Two of PATH’s leading female scientists were recently honored for their contributions to global health: Tala de los Santos, MBA, MS as a Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA) Rising Leader, and Manjari Lal, PhD, with a 2014 William Hunting Award. We’re proud to support the outstanding achievements of our technical teams, who often work ‘behind the scenes’ to develop and advance transformative health care innovations for public health impact.
Part one: Today we feature Tala de los Santos.
Tala de los Santos
Tala de los Santos, MBA, MS, was recently honored as a Rising Leader by the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA) through their Pioneers of Global Health award series. The Rising Leader award recognizes a creative and inspirational leader under 40 who has shown unique dedication to solving global health inequity.
As leader of the Diagnostics Group at PATH, Tala oversees a team of scientists, public health specialists, and business strategists focused on developing and introducing accurate point-of-care tests and assessment tools for use by people and health care programs in developing countries. This critical work requires multiple steps. Taking the three key phases of PATH’s product introduction framework—to innovate, introduce, and integrate—Tala and her team are able to advance a concept of health care to actual product implementation and use.
Advancing diagnostics for use in low-resource settings is challenging because of substantial resource and infrastructure limitations. It is extremely difficult work to take innovative ideas and transform them into affordable, user-centered products that help ensure health is within reach for everyone. Yet, Tala has guided her teams to strengthen and unify internal processes to better leverage collective efforts into impact. “At PATH, I work alongside talented and driven professionals making an impact on the greater good. I encourage young women in science and technology to consider applying their training to a mission-driven career. It is a privilege to work in a field as rewarding as global health,” says Tala.
Despite growing up with limited financial resources, Tala was a dedicated student and secured scholarships to leave her home in the Philippines at 16 to attend United World College USA in New Mexico. She found inspiration in the mission of the United World College movement—to build a healthier, more peaceful world by promoting the international exchange of ideas. In pursuit of this goal, Tala demonstrated strong personal motivation to apply herself academically and later attend some of America’s best universities, where she excelled.
Every day at PATH, Tala translates this inspiration into on-the-ground work to improve health care and health outcomes in developing countries. The WGHA announcement describes Tala as someone who “embodies success as a pioneering woman in science. She is a role model for other young women who seek to pursue scientific careers, especially mission-driven careers that combine rigorous scientific training with business expertise on behalf of the greater good.”
We’re honored to have Tala at PATH. Her transformative work is helping to resolve some of the most vexing challenges associated with health care access and delivery in low-resource settings.
Tomorrow we’ll feature Dr. Manjari Lal, whose work is helping to improve human and animal health in developing countries.