Thao-Thy Pham

Thao-Thy Pham is a VALIDATE Network Associate and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp

This is a special VALID8 for The International Day of Women and Girls in Science Day.

What do you do/what do you research?

I am a post-doctoral research fellow at the Clinical Immunology unit at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp in Belgium. I investigate the MHC-I/II-TCR interaction between antigen-presenting cells and T cells in Leishmania infections.

What do you tell non-scientists you do?

To check the references and look at the raw data.

What drew you to studying vaccines?

I am a firm believer of “prevention over cure” – I guess it fits with my type A character, preferring less chaos and more organization haha.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned in your job?

That parasites such as Leishmania have been on earth since the dinosaur era! Amazing!

What is the most challenging part of your job or research?

The continuous search for finances to fund your research and the short-term employment contracts are not great.

Why are vaccines important?

They have and they still will save millions of lives.

Who are your women role models?

I am a big fan of Terrie Taylor. She is an internationally recognized physician and malariologist and has included a lot of international and local scientists in her research at her own expense.

What advice would you give to girls and young women considering a career in science?

You will never know if you would have succeeded if you never tried 😉.

Find out more

You can find more about Thy research on her VALIDATE biography page.

There are more fascinating interviews with members of our extensive network of researchers on our VALID8? page. This is an ongoing series, so check back regularly.

If you are a member and would like to take part, you can email your answers to the following questions along with a captioned picture of your day-to-day work to