Center for Traditional Medicine Research (CTMDR) is a centre within Kenya Medical Research
Institute (KEMRI) mandated to carry out research to rationalize traditional medicine in Kenya
and, to carry out quality assurance of conventional medicine.
The centre is headed by a Deputy Director, who oversees five units.
The units include:

  1. Chemical sciences
  2. Biological sciences
  3. Pharmaceutical sciences
  4. Botanical sciences
  5. Administration

The units are headed by unit heads who report to the Deputy Director.


To be a leading centre of excellence in the promotion of quality and safe use of traditional medicines and drugs for quality health.


To improve on the quality of health and human life by providing scientific evidence based information on traditional medicines and drugs.

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  1. Traditional Medicine: Rationalization of traditional medicines in collaboration with traditional healers; evaluation of plant drugs using medicinal Phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology and, formulation of herbal remedies.
  2. Studies on agents for the control and management of Infectious, Parasitic and Non-Communicable Diseases in addition, Socio-cultural and anthropological aspects of traditional medicine.
  3. Drugs: Quality assurance through; Surveillance, experimental pharmacology and toxicology; biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics; clinical trials.
  4. To collaborate with other KEMRI centres, local, regional and international institutes and organizations to be able to carry out all the above mandates.

Core Values

  1. Sanctity of life: We value life and endeavor to preserve and improve it.
  2. Creativity and innovation: We are committed to promoting and supporting creativity and innovation through research.
  3. Equity and quality: We employ the highest professional conduct possible to achieve high standards of service delivery.
  4. Acceptable corporate Governance: We employ the best practices and principles of good governance.
  5. Team work: At CTMDR we are a team and we operate as such.


The Center serves and collaborates locally, regionally and internationally with many clients that include research scientists, students, and patients among others.

The clients or collaborators, interested in training, advice and research on medicinal plants, development of drugs or quality evaluation of drugs, include:

  1. Educational institutes such as Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi, Maseno University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Saalam, Muhimbili University, and University of Ibadan, Cameroon University, University of Cape Town, USIU-Africa, Karatina University, Egerton University, MKU.
  2. Research institutes and organizations such as International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDI), National Museums of Kenya, Institute of Primate Research (IPR), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), World Health Organization (WHO), Wellcome Trust Laboratories.
  3. Ministries of Health (Medical Services and Public Health and Sanitation).
  4. Ministry of Culture and Social Services (Department of Culture).
  5. Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs).
  6. Students and Researchers from all corners of the world.

Ongoing Projects

  • The Pyrethrum Project (SSC No. 2969) – There are 11 nested proposals under the Pyrethrum project with full approval from SERU.
  • The Miraa Project (SSC No. 2949).

Completed Projects

Chemical Sciences Division

Biological Sciences Division

Pharmaceutical Sciences Division

Botanical Sciences Division

Enetric Division

Mycological and AMR Division

Opportunist Infections & Genomics Division

Administration Division

Dr. Ruth Monyenye Nyangacha

Deputy Director, CTMDR

Dr. Ruth Monyenye Nyangacha is a medical parasitologist/ entomologist with expertise in infectious diseases research. She has authored several publications in peer-reviewed journals on malaria and tungiasis.

She is a senior research scientist in KEMRI, with over 15 years of experience as a principal investigator and a co-principal investigator in several projects. Her main focus has been studies on new antimalarial agents and more recently to support community-based and public health tungiasis control measures

Contact Info

Traditional Medicine and Drug Development Programme,

Kenya Medical Research Institute,

P.O Box, 54840-00200, Nairobi, KENYA

Office Tel: (254) (020) 2722541, Ext. 3324

Fax: (254) (020) 2720030

Email: ek.og.irmekobfsctd@rotceriD