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Postdoctoral Fellow

Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases

Ashenafi is a postdoctoral scholar at the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology lab (IDEEL) of the infectious disease division, University of North Carolina (UNC), at Chapel Hill. He is currently working on malaria rapid diagnostic test development under direction of Dr. Jonathan Parr, including recombinase polymerase amplification and CRISPR-based methods for detection of rare malaria species (P. ovale and P. malariae). His previous work has focused on producing evidence for the national malaria control/elimination program in Ethiopia and beyond. This includes a) conducting and leading national malaria drug therapeutic efficacy studies, b) leading national malaria and neglected tropical disease surveys, c) establishing and maintaining molecular laboratories (including COVID-19 qPCR testing labs), d) molecular and spatial epidemiology studies of malaria, enzymopathy (G6PD), and antimalarial drug resistance markers. He is also involved in different volunteer local and international activities, including playing a role in Ethiopia’s National Malaria Control/Elimination Advisory Committee.

Ashenafi received his undergraduate degrees in biology and pharmacy, infectious and tropical disease (MSc.) and public health/molecular epidemiology(PhD) from different faculties of Addis Ababa University. His PhD thesis focuses on the application of molecular and diagnostic methods towards generating evidence for malaria elimination endeavors. His PhD work involved a global collaboration between Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Center for Disease Control (CDC, Atlanta), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Bangkok, Thailand.

In his free time, Ashenafi enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as adventuring and jogging in nature.