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Published: November 20, 2017 Author: Christine Shaw

Tarig Higazi, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the Zanesville Campus, will be mentoring Ayman Ahmed, a Wellcome Trust Fellow at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Research Fellow at Institute of Endemic Diseases, Sudan. Ahmed visited Zanesville when he was in the US to attend the 66th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

As a medical entomologist Ahmed is formulating his PhD project to study the mosquito-borne viral diseases. In that effort he sought out guidance from Higazi regarding the objectives, methodology, and implementation. “I am planning to build an outstanding career in the research and control of the Arboviruses enabling me to contribute to reducing their global burden,” Ahmed explained.

Higazi and Ahmed worked together in the research of the Tropical Diseases Biology, particularly in the area of Onchocerciasis and Malaria. The plan is to expand that collaboration to the area of arboviruses, studying their biology, epidemiology, and dynamics. “I consider Dr. Higazi a role model for a scientist with remarkable achievement in tropical diseases, particularly being instrumental in the elimination of River Blindness in Africa and around the world,” Ahmed shared. “I am planning to follow his footsteps and guidance to make similar impact on arboviral tropical diseases.”

Ahmed had his sights on joining the American Committee on Arthropod-Borne Viruses and sitting in on presentations by committee members at TropMed17 in an effort to present his own work at the TropMed18 in New Orleans. A field study to eastern Sudan several years ago to investigate an outbreak of dengue drew the young scientists’ interest to arboviruses, and that’s where he intends to stake his claim as a scientist.

Like Higazi’s passion for eradicating River Blindness, Ahmed has the desire to eliminate disease in Sudan. “I can work to establish public health programs that can help control these diseases,” Ahmed said.

Higazi is confident that Ahmed will contribute to the field saying, “Ayman is one of the brightest young scientists I met during my work in Sudan.” Having worked with Ahmed one on one he added, “I am confident that he will very soon develop to a pronounced and seasoned international figure.” Higazi went on to say he looks forward to sharing the work that develops through the collaboration with his Tropical Diseases Biology students.

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