adnan, and Kiattiyos Ruengthamchariya also performed very well, all completing their requirements for MSc awards, Wulan and Nith publishing their findings while Adnan and Kyattiyos are finalising manuscripts.  

Adnan is pursuing a PhD in Japan, Nith is working at Institut Pasteur in Laos, while Wulan took a job as Technical Officer at Malaria Consortium in Bangkok.  

We are deeply proud of the excellent achievements of each of these rising stars, and we wish them well in their pursuit of supporting global public health and well-being.  

Dr Leo Braack is Senior Vector Control Specialist at Malaria Consortium and is based in Bangkok. 

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