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Andreea Waltmann

Postdocoral Scholar
Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases

Andreea is a postdoc in the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She was awarded a Ph.D. in molecular epidemiology in 2016 from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research and the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Her Ph.D. has taken her to Solomon Islands, a country in the Southwest Pacific aiming for malaria elimination. Alongside the National Malaria Control Program and the National Health Training and Research Institute (Honiara, Solomon Islands), Andreea initiated a field research site in an area of residual Plasmodium vivax and disappearing Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The aim of this research program was to better understand malaria transmission scenarios and evaluate and promote improved surveillance for malaria elimination. She directed the fieldwork of two large epidemiological studies, the first of their kind in Solomon Islands. Using the samples she collected in the field she performed molecular epidemiology analyses to describe infection prevalence and risk factors; characterize the genetic relatedness of Plasmodium vivax parasites at small spatial scales; and assess the relationship between P. vivax infections and alpha-thalassemia and Southeast Asian ovalocytosis, two common human red blood cell polymorphisms known to be protective against malaria.

The opportunity to join IDEEL@UNC as a postdoc under the mentorship of Prof. Steve Meshnick and Assoc. Prof. Ian Carroll will only cement her passion for top-notch science in the context of global healthprograms aimed at improving health outcomes of vulnerable communities. Her translational projects on malaria will span sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and the disciplines of epidemiology and microbiome research.