Poise Aula, a PhD student in the Molecular Parasitology Lab studies was delighted to receive an American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 2021 Annual Meeting Travel Award.
This is a highly competitive award supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Poise will attend the ASTMH conference in a virtual capacity this year and will present on her research that focuses on new point-of-care molecular diagnostics of parasitic disease.
“Schistosomiasis, caused by helminth blood flukes, is a neglected tropical disease causing severe disability and malnutrition, hindering growth, and impacting on productivity and cognitive development, particularly in children from remote and disadvantaged communities,” Poise explained.
“My research is focused on developing accurate, effective and cheap diagnostics for helminth parasites to cater for the needs of these communities.”
Poise also has a very personal connection to her research. During the course of her PhD, she discovered she had contracted schistosomiasis back in Nigeria while performing field work, making her more determined to find ways to eliminate the disease.
“I was excited to get a full scholarship from the The University of Queensland to work with the Molecular Parasitology group at QIMR Berghofer to pursue my PhD dream. Through my research and future work, I hope to help inform health policy through public education and provision of effective diagnostics for targeted treatment in my home country and the rest of Africa,” she said.
Poise is looking forward to attending the 2022 ASTMH Annual Meeting in person to take up her prestigious travel award.