Meet the young scientists of Target Malaria: Rita Mwima

Posted 29th September 2023 by Rita Mwima

What do you do with Target Malaria, and what do you enjoy about your work? 

I’m a Ph.D. student with Target Malaria Uganda at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). My work involves using mathematical models and simulations to test the effectiveness of novel malaria vector control tools before implementation. I’m fascinated by different aspects of malaria mosquito biology, especially those aspects that are responsible for how different mosquito species rebound at the start of every wet season and how they survive throughout the dry seasons. 

What motivated you to enter this line of work? 

After I completed my MSc on using spatial models to determine pathogen distribution, I was inspired to continue a PhD in mathematical models and simulations in decision-making science. Using these tools in population genetics makes it possible to understand how complex interactions and processes work in malaria mosquito populations.  

Who are you inspired by? 

I’m inspired by Dr. Christine Nabiryo, a public health specialist working with PATH, a global health organisation, as the African Region – Technical Strategy and Business Development Director. She is an embodiment of hard work, determination and excellence. Through her mentorship, I have become more proficient in juggling career, family and personal growth, and I am able to give my best with every opportunity that comes to me. 

Do you have any advice to other Young Scientists? 

My advice to young scientist would be to keep going, and like Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.