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Meet the Burundian Woman Committed to Fight Against Tuberculosis Using Science

“Science was something for Europeans and Americans. It was for others, not for me. She who is currently preparing her doctoral thesis had never dreamed of becoming a scientist, an unlikely career for a girl, in her native Burundi. In addition, it becomes a reference in the fight against tuberculosis.

A course not obvious

Growing up in a country devastated by the civil war, Murielle Kamariza, like most of her peers, had a hard time getting a good education, but she managed to attend a government-run Catholic school before moving to the States. United, at the age of 17, to join his two brothers who lived in a small studio in San Diego. It is in this city, where her two brothers make ends meet by alternating small jobs, that the life of the young Kamariza takes another turn. 
At Mesa University in San Diego, Kamariza meets, Sadiane, a Tunisian who introduces her to science.
“She really motivated me and kept telling me that I should aim high. Whatever she told me, I did it, “says Kamariza. Later, Mireille joined the University of California with a grant from the National Institute of Health.

A more efficient technique

The young graduate then joins Carolyn Bertozzi’s Stanford University laboratory where, together with other students, she sets about developing a faster way to diagnose TB. With the help of his chemistry teacher, his work has become a reference in the fight against tuberculosis. Compared to current tuberculosis tests, Kamariza’s method proved less laborious and more effective.

Kamariza and his team are now hoping to find a simple and faster method of diagnosing the disease. This is to eliminate the six weeks that patients have to wait for results according to the current procedure. The researcher is convinced that the eradication of tuberculosis, which affects about 10 million people each year worldwide, is her personal challenge.


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