Unravelling the Secrets of Mosquitoes
Dr. Nsa Dada is a scientist at the forefront of mosquito microbiome research and a passionate advocate for global health. As an Assistant Professor at the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, and the Founder and Lead of the Mosquito Microbiome Consortium, she has dedicated her career to understanding the biology and control of tropical parasites and disease vectors.
From her early days, Dr. Dada displayed an insatiable curiosity for the bugs that plagued Nigeria. This curiosity, coupled with a profound desire to alleviate the burdens caused by these parasites, led her to pursue an MSc degree in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors (2009) at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
During her time at LSTM, Dr. Dada experienced a transformative period of growth and discovery. She relished the opportunity to immerse herself in the history of tropical disease research that LSTM offered. It was here that she realised the power of teaching, as she eagerly shared her knowledge with other students pursuing Diplomas in Tropical Medicine and Health and Master of Public Health degrees.
But it wasn't just teaching that captivated Dr. Dada. She also embarked on her first international research project, collaborating with esteemed institutions such as Helen Keller International Sierra Leone, Njala University, and Fourah Bay College. These experiences, alongside the guidance of her mentors Dr. Guy Barnish and Prof. Moses Bockarie, shaped her journey and instilled in her the passion to push boundaries and make a lasting impact.
Armed with her MSc degree, Dr. Dada embarked on a global journey, seeking opportunities to deepen her understanding of mosquito-microbe interactions. She joined the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a resident American Society for Microbiology Postdoctoral Fellow and later as a Research Fellow. These positions allowed her to contribute to cutting-edge research at the on the microbial interactions that shape disease vector biology and evolution.
Dr. Dada's research, which explores how mosquito-microbe interactions shape mosquito biology and their response to changing environments, has earned her recognition and respect within the scientific community. Her current role as the Founder and Lead of the Mosquito Microbiome Consortium allows her to collaborate with researchers worldwide, driving the advancement of mosquito microbiome research and paving the way for innovative strategies in disease vector control.
Beyond her research endeavours, Dr. Dada is a passionate advocate for equitable "Global North-South" collaborations. She spearheads multiple initiatives that foster collaborative research exchanges between institutions across the globe. Notably, the PAMCA-MalariaGEN Bioinformatics Program, which she conceived and co-leads, has made a significant impact on expanding bioinformatics capacity for malaria vector genomics research in Africa. The program trains African scientists, empowering them to become trainers themselves and lead vector genomics research on the continent.
Dr. Dada's achievements and dedication to her field are deeply rooted in her LSTM education. The program not only provided her with a comprehensive understanding of tropical parasites and vectors but also nurtured her research and teaching skills. These skills, honed during her time at LSTM, have been instrumental in her career, enabling her to mentor and train researchers across the globe.
When she's not immersed in her research, Dr. Dada finds solace in nature, enjoying long walks, volunteering within her community, and exploring different cuisines during her travels. Her unwavering dedication to unravelling the secrets of mosquitoes and her commitment to improving global health make Dr. Nsa Dada a true inspiration and a driving force in the field of disease vector biology.