November 22, 2019

Faces of Innovation: Mohammad Ariful Islam, researcher at icddr,b

Julien Rashid
Policy & Advocacy Associate

Faces of Innovation—a new GHTC project that features scientists on the front lines of research and development on new global health tools and technologies—profiles Mohammad Ariful Islam, who we met at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Conference. Ariful researches influenza in Bangladesh with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.My name: Md. Ariful Islam, MSSc, MPH

My name: Md Ariful Islam, MSS, MPH

Where I work: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) 

I’m funded by: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

My research: We’re doing influenza surveillance in Bangladesh. Surveillance is important to detect novel influenza and to understand what type of influenza strains are circulating Bangladesh. Our surveillance objectives are to identify individuals and clusters of people with life-threatening infections with influenza virus and to characterize the diversity of strains of influenza in circulation in Bangladesh. We’re working in Bangladesh to detect novel influenza strains so that we can take immediate measures if needed.

Motivation: Every day we work with patients. We are happy that we can use our efforts for the betterment of people in our country. Influenza is a severe disease for many patients, and if a disease outbreak occurs in Bangladesh, it may spread throughout the world—so I think we are doing a great job for the people. 

Why US federal support is critical: I believe that influenza is a problem not only for Bangladesh, it’s not only a problem for the US citizen, it is a problem for the whole world. If there is a disease outbreak like bird flu or swine flu, then all of the people in the world will suffer. The US policymakers and funders are doing a great job of funding this project to investigate influenza.

When I’m not in the lab: I’m a big fan of cricket, so when I get some time I play with my colleagues. It also keep my body fit. If I want to work more, then I need to exercise more—so I like cricket.