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 Center for Traditional Medicine Research (CTMDR)quality assurance of conventional medicine.

The centre is headed by a Deputy Director, who oversees five units.


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.


  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.
  • 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.
  1. Drugs
  • Quality assurance through; Surveillance, experimental pharmacology and toxicology; biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics; clinical trials.
  1. 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 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).


1. Chemical sciences

3. Pharmaceutical sciences

5. Administration

Mycology and AMR Division

2. Biological sciences

4. Botanical sciences

Enteric Division

Opportunist Infections and Genomics Division

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.

Dr. Elizabeth V. Mumbi Kigondu

Senior Research Scientist

Academic qualifications

  • Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Chemistry


Research interests

  • Natural products and chemical synthesis drug discovery research
  • Drug and chemical analysis
  • Nutrition from natural products


  1. Elvis K. Muthoni, Elizabeth M. Kigondu, Daniel Kiboi, Ibrahim N. Mwangi. Efficacy and Safety of Up-scaled Dosage of 60mg/kg Praziquantel in Control of Schistosoma mansoni in School Going Children in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. International Journal of Tropical Disease & Health. Vol 33(4), pp 1-12, December 2018.
  2. Elizabeth V. M. Kigondu, Moses K. Kamita, Elizabeth W. Njenga, James Wanga, Gabriel Amalemba, Esther N. Matu. In vivo Antifertility and Safety Profiles of Kenyan Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae) extracts. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Vol. 5(4), pp 212-220, December 2016.
  3. Ruth M. Nyangacha, Peter M. Mathiu, Moses Mwangi, Elizabeth V. M. Kigondu Antinociceptive effect of Pentas lanceolata and Ximenia americana medicinal plants used to treat malaria traditionally in Kenya. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 5(2), pp 87-92, July 2016.
  4. Ken-Ichi Umehara, Markus Zollinger, Elizabeth Kigondu, Marc Witschi, Claire Juif, Felix Huth, Hilmar Schiller, Kelly Chibale, Gian Camenisch. Esterase phenotyping in human liver in vitro:specificity of carboxylesterase inhibitors. Early Online: 1–6, February 2016.

Charles K. Rotich, Ruth M. Nyangacha, Sabina W. Wachira, Moses M. Ngeiywa, Elizabeth V. M. Kigondu. Antimalarial activities and toxicity levels of selected medicinal plants used in Kenya

  1. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Vol. 4(3), pp 92-100, August 2015.
  2. Geoffrey K. Kinuthia, Christopher O. Anjili, Ephantus W. Kabiru, Elizabeth M. Kigondu. Johnny M. Ingonga, Nicholas K. Gikonyo. Toxicity and efficacy of aqueous crude extracts from Allium sativum, Callistemon citrinus and Moringa stenopetala against Major. Kabarak Journal of Research and Innovation. Vol. 3(1), pp 9-20, January 2015.

contact us

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: Website: www.kemri.or

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