Meet Researcher Ashley Souza

Ashley Souza is the Diagnostics Manager for the NTD Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health. In this role, she provides project management and technical support for the NTD Support Center’s diagnostics portfolio. She’s co-authored a number of articles this year from “The NTD Supply Chain Forum—Strengthening the backbone of NTD programs,” PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, to “Diagnostics and the neglected tropical diseases roadmap: setting the agenda for 2030,” Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene to name a few.

Ashley holds a Masters of Public Health degree with a concentration in Global Communicable Disease from the University of South Florida. “I went into global health because I had a particular interest in the role that health and disease play in economic and social development. Like many others in global health, I was affected by a sense of outrage that the health and quality of care I experience being from the Global North is a privilege of my birthplace that is denied to so many people throughout the world. I was, and still am, motivated by the idea that culture and diversity be considered as part of a broader health context, rather than being obstacles in attaining positive health outcomes,” she says.

Additionally, Ashley has a background in infectious disease research with more than 3 years of experience working on a drug discovery research program for visceral leishmaniasis. “I developed an interest in NTDs during my MPH program and got involved with a drug discovery project for visceral leishmaniasis for my thesis. I continued that work for a time after graduation, but eventually realized that I wanted to work closer to NTD service and program delivery. I enjoy the complexity of working across 20 diseases and appreciate that NTD work is centered in a larger health context, rather than being solely concerned with a state of disease and treatment within an individual.”

Ashley is just one of the women who are paving careers in science and helping to drive the fight against NTDs.