Solutions for development, from developing countries

Scientific talent exists everywhere, and scientists in developing countries often have unique motivations, perspectives, and insights.

With access to the resources they need, they have limitless potential to contribute solutions to the problems that matter most to their communities. For example: 

  • Diagnosing, treating and preventing deadly diseases
  • Adapting farming systems to climate change so that everyone has enough nutritious food
  • Effectively managing crises like natural disasters or global pandemics to minimize suffering
  • Developing lower cost solutions for energy storage, purification of drinking water, and environmental protection.


Our programs address key barriers so that scientists in developing countries can lead, innovate, and help to shape a brighter future.

Since 2008, we have equipped…


universities and research institutes in developing countries


departments at those institutions


researchers in developing countries

The right tools for the job means more and better research outcomes

Like all skilled professionals, scientists need the right tools for the job. 

Without access to modern equipment, the scope of what even the most brilliant and best-trained researcher can accomplish is limited. 

With access, however, researchers can do more. 

They can ask and answer different types of questions, often taking advantage of  powerful new technologies to tackle problems more directly. 

They can publish their work more easily so that others can learn from and build upon it. 

They can engage in scientific collaborations as equal partners. 

And, critically, they can contribute expertise and evidence to support locally led development. 

Impact in action

Our programs eliminate key barriers to equitable participation in scientific discovery

Kishore Bhat, PhD, runs the only center in India for oral microbiology research. At Maratha Mandal’s NGH Institute of Dental Sciences, researchers are studying how the oral microbiome affects overall human health.

More research impact stories

Global health
Dr. Gustavo Salinas at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay

Parasite treatments in Uruguay

Soil-transmitted helminths—which include roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms—infect nearly 1.5 billion people each year. Untreated, they can cause malnutrition and impair development, especially in young children. Part of the reason these parasites are so successful is that they can survive without oxygen for long periods.

Dr. Gustavo Salinas at the Universidad de la República has made a major breakthrough researching the precise mechanism for how these parasites harvest energy while living in the human body. By understanding their survival mechanism, he can then unlock the most effective treatment against these devastating parasites.
Dr. Victorien Dougnon at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi

Fighting pediatric illness in Benin

Dr. Victorien Dougnon at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi is making strides treating diarrhea, which is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 5 worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, diarrheal disease is responsible for half a million deaths among these children each year.
Dr. Dougnon is using Instrumental Access equipment to analyze local antidiarrheal plant-based medicines. He is screening them for harmful compounds and bringing some scientific certainty to these life-threatening situations and identifying effective and more accessible treatments for a major public health issue in West Africa.
Dr. Gama Bandawe at the Malawi University of Science and Technology

Reclaiming agency over COVID-19 in Malawi

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Seeding Labs was able to supply some desperately needed pieces in Dr. Gama Bandawe’s diagnostics workflow. Throughout the year, his lab at the Malawi University of Science and Technology played a key role in monitoring the spread of the virus.
He and his team processed more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests while also supporting Malawi’s National Reference Laboratory in the validation of rapid antigen tests for nationwide deployment, both of which were essential for containing the pandemic in a time of little certainty for Southern Africa. 
Dr. Esteban García-Tamayo at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia

Sustainable energy solutions in rural Colombia

Instrumental Access awardees in Colombia have founded South America’s first-ever nanotechnology engineering department at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, where researchers are creating practical and affordable solutions for storing energy.

By focusing on renewable sources of energy that can be made with the locally sourced materials, they are providing rural Colombians with a vital need where electrical infrastructure is unreliable and often unavailable.
Dr. Thabile Ndlovu at the University of Eswatini

Building Eswatini's first water quality database

Since receiving an Instrumental Access shipment in 2020, Dr. Thabile Ndlovu at the University of Eswatini has relentlessly focused on monitoring the presence of heavy metals in the country’s water supply. 
Dr. Ndlovu’s goal is to establish a baseline of knowledge about her country’s water—the most important factor for human and agricultural development. And with greater understanding of water safety as it is today, experts will have the data they need to make informed decisions about the future of Eswatini’s water supply.
Kaitlin Snyder

Kaitlyn Snyder
Logistics Intern

Kaitlyn started working for Seeding Labs in 2023. She works closely with the Scientific Director in the Instrumental Access program.

Kaitlyn is currently a junior at Boston University studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Jennifer Raymond

Jennifer Raymond
Corporate Relations
Senior Manager

Jennifer partners with corporations, universities, and nonprofit organizations to identify opportunities to repurpose surplus scientific laboratory equipment that will in turn empower talented scientists in developing countries through the Instrumental Access program.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, Jennifer served as a Development Officer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she managed relationships with donors, foundations, and corporations to advance the groundbreaking work of research scientists.

She also directed membership programs for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and alumni relations for the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Jennifer graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in French studies and a minor in philosophy.

Manisha Patel

Manisha Patel
Scientific Director

Manisha uses her scientific expertise to implement the equipment-related aspects of Seeding Labs’ programs and plays a key role in Instrumental Access.

She provides support to Instrumental Access awardees, helping them choose the instruments that best meet their research and teaching goals. She also advises the Corporate Relations team on equipment that would be useful in our awardees’ labs.

Manisha has extensive experience in managing academic research labs with knowledge spanning lab setup, compliance, and equipment training. Most recently, she oversaw labs at Harvard University.

For the past decade, Manisha directed an undergraduate internship program focused on one of her passions:  diversity and inclusion in STEM. She holds a BS in ecology from Rutgers University and an MS in ecology from the University of Vermont.

Micaela Leaska

Micalea Leaska
Programs Specialist,
Metrics & Evaluation

Micalea works with the Programs team to develop and implement metrics and evaluation tools, and to monitor the worldwide impact of Instrumental Access. She compiles and analyzes quantitative data and qualitative stories that exemplify our mantra, “talent is everywhere.”

Her prior work experience includes consulting for the World Bank, working on Water Security Assessments for Peru and Central America, and improving access to safe water in rural Ecuadorian communities with the nonprofit WaterStep.

Micalea holds a BA from Saint Michael’s College and completed her Master’s degree in Climate Change and Global Sustainability from SIT Graduate Institute, where she studied global science issues alongside scientists, stakeholders, and community members in Iceland, Tanzania, and Ecuador.

Chiudo Ehirim

Chiudo Ehirim
Instrumental Access

After completing an Atlas Corps Fellowship with Seeding Labs, Chiudo now provides support to our Instrumental Access partners from his Rumines Ltd. office in Lagos, Nigeria. Chiudo is CEO of Rumines, an environmental technology and management consulting company.

Prior to his fellowship, Chiudo was a country manager for Nigeria with Climate Scorecard, a US-based organization that monitors how the top 25 greenhouse gas-emitting countries implement the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Chiudo earned a BS in pure and industrial chemistry from the University of Nigeria and a Master’s of Science in environmental technology and management from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

David Borman

David Borman, PhD

David works to highlight the innovation and scientific successes of Instrumental Access awardees. In telling these scientists’ stories, he helps to show the global impact of the Seeding Labs mission.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, David worked as the alumni affairs director for Brevard College in North Carolina and managed communications for Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, a nonprofit in Louisville, Kentucky, that provides services to children with special needs.

David earned his PhD in English from the University of Miami. He holds an MA in English from the University of Louisville and a BA in English from Bellarmine University.

Christine Srivastava

Christina Viola Srivastava

Vice President of Programs

Christina is responsible for program development, planning, and implementation at Seeding Labs. 

Christina has experience as a research program evaluator and science policy analyst. She’s held roles with the consulting firm Abt Associates, Inc. and the Science and Technology Policy Institute.

Prior to entering the consulting world, Christina worked for the Boston-area nonprofits Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Urban Ecology Institute. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Swarthmore College

Rick Sherman

Rick Sherman

Vice President of Philanthropy

Rick is responsible for the fundraising activities at Seeding Labs, engaging with corporations, foundations, and individuals to increase their financial and equipment donations to the organization.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, Rick spent 17 years working in a similar capacity at a number of science-focused organizations, including Keystone Symposia, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now the Science History Institute).

Rick earned an MS in Finance from Drexel University, and a BS in Paper Science and Engineering from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

David Qualter

Vice President of Operations

David is responsible for global logistics at Seeding Labs, overseeing the efficient movement of lab equipment worldwide.

He joined Seeding Labs from Image Arts, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, where he provided logistics direction for the company with $110 million in annual sales.

He brings 20 years of supply chain management experience with in-depth knowledge of international logistics, warehouse execution, and distribution center operations.

Originally an art student at Southeastern Massachusetts University, David now uses his creative talents to develop logistics strategies that produce operational efficiencies and quality customer service.

Melissa P. Wu, PhD

Melissa P. Wu, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Please direct speaking requests to

As the CEO of Seeding Labs, Dr. Melissa P. Wu connects scientists and institutions around the world to help reduce barriers to scientific discovery.

Part scientist, part engineer, and part facilitator, Melissa brings strategic insight and rigorous methodology to her work, together with a dedication to helping people.

Melissa is driven by two overarching values: that scientific research is a critical tool for improving human lives, and that research thrives and we as a community make the best discoveries when we foster diversity in perspectives, approaches, and ideas. Joining these two ideas has given her a career focus on creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage in scientific research.

Prior to being named CEO of Seeding Labs in 2019,
Melissa served as Senior Vice President of Operations. She revamped Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program to increase its efficiency while expanding its impact.

Melissa’s previous positions at the Harvard Office for
Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership and the BioBuilder Educational Foundation helped spread scientific knowledge to students nationwide.

She is proud to have mentored many students through
programs at the Journal of Emerging Investigators, Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital, and MIT.

Melissa earned a PhD in Cellular and Developmental
Biology from Harvard University and holds an SB in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.