Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Senjuti Saha is a molecular microbiologist and activist based in Bangladesh, working at the intersection of clinical microbiology and global health. Upon completion of her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto in Canada, she received post-doctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada and Stanford University, USA. Dr. Saha moved to Bangladesh in 2016 to work at the front lines of public health. At present, she is a Director and Scientist at the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF), where she is conducting fundamental studies on infectious diseases in Bangladesh, integrating clinical epidemiology with molecular laboratory-based investigations and genomic analyses. Her team focuses on pediatric preventable infectious diseases, with the goals of using modern molecular technologies including on-site metagenomics to identify etiologies that evade standard laboratory testing in resource-constrained settings. Dr. Saha’s work was the first to show the chikungunya virus detected in cerebrospinal fluid as a causative agent of meningitis in children. She has also led the design of low-cost diagnostic tools to detect bacterial and viral pathogens and track antimicrobial resistance, making significant contributions in understanding the epidemiology of typhoid and its antibiotic resistance patterns in Bangladesh. Her team were the first to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome in Bangladesh. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals. She is a member of the WHO TAG-Viral Evolution and sits on the editorial board of multiple international journals. Being a relentless advocate for equal access to science education, Dr. Saha recently launched a nationwide program called “Building Scientists for Bangladesh”. She believes that everyone across the world should have equal access to the practice and benefits of science. Dr. Saha hopes to inspire others to join her movement with the motto, ‘science by and for the many, not the few’.