Cavin Mgawe

Molecular and Bioinformatics Student, RSTMH Student AMbassador

I’m a Master of Science student in molecular and bioinformatics and RSTMH student ambassador at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya. JKUAT is one of the best regionally and is renowned for research and innovation and collaboration on research in key thematic areas of tropical medicine. I’m currently attached to Institute of Primate Research (IPR), malaria lab, undertaking a research project that aims to “develop and optimize a thermally stable LAMP kit (lab-in-a-tube) for non-invasive and early detection of Plasmodium falciparum at the Point of Care”. Malaria diagnosis relies heavily on the traditional gold standard of microscopy, rapid diagnostic kits and PCR methods. The latter is the most sensitive but remains a research tool. This kit will simplify molecular malaria diagnostic at low resource settings that cannot afford PCR methods but require sensitive diagnostic tools especially where malaria parasite burden is low.

I became RSTMH student ambassador because I wanted to help raise awareness of RSTMH work and push the agenda of the society to students, and to develop strong connection with tropical medicine and global health. As a student ambassador, I have held meetings with students and lecturers to raise the awareness of small research grant, essay competition for students, RSTMH journals and events. Since then, I have been able to enrich my leadership skills, developed a network with fellow students at the university.

I have been involved in designing genotyping research methodologies for S. mansoni and SARS-Cov-2 LAMP study. My involvement and participation as part of the Open science hackathon team tasked with drafting and editing manuscripts for peer-review publications; has developed my skills in scientific data communication. I’m currently writing a review paper on advances of point of care molecular testing technologies for infectious diseases.

My ultimate goal is to become a specialist in genomic research to contribute and address some of the most challenging issues such as anti-microbial resistance (AMR), parasitic virulence, and developing and improving diagnostics for infectious diseases. Away from science, I enjoy and love hiking and picnicking. Science student in molecular and bioinformatics and RSTMH student ambassador at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya. JKUAT is one of the best regionally and is renowned for research and innovation and collaboration on research in key thematic areas of tropical medicine. I’m currently attached to Institute of Primate Research (IPR), malaria lab, undertaking a research project that aims to “develop and optimize a thermally stable LAMP kit (lab-in-a-tube) for non-invasive and early detection of Plasmodium falciparum at the Point of Care”. Malaria diagnosis relies heavily on the traditional gold standard of microscopy, rapid diagnostic kits and PCR methods. The latter is the most sensitive but remains a research tool. This kit will simplify molecular malaria diagnostic at low resource settings that cannot afford PCR methods but require sensitive diagnostic tools especially where malaria parasite burden is low.

I became RSTMH student ambassador because I wanted to help raise awareness of RSTMH work and push the agenda of the society to students, and to develop strong connection with tropical medicine and global health. As a student ambassador, I have held meetings with students and lecturers to raise the awareness of small research grant, essay competition for students, RSTMH journals and events. Since then, I have been able to enrich my leadership skills, developed a network with fellow students at the university.

I have been involved in designing genotyping research methodologies for S. mansoni and SARS-Cov-2 LAMP study. My involvement and participation as part of the Open science hackathon team tasked with drafting and editing manuscripts for peer-review publications; has developed my skills in scientific data communication. I’m currently writing a review paper on advances of point of care molecular testing technologies for infectious diseases.

My ultimate goal is to become a specialist in genomic research to contribute and address some of the most challenging issues such as anti-microbial resistance (AMR), parasitic virulence, and developing and improving diagnostics for infectious diseases. Away from science, I love hiking and picnicking.