Research area: Studying the disease burden at the livestock-wildlife interface in East Africa and developing robust diagnostic tools to facilitate continuous surveillance, early detection, and interventions against devastating epidemics in dryland pastoral areas.
Lillian Wambua grew up in the arid Makueni district of eastern Kenya, where a few goats, chickens, and cattle were her family’s most important assets. “The sandy and stony land, although vast, was largely unproductive,” she says. “Unable to count on growing food crops, our livestock were the key to our livelihood.” Often, the family would have to sell a goat or a cow to pay the children’s school fees. In high school, she loved history and English but knew her career would be in the sciences. “During my undergraduate studies, I realized that DNA technology holds promise to tackle many problems, including livestock diseases.”
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