CVM Adjunct Professor, a World-Renowned Virologist, Receives Honorary NC State Degree
Dr. Amadou Sall, director of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, has deep ties to NC State. Most recently, Sall was lauded for leading the institute to be a top research facility to help formulate Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NC State University recognized the worldwide contributions of Dr. Amadou Sall, an adjunct professor at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, in the field of virology with an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree at the winter graduation ceremony Saturday.
Sall, CEO of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, is affiliated with the veterinary college’s Department of Population Health and Pathobiology and partners with the veterinary school in its efforts to strengthen global health. He is an internationally renowned virologist whose research focuses on diagnostics, ecology and evolution of arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fevers.
Most recently, Sall was lauded for his leadership as he positioned the Pasteur Institute as one of the top research facilities in Africa to help formulate Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dr. Sall has been an incredible friend and partner for our college,” says Dr. Kate Meurs, dean of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are so proud that he was selected for this significant university honor and to see him recognized in this way.”
Sall, who has deep ties to North Carolina, was nominated for the honor by Meurs and Dr. Paula Cray, director of the college’s Global Health Program and former head of the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology.
“Dr. Sall collaborates with the College of Veterinary Medicine on global health issues related to antimicrobial resistance, in particular the phenotypic and genotypic identification of resistant bacteria in Africa,” Cray says. “Now he is very focused on vaccine development. He’s building a vaccine production center where he hopes to make vaccines necessary for Africa so they do not have to be as dependent on international support.”
To Sall, North Carolina has become a second home, an astoundingly generous place that welcomed his wife more than 25 years ago when she arrived from Senegal to attend NC A&T State University and UNC-Greensboro, he says. Now, two of his daughters are students at NC State – Anta in international studies and Aby in biomedical engineering. A third daughter has applied for admission in the computer science program. He also has a 10-year-old daughter.
“It’s important that North Carolina understands they have an amazing university, and that they are contributing to an important piece of what may change the world just by being open and welcoming people,” Sall says in an interview. “A young African girl came here 25 years ago and today is bringing family, bringing husband, bringing friends to visit and contribute, because she was welcomed.”
Sall, who has visited more than 80 countries to assist or work on plans to control infectious diseases, says it’s simply amazing to him that he gets to work with NC State researchers on making vaccines and stopping the spread of infections around the world.
“And this all started with a love story,” he says. “My story shows how important it is to have this connection between people. With people, you connect ideas, and with ideas you connect the world. That’s what the future of the world is about, being human together.”
“It’s important that North Carolina understands they have an amazing university, and that they are contributing to an important piece of what may change the world just by being open and welcoming people. A young African girl came here 25 years ago and today is bringing family, bringing husband, bringing friends to visit and contribute, because she was welcomed.”
– Dr. Amadou Sall
Cray, who became director of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s Global Health Program in June, says she is looking forward to collaborating even more with the scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Senegal and plans to spend time there in 2024 working with the scientists, staff and students. NC State and the institute recently published a paper together on a study involving antimicrobial resistance. She also hopes to have NC State students who are pursuing the Global Health Certificate visit the Pasteur Institute.
“To me, the biggest thing related to global health is that we are not a closed society anymore, and any diseases that are a concerning problem in one country will eventually have an effect on many other global destinations, including the U.S.,” Cray says. “We have to know and understand what’s going on elsewhere so we’re controlling our destinies and not constantly playing catch-up.”
Sall says his ties to NC State and North Carolina can only strengthen as they represent beautiful, essential pieces of his own destiny and that of his family.
“I met her mother years ago, and today Anta is part of the story,” he says as he puts his hand on his daughter’s shoulder. “She may be an international diplomat or humanitarian. My other daughter may make vaccines. The third one may be involved in artificial intelligence, and all of it is connected to North Carolina. When I say I feel at home, that’s really true.”