Nahla Gadalla, Ph.D.

SAMA Executive Director


Dr. Nahla Gadalla is the Executive Director for the Sudanese American Medical Association (SAMA). She leads the overall strategic and operational responsibility for SAMA’s programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.

Prior to her current role, Dr. Gadalla was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) working to understand the mechanisms of lumefantrine resistance, as well as investigating the epidemiology of P. falciparum drug resistance genes in Africa.

Nahla Gadalla holds a PhD in Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM, UK). She graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Gezira followed by a MSc. in Medical Parasitology from LSHTM. Her primary research focused on understanding the mechanism of resistance in Plasmodium falciparum where she identified rare genotypes in drug resistance associated genes. She. In the United Kingdom, she was engaged in projects evaluating malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for WHO. She has collaborated on clinical trials in Tanzania, Kenya, Cambodia and Thailand monitoring the spread of artemisinin resistance in South East Asia.

Dr. Gadalla has successfully received research grants and awards from WHO/TDR and the International Atomic Energy Agency for implementing malaria control strategies.   Dr. Gadalla has also worked with several non-profit organizations were she coordinated the Molecular Study Group for the World Wide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and contributed to other study groups resulting in several publications. She has been a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene since 2008.

Dr. Gadalla is passionate about humanitarian aid and working for SAMA fulfills her desire to help those in need especially in Sudan.

Contact Executive Director :



Dr. Esra Salah, MBBS, MPH

SAMA Operations Manager

Dr. Esra Saleh was appointed to SAMA in April 2018 to lead SAMA’s midwifery program. She transformed this program from a single state program to a national program spanning several states. She now leads several SAMA projects with the same excellent results. Dr. Saleh graduated from Ahfad University and completed MPH in 2016 from the same university. Prior to joining SAMA, she worked with the Sudan Federal Ministry of Health.