Dr. Ariful Islam
Dr. Ariful Islam graduated with a DVM and a MS in Pharmacology from Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, and an MPH in Epidemiology from American International University, Bangladesh. He has more than five years working experience in emerging infectious diseases and zoonoses as well as clinical experience. Dr. Islam is currently a part-time M. Phil research fellow in the Wildlife Ecology, Management and Conservation program at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. He is also involved in the organization's EcoHealthNet program where graduate scholars spend four to five weeks in Bangladesh, under Dr. Islam's mentorship, participating in wildlife surveillance activities.
Currently, Dr. Islam works as a Field Veterinarian in Bangladesh for EcoHealth Alliance as part of the PREDICT project of the Emerging Pandemic Threats program funded by USAID. His work is focused on understanding the ecology of Nipah virus, the role of wild birds and the transmission of avian influenza, and identifying emerging infectious diseases particularly in Bangladesh. He also liaises with the zoonotic team at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Islam has collaborated with ICDDR, B, department of livestock services in Bangladesh, the Conservator of Wildlife and Nature Conservation Circle and the Bangladesh Ministry of Health on various research projects that study zoonotic diseases transmitted from wildlife to humans. The goal for this research is to integrate wildlife disease surveillance into the public health infrastructure to create an early warning system for potential zoonotic disease spillover into domestic animals and humans.
Dr. Islam's day-to-day duties include training field and laboratory personnel on sample collection, handling, transport and storage according to standardized protocols as well as wildlife capture and release following strict animal safety procedures. His responsibilities also include field and laboratory techniques, permitting and ensuring quality control and safety when handling wildlife samples. His expertise is tapped to choose field sites for wildlife sampling according to land-use or anthropogenic changes where there is a large wildlife-human or wildlife-domestic animal-human interface.
Prior to joining the team of EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Islam worked with RDRS Bangladesh (www.rdrsbangla.net), in association with Lutheran World Federation Department for World Services, Geneva. His research interests include of include the ecology of zoonotic viruses such as Nipah virus, Ebola and Avian influenza; zoonotic disease emergence at the human-animal interface; viral discovery; pathogen discovery; and global trade as a mechanism for pathogen pollution. As an Field Veterinarian, Dr. Islam will extend viral surveillance training and research in emerging infectious disease hotspots around the world in conjunction with EcoHealth Alliance's network of global partners.