Marta Vicente-Crespo

Marta Vicente-Crespo

Program Manager

ABOUT Marta Vicente-Crespo

Dr. Vicente-Crespo has close to eight (8) years of considerable experience in research capacity strengthening at a number of African universities. She has organized successful technical workshops to increase the exposure of postgraduate students and staff to biomedical research and data analysis techniques.
She was a senior lecturer and two-time dean in the School of Medicine and School of Research and Graduate Studies at the St Augustine International University in Kampala, Uganda. Prior to that, she was the founding director of the Institute of Biomedical Research and a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at Kampala International University – Western Campus, Uganda.

Her most recent position was as lead researcher on the community-based Vaccination Information Management System Project, which aims at leveraging mobile phone technologies to improve vaccination timeliness. The project is led by Bushenyi Integrated Rural Development (Western Uganda) under a Grand Challenges Explorations seed grant.

In 2013 she co-founded DrosAfrica, an initiative that promotes the use of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, in African biomedical research. Currently, most biomedical research being done in African uses expensive rodent models; this initiative promotes the use of the fruit fly as a model organism for research into human diseases and supports the establishment of fly rooms in African institutions.

Dr. Vicente-Crespo earned her doctorate in 2007 in Biological Sciences with European mention, excellent cum laude from the University of Valencia, Spain. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK, and at the Division of Biology of University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the US. From there she became a senior lecturer and the founding director of the Institute of Biomedical Research at the Kampala International University, Western Campus in Uganda, where she worked for almost five years.

Among her awards and accomplishments are the 2017 Suffrage Science Award for Women in Engineering and Physical Sciences, London Institute of Medical Sciences, UK for her work in promoting Drosophila research in Africa and 2011 All People’s Celebration Award by the Cross-Cultural Center at UCSD for bringing Intergroup Dialogue to the science class. She has collaborated in various projects such as the Petograph™ and Sayansi Research for Development and is currently working with Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Gitwe in Rwanda, Ahmed Adedeji, to establish a Life Sciences Division at the Foresight Institute of Research and Translation (FIRAT) in Nigeria, which includes a Drosophila Research laboratory.

Dr. Vicente-Crespo will, alongside the other CARTA program manager, Dr. Florah Karimi, continue to grow and expand opportunities across the continent for African scholars to become great research leaders.

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