Tomorrow’s Scientists: Dr. Ahmed Lugelo

Mar 10, 2021
Dr. Ahmed Lugelo, a doctoral candidate in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, didn’t enter veterinary medicine for fame and fortune — it was for the fancy cars.

"When I was young, I loved the Land Rover Defender 110,” Dr. Lugelo said. “The body shape and the amazing turbo sound made me feel crazy. 

“One day I saw a person driving a brand new Land Rover, and when I asked my friends, they said he was a researcher in a certain company. From that day I dreamed of becoming a researcher. Thirty years later I finished my undergraduate studies and got a job as a research assistant in the Malignant Catarrhal Fever Project and my first car was a Land Rover Defender 110 — it wasn't new but the dream was fulfilled.”  

After more than a decade in the field and working on the Malignant Catarrhal Fever and Rabies Free Africa projects led by researchers at Washington State University’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and at Ifakara Health Institute, there is no question that Dr. Lugelo is in it for more than the cars. 

When Dr. Lugelo wraps up his doctoral studies under WSU’s Dr. Felix Lankester, he plans to use his training and experience to contribute to efforts to alleviate poverty and to improve the livelihoods in his home country of Tanzania. 

“The training and experience received when working with WSU will enable me to make significant contributions towards IHI’s ongoing efforts to design and implement strategies to improve animal health and productivity, and to control disease, and ultimately to contribute towards the national efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of all Tanzanians,” Dr. Lugelo said.

During his time away from work and his studies, Dr. Lugelo enjoys spending time with family and his 7-year-old dog, Simba, reading and learning about history, and listening to gospel music.

“Listening to Christian music,” he said, “helps to keep me relaxed and joyful throughout the day, and encouraged during tough times.”