Mir S. Mulla joined the faculty of the Entomology Department at the University of California, Riverside in 1956, only two years after the Riverside campus was established as an independent campus within the University of California system. Prior to his appointment, Mir received his B.S. from Cornell University and then moved to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue his graduate studies. His Ph.D. from Berkeley, awarded in 1955, completed his formal American education which was the purpose of his immigration from his native Kandahar in Afghanistan.
In his over 50 years at Riverside, Mir has made an incalculable impact on vector biology both within the United States and in developing countries throughout the world. Within Southern California, Mir's basic and applied research led to the rapid and sustainable control of mosquitoes and eye gnats in the Coachella Valley and so directly enabled this region to grow to the thriving, large community it is today. In 2006 his efforts in facilitating the development of the low desert of southern California were recognized through the dedication of the Mir S. Mulla Biological Control Facility by the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. His success has been so profound that it remains somewhat cryptic to the many who now reside in, visit, and enjoy, this region of California, oblivious to the insect problems that severely restrained development until Mir and his students first applied their expertise many decades ago.
Mir has taken his expertise in biological control to many developing countries throughout the world leading to the successful control of mosquitoes in regions in which vector-borne disease is endemic. His research on developing new microbial control agents and his systematic testing of formulations in the laboratory, followed by trials in simulated field conditions and then in the field continues though his "retirement", further establishing his legacy of achieving sustainable, environmentally friendly and effective control of disease vectors throughout the world. Throughout his long career Mir has provided selfless service to the World Health Organization and to the many mosquito and vector control districts throughout California.
To celebrate Mir's 50 years of service to the University of California, Riverside, and to the state of California, his colleagues from California, the United States and the rest of the world gathered in Riverside for a symposium in vector biology in his honor. His long list of graduate students now run research programs in their own countries while his many collaborators continue to employ the strategies developed by Mir at Riverside. Mir's tireless work ethic and attention to experimental detail are well known and were celebrated at this symposium as were the significant and lasting contributions he has made to global health, decades before this term enjoyed the common usage it does today.
Global Perspectives on Vector-Borne
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