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Fredros Okumu

Fredros Okumu

Chief Research Scientist

fredros@ihi.or.tz Publication(s)

Public health researcher and professor of vector biology

Dr. Fredros Okumu is the former Ifakara Director of Science. He served in the position for seven years - from 2016 to 2023. He holds a PhD in Infectious Tropical Diseases from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine he obtained in 2012. Since 2008, Dr Okumu has been studying human-mosquito interactions and developing new techniques to complement existing malaria interventions and accelerate efforts towards elimination.

Dr. Okumu was originally trained as a Public Health Officer in the College of Health Sciences at the Moi University in Kenya. Before he obtained a PhD, he successfully attended a Master’s degree program in Applied Parasitology at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and a second Master’s degree program in Geo-information Science, Earth Observation and Environmental Modeling from Lund University, Sweden.

Dr Okumu is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Visiting Researcher at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and a honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK.

In addition to studying human-mosquito interactions and developing new techniques to complement existing malaria interventions and accelerate efforts towards elimination, Dr. Okumu has interests in quantitative ecology of residual malaria vectors; mathematical simulations to predict effectiveness of interventions, improved housing for marginalised communities, and prevention of child malnutrition.

Dr Okumu was awarded by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene the Young Investigator Award in 2009, a Welcome Trust Intermediate Research Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2014-2019), and most recently, a Howard Hughes-Gates International Research Scholarship (2018-2023).

He is currently a co-chair of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda consultative group on Tools for Elimination, an Associate Editor of the journal, Parasites & Vectors, and a Co-Chair of the WHO Vector Control Working Group on New Tools for Malaria Vector Control. Dr. Okumu has also participated in various international expert panels on a wide range of subjects including, genetically modified mosquitoes and ivermectin for vector control, and the NEPAD Agency of the African Union’s agenda on biotechnology in Africa.

Dr. Okumu was inducted in 2016 as a Young Affiliate of the African Academy of Sciences. He was also named among the 2016 Top 100 Global Thinkers by the US-based Foreign Policy Magazine. #