Ekta Patel is the bioscience communications manager at ILRI who aims to bridge the communications gaps between science, value chains, consumers and donors. She holds a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the Univesity 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 eight years of research experience on understanding 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). Previously, she worked as a country manager for a U.S based non-governmental-organization (Aquaya Inc) to provide clean drinking water systems in rural Kenya. She has also worked in the biotechnology industry in the U.S (Isolagen Inc).
While scientific research in the areas of infectious disease remain close to her, her communicative interests include risk communications and addressing biosecurity issues related to livestock diseases and development in Africa.