The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene recently honored Wendy O’Meara, associate professor of medicine and global health, with a 2018 Bailey K. Ashford Medal at the ASTMH annual meeting. This award recognizes distinguished work in tropical medicine by early- or mid-career ASTMH members.
O’Meara, a malaria researcher who is based full-time in Kenya, has focused her research in two main areas: rational use of antimalarial drugs and measurement of malaria burden for elimination. She’s also investigating the role of a mobile app to improve use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests in retail medicine outlets. Looking to the future, O’Meara plans to emphasize expanding coverage of, and adherence to, quality diagnostics.
O’Meara teaches and mentors Duke University graduate students, medical students and fellows, as well as young Kenyan scientists at Moi University. With a faculty appointment at the Moi University School of Public Health, she has also played a key role in building a Duke-Moi research and education partnership.
Throughout her career, O’Meara has demonstrated a deep commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to complex health problems, stemming from her training as an engineer. In her global health work, she draws on epidemiology, mathematics, geospatial science, environmental science, biology, economics, behavioral science and policy.
O’Meara was nominated by Chris Woods, professor of medicine and global health. Woods remarked in his nomination letter that “Wendy is a consummate global health scientist, bringing rigor to her study of malaria and commitment to capacity building through education. She is a cherished colleague and widely sought collaborator at Duke, in Kenya and beyond.”
In a letter supporting her nomination, DGHI deputy director Randy Kramer noted that O’Meara “has developed an outstanding international reputation on malaria diagnosis, treatment and drug resistance” and “is a dedicated mentor of the next generation of global health researchers.”