Scientist & One Health Communications Coordinator
Ekta Patel is ILRI's scientist and One Health communications coordinator who aims to bridge the scientific and communications gaps.
Her research activities include disease risks associated with bushmeat/wild meat activities, including pathogen characterization. Additional activities include mapping of resistant genes, mobile genetic elements and resistant bacteria at the wildlife-livestock-ecosystem interface including waste water surveillance.
Ekta holds a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa funded through a Welcome Trust fund and an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota, U.S.A. She has over nine years of research experience where she worked to understand how gut bacterial genes drive drug resistance mechanisms (UCT, South Africa) as well as research experience on molecular characterization of apicomplexan parasites and vaccine and diagnostics development for the fatal bovine disease, East coast fever (ILRI, Kenya).
Ekta has previously worked as a country manager in Kenya for a U.S based NGO (Aquaya Inc) to provide clean drinking water systems in rural Kenya and has also worked in the US for a biotechnology company to develop autologous fibroblast systems (Isolagen Inc). While scientific research in the areas of infectious disease remain close to her, her communicative interests include risk communications, antimicrobial awareness and addressing biosecurity issues related to diseases outbreaks and development in Africa.