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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School


I graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in BSc Biochemistry (Honours) in 2013. I then did a 6-month internship at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya alongside the malaria immunology group. I later joined the US Army Medical Research Unit to do a laboratory-based internship with the influenza surveillance group. In July 2015, I obtained a full Commonwealth Scholarship funded by DFID-UK to pursue an MSc in International Health & Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford. Whilst there, I worked with the malaria vaccine research group at the Jenner Institute. My dissertation project focussed on cloning antibodies from the serum of naturally immune adults in order to identify immune responses that are protective against malaria. In 2018, I joined the University of Cambridge as a Ph.D. student and Gates Scholar working in the Department of Veterinary Medicine. My project is focused on investigating the drivers and spatial distribution of anthrax risk across Kenya and Uganda using mathematical models. I am also the founder of the STEMing Africa Initiative, a program that advocates for the active inclusion of women in STEM by supporting talented female graduates in STEM to secure scholarships for advanced degrees. 


I have worked in a variety of areas including malaria immunology and vaccine development, Influenza surveillance. At KEMRI Wellcome trust I conducted a study on the impact of the declining malaria transmission on childhood immunity. Later on, during my MSc, I did a study on the isolation and characterization of malaria-specific monoclonal antibodies from the B cells of naturally immune adults. For my Ph.D. project at Cambridge, I will be exploring the drivers and spatial distribution of Anthrax risk in Kenya and Uganda using mathematical models. Anthrax threatens food security and the economic productivity of both countries. This study will apply ecological niche models to develop risk maps to guide targeted anthrax prevention interventions such as vaccination and surveillance to accelerate the elimination of anthrax across Kenya and Uganda.



Key publications: 

V.A. Ndolo, D. Redding, M.A. Deka, J.S. Salzer, A.R. Vieira, H. Onyuth, M. Ocaido, R. Tweyongyere, R. Azuba, F. Monje, A.R. Ario, S. Kabwama, E. Kisaakye, L. Bulage, B. Kwesiga, V. Ntono, J. Harris, A.J.K. Conlan, J.L.N. Wood. (2022). A spatial predictive model of Bacillus anthracis suitability in Uganda using a Bayesian modelling approach (in press).


 Valentina  Ndolo

Contact Details

Email address: 
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
Ecological niche modelling