Louisa Alexandra Messenger

Assistant Professor, School of Public Health
Expertise: Medical and veterinary parasitology, Medical and veterinary entomology, Global health, Vector-borne diseases, Neglected tropical diseases, Malaria, Chagas disease, Vector control, Molecular epidemiology, Genomics


Louisa Messenger is a UNLV School of Public Health researcher who specializes in the control of tropical infectious diseases transmitted by insects (vector-borne diseases). She is passionate about improving health outcomes for impoverished populations worldwide.

Her current research concentrates on developing and evaluating new insecticides, health interventions, and surveillance tools to interrupt malaria transmission throughout sub-Saharan Africa. An additional line of her research focuses on improving our understanding of Chagas disease dynamics among distinct epidemiological settings across Latin America.

Messenger has worked on research projects in more than 15 countries, and collaborated with organizations including the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and the World Health Organization. Prior to joining UNLV, she was a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, completed a two-year American Society for Microbiology post-doctoral fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, held a L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science UK and Ireland fellowship, and led a U.S. Agency for International Development malaria clinical trial in Tanzania.

Messenger's work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including Reuters and BBC Radio 4. Her research findings have been published by the Lancet, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Nature Scientific Reports and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.


  • B.A., Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • M.Sc., Medical Parasitology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Ph.D., Molecular Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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Louisa Alexandra Messenger In The News

Johns Hopkins Malaria Minute
On the steps of Capitol Hill, we meet the scientists bringing their scientific battle against malaria into the world of political advocacy. They join a 100+ group of advocates lobbying their members of Congress to fund critical interventions against malaria – becoming ‘malaria champions’ as well.
K.S.N.V. T.V. News 3
The recent rain has created a lot of standing water around the valley, making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which are not typically a problem for us in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Weekly
"What is the most dangerous animal in the world?” The answer might surprise you, according to Chad Cross and Louisa Messenger, professors with the UNLV School of Public Health.
Have you ever spent a summer evening outside with friends only to find, hours later, that you’re covered in mosquito bites? Meanwhile, the people you were hanging out with have none. New research suggests that the soap you wash with could be to blame.

Articles Featuring Louisa Alexandra Messenger

Spring Flowers (Becca Schwartz)
Campus News | April 1, 2024

A roundup of the top news stories featuring UNLV students and faculty.

Students at Pida Plaza on the first day of classes (Josh Hawkins, UNLV).
Campus News | September 1, 2023

A roundup of prominent news stories highlighting university pride, research, and community collaboration.

Graduation surprise
Campus News | August 1, 2023

News stories from the summer featuring UNLV students and faculty.

artistic illustration with woman as well as globe and chemistry bottles
People | October 31, 2022

After spending most of her public health career living out of a suitcase, Louisa Messenger has settled down to bring her expertise in infectious diseases and insects to Las Vegas.