Prof. Nicodem Govella is a renowned public health specialist who is dedicated to the control and surveillance of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, filariasis, dengue, and Zika. With a PhD (2011) in Infectious Tropical Diseases and both a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship and African Research Leader Award under UK Medical Research Council, Nico Govella has made significant contributions to the field of vector biology and malaria control in Africa.
Nico is currently serving as the Chief Research Scientist and Head of Environmental Health and Ecological Sciences Department at Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. He also holds positions as an Adjunct Professor at Nelson Mandela Institute of Technology and an Honorary Staff at the University of Glasgow. His extensive experience and expertise have led him to be a member of various professional organizations, including the Vector Control Working Group (VCWG) of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) of WHO and the National Vector Control Working Group of the National Malaria Control Programme of Tanzania.
Nico's research focuses on the ecology, transmission, and behaviour of diseases-transmitting vectors and how these impacts vector control interventions. He has led efforts to have the importance of residual malaria transmission recognized at the national and global level and has been instrumental in the development and testing of interventions aimed at reducing outdoor transmission of malaria. His work in the field has been widely adopted, and his innovative methodological approaches for quantification of human exposure which cannot be reached with the current front-line interventions have been implemented in several countries, including Kenya, Zambia, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Haiti, Ecuador, and Colombia.
One of Nico's most significant contributions to the field is the development, testing, and field validation of a novel tool for the surveillance and monitoring of mosquito-borne disease transmission. This tool is safer, more efficacious, and effective in monitoring relevant epidemiological metrics of residual transmission compared to the traditional HLC method, which poses serious ethical concerns.
Nico's dedication to the control and surveillance of vector-borne diseases has earned him several reputable professional awards, including the MRC African Research Leader Award (2019), International Knowledge Exchange Award (Research with International Impact) offered by the University of Glasgow (2016), The Wellcome Trust Fellowship Award (2013), recently named among the Top scientists in Tanzania (2023). He has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals, held various research grants, and capacity building for numerous early-career African research Scientists.
Prof. Nicodem Govella is an extraordinary independent public health researcher who has made remarkable contributions to the field of vector biology and malaria control. He continues to work towards strengthening malaria control in Africa and building research capacity for African researchers. With his expertise, ambition, and dedication, Nico is poised to make a lasting impact in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases.