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Contact

Phone: (254) (020) 2722541, Ext. 3324

Dr. Festus M. Tolo

Chief Research Scientist and Deputy Director, CTMDR

Dr. Festus M. Tolo is a Biomedical Research Scientist holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacology &Toxicology, Physiology, Microbiology and Laboratory management of the Technical University of Kenya (TUK); A Master’s Degree in Infection Diagnosis of Kenyatta University (KU) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Medicinal Phytochemistry of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

He  is an awardee of the “The Nelon Gold Award (NGA)” of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the Inter-Academy Medical Panel (IAMP) “Distinguished Scientist Award in Natural Products Research” of the Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), China.

Dr. Tolo is a Chief Research Scientist and the Deputy Director, Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research (CTMDR at KEMRI. His engagements in natural products research spans over two decades where he has been involved in various research projects, notably, the JICA sponsored Infectious Diseases Research Programme of KEMRI where he played a key role in the “Plant Drug Research Group for Antiviral Agents” leading to the innovation of an anti-herpes herbal product, Zedupex.

He has been a project manager of a WHO/TDR funded project on the “Investigation of Safety, Efficacy and Chemistry of Herbal Medicines used Traditionally for Treatment of Malaria” and a lead scientist in the National Council for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) funded project on the “Natural Products Innovation System: Establishing a National Nutraceuticals and Phytomedicines Development Pipeline”. He is presently engaged in a project evaluating Zedupex for COVID-19 management funded by the Government of Kenya.

Dr. Tolo has published widely in the area of natural products research and presented over 35 research abstracts at various local and international scientific forums. He is a faculty member at the KEMRI Graduate School. He has successfully supervised a number of postgraduate students both at PhD and MSc. He is an appointed peer reviewer of Quality Standards (QS) by the Commission for University Education (CUE), Kenya.

Academic and Professional Qualifications
  1. Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal Phytochemistry, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.
  2. Master of Science in Infection Diagnosis, Kenyatta University, Kenya.
  3. Bachelor of Science (HND eq.) in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology, Microbiology and Laboratory management, Technical University of Kenya.
  4. Post Graduate Certificate in Research and Control of Infectious Diseases, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.
  5. Post Graduate Certificate in Certificate in Research and Good Clinical Practice in Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Yale University, Juba, South Sudan.
  6. Certificate in Peer Review. Commission for University Education (CUE). Nairobi, Kenya.
  7. Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Trainer (Trainer of Trainers in GLP), WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) Nairobi, Kenya.
  8. Certificate in ISO 9001:2008 audits for organizations. Kenya Afri-aviation, Kenya,
Innovations
  • Patent for: – “A novel Anti-Viral Plant Extract”. Main Inventor: Dr. Festus M. Tolo Patent number: KE/P/06/00492
  • Patent application for: – “A Kenyan herbal extract with anti-tumour effects”.Main inventors: Dr. F.M Tolo and Dr. G.M. Rukunga and of KEMRIPatent application number: KEMRI/RES/7/22/VOL.VI/298
Major Projects
  1. Pre-Clinical Evaluation of the Antiviral Herbal Product “Zedupex” in combination with Kenyan Green Tea for management of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) Infection and its Resulting Disease (COVID‐19) (The ZEDUPEX-TEA COVID-19 Study). P.I: Dr. Festus M. Tolo, SSC Number: KEMRI/SERU/CTMDR/088/4015
  2. Biomedical research on Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium (pyrethrum) grown in Kenya for its safety and new insecticidal and antimicrobial applications. P.I: Dr. Festus M. Tolo, SSC Number: 2669
  3. . Evaluation of some Kenyan medicinal plants for anti-sickling activity in induced mammalian sickle cells in vitro and formulation of a herbal product as a management therapy: The herb for sickle cell anemia (THESCA) study. P.I: Dr. Festus M. Tolo. SSC Number: 2423 REV
  4. The KEMRI/JICA Infectious Diseases Project. The Plant Drug Research Group for antiviral agents. Group team leader: Dr. Festus M. Tolo. SSC Number: KEMRI/JICA IDP Project
Selected Publications
  1. Nkirote N. Judith, Francis K. Njonge, Gideon Mutie Kikuvi and Festus M. Tolo. Determinants of Moringa oleifera utilization among HIV positive patients attending comprehensive care clinic at Migori County referral hospital, Kenya. Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing. ISSN 2520-4025 (Online). Vol.4, Issue 6. No.1, pp 1- 16, 2019. www.iprjb.org
  2. Festus M Tolo and Charles N Muthaura. Natural products research: A potential source of innovative new drug discovery and development. Global Experts Meeting on Infectious Diseases & Endocrinology 2019. Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy, 2019, Volume7. DOI: 10.4172/2332-0877-C2-062
  3. Antony Omondi Radol, Michael Kiptoo, A. O. Makokha and Festus M. Tolo (2016). Types of Herbal Medicine Used for HIV Conditions in Vihiga County, Kenya. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 13(2): 1-23, 2016, Article no.EJMP.23180 ISSN: 2231-0894, NLM ID: 101583475
  4. F. M. Tolo, G. M. Rukunga, F. W. Muli, J. M. Ochora, B. N. Irungu, C. N. Muthaura, C. K. Wanjiku, G. M. Mungai, Quang Ngoc, K. Hashimoto and Y. Asakawa. The antiviral activity of compounds isolated from Kenyan Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(15), pp. 1517-1522, 4 August 2010.
  5. Tolo, F.M., Rukunga, G.M., Muli, F.W., Ochora, J., Eizuru, Y., Ukon, T., Muthaura, C. N, Cicilia, K., and Mungai, G.M. The anti-viral activities of Kenyan Carissa edulis, Prunus africana and Melia azedarach total aqueous extracts against Human Cytomegalovirus infection in vitro. Africa Journal of Health Sciences. 2007: 14(3-4):143-148.
  6. Festus M. Tolo, Geoffrey M. Rukunga, Faith W. Muli, Eliud N.M. Njagi, Wilson Njue, Kazuko Kumon, Geoffrey M. Mungai, Charles N. Muthaura, Joseph M. Muli, Lucia K. Keter, Esau Oishi, Mawuli W. Kofi-Tsekpo. Anti-viral activity of the extracts of a Kenyan medicinal plant Carissa edulis against herpes simplex virus. Journal of Ethnoparmacology. 2006: 104: 92-99
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Principal Research Scientist
  • PhD. Chemistry
  • MSc. Medicinal Chemistry
  • BSc. Chemistry

Dr. Elizabeth V. Mumbi Kigondu

Principal Research Scientist

Dr. Kigondu’s research interests are generally in drug discovery and development from natural products. Other interests include drug and chemical analysis research. Her current projects are focused on exploring compounds that can reverse the development of drug resistance that arises from efflux activity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Currently, Dr. Kigondu is developing some research ideas focused on exploring natural products for nutritional benefit for vulnerable groups.

In her past research work, Dr. Kigondu has collaborated with various scientists (within and without the KEMRI), as well as herbalists. She has been mentoring several students undertaking their undergraduate and postgraduate courses locally and internationally.

Within KEMRI, Dr. Kigondu is a member of the Publication Committee and the Institutional Review Board known as Scientific and Ethical Review Unit (SERU) where my main role is to review manuscripts and research proposals. Her other professional membership includes Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya (CSAK), Schlumberger Foundation – Faculty for the Future (2014 Alumni Fellow), Natural Product of Eastern and Central Africa (NAPRECA-Kenya) and Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). In the past, she has been a member and participated in two Kenyan Ministry of Health’s technical working groups in the development of health performance indicators and a traditional medicine policy respectively.

  1. Charles Omollo, Vinayak Singh, Elizabeth Kigondu, Pooja Agarwal, Atica Moosa, Kelly Chibale, Digby F. Warner. Developing synergistic two-drug combinations to restore antibiotic sensitivity in drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: Volume 65(5), pp e02554-20, April 2021. (View).
  2. Samuel Baker Obakiro, Ambrose Kiprop, Isaac Kowino, Elizabeth Kigondu, Mark Peter Odero, Timothy Omara, Lydia Bunalema. Ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, and phytochemistry of traditional medicinal plants used in the management of symptoms of tuberculosis in East Africa: a systematic review. BMC Tropical Medicine and Health. Vol 48(68), pp 1-21, August 2020. (View)
  3. François Nimbeshaho, Charity Ngina Mwangi, Fred Orina, Meryl Chacha, Nicholas Adipo, Jones O. Moody, Elizabeth M. Kigondu. Antimycobacterial activities, cytotoxicity and phytochemical screening of extracts for three medicinal plants growing in Kenya. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. Vol 14(4), pp 129-143, April 2020 (View)
  4. 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 Lam. (Moringaceae) extracts. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Vol. 5(4), pp 212-220, December 2016. (View)
  5. 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. Xenobiotica. Early Online: 1-6, February 2016. (View)
  6. Elizabeth M. Kigondu, Antonina Wasuna, Digby F. Warner, Kelly Chibale. Pharmacologically active metabolites, combination screening and target identification-driven drug repositioning in antituberculosis drug discovery. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. Vol. 22(16), pp 4453–4461, August 2014. (View)
  7. Elizabeth M. Kigondu, Mathew Njoroge, Kawaljit Singh, Nicholas Njuguna, Digby F. Warner, Kelly Chibale. Synthesis and synergistic antimycobacterial screening of chlorpromazine and its metabolites. Medicinal Chemistry Communication, Vol. 5, pp 502-506, January 2014. (View)
  8. Elizabeth V. M. Kigondu, Geoffrey M. Rukunga, Joseph M. Keriko, Willy K. Tonui, Jeremiah W. Gathirwa, Peter G. Kirira, Beatrice N. Irungu, Johnston M. Igonga, Isaiah O. Ndiege. Anti-parasitic activity studies of some selected medicinal plants from Kenya. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol. 123(3): pp 504-509, June 2009. (View)
Dr. Mwitari-min-min

Dr. Peter Githaiga Mwitari

Principal Research Scientist

Dr. Mwitari’s research interests revolve around pharmacology research on herbs/medicinal plants with profound medical benefits and innovation of treatment options and mentorship.

Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • Doctorate degree: Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Master of Science degree: University of Nairobi.
  • Bachelor of Science degree: Kenyatta University.
Selected Publications
  1. Effect of Substrate Dependent Mushroom Polysaccharide Extracts on IL-7 Up Regulation and Cancer Immunotherapy and, their Probable Mode Of Action. Mwitari Peter Githaiga, Bian Yuhong, Ayeka Peter Amwoga, Zhang Yan Jun, Original Research Article: International Journal of Cancer Studies & Research (IJCR) ISSN: 2167-9118(2014) 3(3):41-57
  2. Antimicrobial activity and probable mechanisms of action of medicinal plants of Kenya; Withania somnifera, Warbugia ugandensis, Prunus africana and Plectrunthus barbatus. Peter G. Mwitari, Peter A. Ayeka, Joyce Ondicho, Esther N. Matu, Christine C. Bii. Original Research Article: Plos One, May 2013, doi.10.1371/journal.pone.0065619
  3. Development of a nutraceutical from natural products: A case study of a herbal-based low sodium table salt. 9-16. Lucia K Keter, Ingrid Wekesa, Festus Tolo, Zacharia Mwaghadi, Peter Mwitari, Sylvia Murunga, Robert Karanja, Benjamin Gituku, Wesley Ronoh, Phyllis Ngunjiri, Jennifer A Orwa. Original Research Article. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics; 2013. 2(1):
  4. Deciphering the targets of retroviral protease inhibitors in Plasmodium berghei. Onchieku NM, Mogire R, Ndung’u L, Mwitari P, Kimani F, Matoke-Muhia D, et al. (2018) Deciphering the targets of retroviral protease inhibitors in Plasmodium berghei. PLoS ONE 13 (8): e0201556. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.020155
  5. Secondary bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance among tungiasis patients in Western, Kenya. Ruth Monyenye Nyangacha, David Odongo, Florence Oyieke, Missiani Ochwoto, Richard Korir, Ronald Kiprotich Ngetich, Gladys Nginya, Olipher Makwaga, Christine Bii, Peter Mwitari, Festus Tolo. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(9): e0005901. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005901
  6. Immune Modulating and Antiproliferative Potential of Withania somnifera Crude and Prepurified Fractions on Selected Cancerous and Normal Cells Peter Githaiga Mwitari, Ngule Chrispus Mutuku, Lucia Keter, Jeremiah Gathirwa, Francis Kimani, Peter Kirira and Sabina Wachira. JOCAMR, 5(1): 1-11, 2018; Article no.JOCAMR.40053
Beatrice Irungu-min

Dr Beatrice N. Irũngũ

Principal Research Scientist

Dr Irũngũ is a Research Scientist experienced in early drug discovery research. Her research focuses on identification of plant-derived lead compounds with potential antiplasmodial and cytotoxicity properties. Dr Irũngũ’s other research interests are in the areas of Pharmaceutical and biochemical analysis. Dr Irũngũ has held several research grants from both local and international funding agencies in her two areas of research interest, published widely in peer-reviewed journals and has trained/mentored undergraduate, MSc and PhD students.

Dr Irũngũ is the current Head of the Chemical Sciences Division.

Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • BSc  University of Nairobi
  • MSc (Chemistry), University of Dar es Salaam
  • PhD (Chemistry) University of Nairobi
Selected Publications
  1. Irungu BN, Koech LC Ondicho JM, Keter LK (2021) Quality assessment of selected co-trimoxazole suspension brands marketed in Nairobi County, Kenya. Submitted to Plos One with minor corrections feedback
  2. Koech, LC.; Irungu, BN.; Nganga, MK.; Ondicho, JM.; Keter. LK.; (2020). Quality and Brands of amoxicillin formulations Nairobi, Kenya; Hindawi Biomedical Research  ID 7091279
  3. Adem, F. A.; Mbaveng, A. T.; Kuete, V.; Heydenreich, M.; Ndakala, A.; Irungu,B.; Yenesew, A.; Efferth, T. Cytotoxicity of Isoflavones and Biflavonoids from Ormocarpum Kirkii towards Multi-Factorial Drug Resistant Cancer. Phytomedicine 2019, 58, 152853.
  4. Adem, F. A.; Kuete, V.; Mbaveng, A. T.; Heydenreich, M.; Koch, A.; Ndakala, A.; Irungu,B.; Yenesew, A.; Efferth, T. Cytotoxic Flavonoids from Two Lonchocarpus Species. Natural product research 2018, 1–9
  5. Irungu,B. N.; Adipo, N.; Orwa, J. A.; Kimani, F.; Heydenreich, M.; Midiwo, J. O.; Björemark, P. M.; H\a akansson, M.; Yenesew, A.; Erdélyi, M. Antiplasmodial And Cytotoxic Activities Of The Constituents Of Turraea Robusta And Turraea Nilotica. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2015
  6. Irungu,B.; Orwa, J.; Gruhonjic, A.; Fitzpatrick, P.; Landberg, G.; Kimani, F.; Midiwo, J.; Erdélyi, M.; Yenesew, A. Constituents of the Roots and Leaves of Ekebergia Capensis and Their Potential Antiplasmodial and Cytotoxic Activities. Molecules 2014, 19 (9), 14235–14246

Dr. Jeremiah Waweru Gathirwa

Principal Research Scientist

Dr. Jeremiah Gathirwa is a Principal Research Scientist and Head of the Biological Science Division in the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research, KEMRI.

He has strong academic and professional training in Biochemistry and Parasitology. His research interest is in Product Development.

Dr. Gathirwa has enjoyed an uninterrupted research career spanning over twenty years thereby amassing a lot of research experience in areas such as; Development of Nanomedicine Drug Delivery System (NDDS), Bio-prospecting for novel therapeutic agents, Pre-clinical evaluation of drug candidates by use of in vitro and in vivo bioassay models among others. Dr. Gathirwa has spearheaded the implementation of several research projects, mentored postgraduate students at MSc & PhD levels and published over forty research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Academic /Professional Qualifications
  • Post-Doctoral Research (Application of nanotechnology in drug delivery)
  • Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Science (Resources of Natural Medicine),
  • Postgraduate Diploma (Research and Development of Products to Meet Public Health Needs)
  • MSc. Biochemistry (Biotechnology)
  • BSc. Biochemistry/Botany
  • Certificate in Malaria Research Methodology
  • Certificate in Strategic Leadership Development Program (SLDP)
Selected Publications
  1. Integrity, Use, and Care of Treated Mosquito Nets in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. W. Nyangi , E.M. Kigondu, B. Irungu, M. Nganga, A. Gachanja, M. Kinyanjui, R. Nyangacha, E. Muniu, L. Kamau, J. Gathirwa.BMC Public Health, May, 2021; 1-9. (View)
  2. Antimalarial Activity of Nigella sativa L. Seed Extracts and Selection of Resistance in Plasmodium berghei ANKA in a Mouse Model. R. Udu, J. Oyweri, J. Gathirwa. Journal of Pathogens, Feb, 2021; 1-10. (View)
  3. In vitro antiproliferative potential of Annona senegalensis and Allophylus africanus P Beauv. plant extracts against selected cancer cell lines, E.Z. Biseko, H.S. Swai, R.W. Mbugua, J.W. Ndung’u, J. Chepng’etich, J.W. Gathirwa. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, July, 2019; 13(13), 304-311. (View)
  4. Preparation, optimization and characterization of primaquine-loaded solid lipid W.N. Omwoyo, B. Ogutu, F. Oloo, H. Swai, L. Kalombo, P. Melariri, G.M. Maroa, J.W. Gathirwa. International Journal of Nanomedicine, August 2014:9 3865–3874. (View)
  5. Concise Synthesis of Photocleavable Molecular Tag for Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry via Fries J.W. Gathirwa and T. Maki. Synthetic Communications. March 2013, 43, 1016-1022. (View)
  6. Benzylation of hydroxy groups with tertiary amine as a base.  J.W.  Gathirwa and T.  Maki. Tetrahedron, Volume 68, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 370-375 (View)

Dr. Lucia Keter

Clinical Research Scientist

Dr. Lucia Keter Kipkoech is a registered Pharmacist with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (MPSK) and the Head of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division at the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research (CTMDR), KEMRI. She holds a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree in Pharmacy both from University of Nairobi (UON).  She is currently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Chemistry studies at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nairobi.

Dr. Keter has been engaged in research for about 20 years in the area of natural products and conventional medicines and is presently involved in several diverse funded projects. She has published over 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented over 30 research abstracts at various local and international scientific forums. Dr. Keter has participated in several extramural activities. She has served as a member of the Training and Assessment Committee of the PPB and a reviewer for the Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya (PJK) and African Journal of Health Sciences (AJHS). She has also served as a part-time lecturer in USIU-A School of Science and Technology, JKUAT, ITROMID and successful supervised a number of masters’ students. She is currently a member of the KEMRI Animal Care and Use Committee and the KEMRI Public Complaints Committee (PCC).

Current Research Grants
  1. Principal Investigator in the funded project on the “Quality Evaluation of Antidiabetic Medicines Marketed in Kenya (SERU 3548).” Project period: 2019 – 2021.
  2. A Co- Investigator and Institutional Team Leader in the NRF funded project on “Enhancing polyphenols and Gamma Amino Butyric Acid in Kenyan Made Tea, efficacy determination for mitigation against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure in Kenya (SERU 3786).”
  3. A Co- Investigator in the project on “Mapping antifungal, antibacterial drug resistance and the quality of antimicrobial agents against fungal and bacterial pathogens from smear negative and retreatment cases in high TB prevalence Counties in Kenya (SERU 3213)”.
  4. A Co- Investigator in the project on “Formulation and clinical evaluation of a papaya extract based antihelminthic pill for sustainable mass drug administration of school children (SSC 2580).”
  5. A Co- Investigator in the project “Evaluation of Anticancer, Antidiabetic, Phytochemical and Safety Properties of Formulated Herbal Remedies being marketed in Selected Counties of Kenya (SERU 3566).”
  6. A Co- Investigator in the proposal “Value Addition through Scientific Research of Medicinal Plant Extracts with High Antimalarial Activity for Use as Phytomedicines in Malaria Treatment (SSC 2928)”.
  7. A Co- Investigator in the project “Exploration of the Wound Healing Potential of Extracts of Selected Medicinal Plants:  An In-Vitro Study (SERU 3173).”
Previous Research Grants
  1. Principal Investigator in the funded project on the “Quality standards determination of some selected herbal medicinal products in the Kenyan market ( 2300).” 
  2. A Co- Investigator in the project “A survey on quality of commonly prescribed antibiotics in the Kenyan market: A case study of amoxicillin and co-trimoxazole in Nairobi (SERU 3059).”
  3. A Co- Principal Investigator in the GOK funded project on “Biomedical research on Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium (pyrethrum) grown in Kenya for its safety and new insecticidal and antimicrobial applications (SSC 2969)”
  4. A Co- Investigator in the proposal “Evaluation of the medicinal properties and safety analysis of Catha edulis Forsk (Khat) (SSC 2949).”
  5. Principal Investigator in the funded project on “Evaluation of the anti-diabetic effect of Eucalyptus globulus extracts in mice (SSC 1300)”.
Selected Publications
  1. Lilian Chepng’etich Koech, Beatrice N. Irungu, Margaret K. Nganga, Joyce M. Ondicho, Lucia K. Keter. Quality and Brands of Amoxicillin Formulations in Nairobi, Kenya. BioMed Research International (BMRI). Volume 2020, Article ID 7091278, 14 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/7091278
  2. Julius K. Koech, Anastasia Nandwa, Benson N. Macharia, Lucia K. Keter, Nicholas Mwikwabe, Vivian C. Tuei. Hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of Polyscias fulva ethanolic bark extract in streptozotocin diabetic induced rats. International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries April 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13410-020-00818-3
  3. Kugo, L. Keter, A. Maiyo, J. Kinyua, P. Ndemwa, G. Maina, P. Otieno and E. M. Songok. Fortification of Carica papaya fruit seeds to school meal snacks may aid Africa mass deworming programs: a preliminary survey. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018; 18:327.
  4. Lucia Keter, Richard Too, Nicholas Mwikwabe, Charles Mutai, Jennifer Orwa, Lizzy Mwamburi, Stanley Ndwigah, Christine Bii, and Richard Korir. Risk of Fungi Associated with Aflatoxin and Fumonisin in Medicinal Herbal Products in the Kenyan Market. Hindawi, The Scientific World Journal Volume 2017, Article ID 1892972, 6 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1892972
  5. Keter L.K and Mutiso P.C. Ethnobotanical studies of medicinal plants used by Traditional Health Practitioners in the management of diabetes in Lower Eastern Province, Kenya. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2012; 139 (1): 74 – 80.
  6. Keter L, Wekesa I, Tolo F, Mwaghadi Z, Mwitari P, Murunga S, Karanja R, Gituku B, Ronoh W, Ngunjiri P and Orwa J. Development of a nutraceutical from natural products: A case study of a herbal based low sodium table salt. African Journal of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2013; 2(1): 9-16
  7. Richard Korir, Omu Anzala, Walter Jaoko, Christine Bii, Lucia Keter. Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Isolates Recovered from Herbal Medicinal Products Sold in Nairobi, Kenya. East African Health Research Journal 2017; 1(1): 40 – 46
  8. Keter L.K., Thoithi G.N., Kibwage I.O. Development and validation of a liquid chromatographic method for the simultaneous analysis of six protease inhibitors on a polymer column. East and Central Africa Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, 2008; 11: 3 – 8.

Dr. James Menni Kuria

Research Scientist

Dr. Menni is a veterinarian by basic training, who is passionate about the development of natural products based drugs.

Dr Menni is specially engaged in wound healing and regeneration, control of inflammation and antimicrobial activity studies. His research interest is in the toxicology of medicines of natural product origin.

Academic and Professional Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Master of Science in Natural Products and Bioprospecting
Selected Publication
  • Influence of Aspilia pluriseta Schweinf (Asteraceae) on the healing of dermal excision wounds (mouse model) and skin sensitization activity (Guinea pig model)
Academic /Professional Qualifications
  • PhD in Applied Parasitology
  • Masters in Medical Parasitology and Entomology

Dr. Ruth Monyenye Nyangacha

Senior Research Scientist

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

Selected Publications
  1. Nyangi, M.W., Kigondu, E.M., Irungu, B., Nganga, M., Gachanja, A., Kinyanjui, M., Nyangacha, R., Muniu, E., Kamau, L. & Gathirwa, J. (2020). Integrity, Use, and Care of Treated Mosquito Nets in Kirinyaga County, Kenya.
  2. Nyangacha, R.M., Odongo, D., Oyieke, F., Bii, C., Muniu, E., Chasia S., & Ochwoto M. (2019). Spatial distribution prevalence and potential risk factors of tungiasis in Vihiga County, western Kenya. PLos neglected tropical diseases, 13:3.
  3. Nyangacha, R. M., Odongo, D., Oyieke, F., Ochwoto, M., Korir, R., Ngetich, R. K., & Tolo, F. (2017). Secondary bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance among tungiasis patients in Western, Kenya. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 11: 9.
  4. Nyangacha, R. M., Mathiu, P. M., Mwangi, M., & Kigondu, E. V. (2016). Antinociceptive effect of Pentas lanceolata and Ximenia americana medicinal plants used to treat malaria traditionally in Kenya. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 5.
  5. Muthaura, C.N., Keriko, J.M., Mutai, C., Yenesew, A., Gathirwa, J.W, Irungu, B.N., Nyangacha, R., Mungai, G.M. & Derese, S. (2015) Antiplasmodial potential of traditional antimalarial phytotherapy remedies used by the Kwale community of the Kenyan coast. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 170: 148-157.
  6. Nyangacha, R.M., Gathirwa J.W., Muthaura C.N., Mungai G.M., Mwikwabe N., Ondicho J.M., Moindi E., Omar S.A., Rukunga G.M. & Maranga R.O. (2012). Antimalarial activity and toxicity evaluation of Kenyan Hugonia castaneifolia Engl. Teclea nobilis Del. and Turraea mombassana C.D.C. African Journal of Health Sciences, 23: 305-315.
  7. Gathirwa, J.W., Rukunga, G.M., Mwitari, P.G., Mwikwabe, M.N., Muthaura, C.N., Kimani, C.W., Kiboi, D.M., Nyangacha, R.M. & Omar, S.A. (2011). Traditional herbal antimalarial therapy in Kilifi district, Kenya. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 134: 434–442.

Dr. Sospeter Ngoci Njeru

Assistant Principal Research Scientist

Dr Njeru is a Medical Biochemist at the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Discovery. His research competence cut across the fields of Ethnopharmacology, Immunology, Cancer Biology and Stem Cell Ageing. In his doctoral training, he worked on screening & identification of novel ploidy regulators using shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 techniques. He further analyzed using mouse models the role of identified novel ploidy regulators on perturbation of stem & progenitor cell ageing, lipid homeostasis and various cellular signaling pathways. He has also prospected for novel herbal-based products with antitubercular, anticancerous and antimalarial activity. In his post-doctoral training, he developed an in-house method for T-cell repertoire library preparation for NGS analysis. He is also a mentor to young scientists in Africa through initiatives such DAAD (German academic exchange service), AG-career hub, and research awake Africa initiative (RAAI).

Presently, he is prospecting for novel drug compounds against tuberculosis, ESKAPE pathogens, cancer, Leishmania, as well as determining their molecular targets and their mechanisms of action using biochemical and multi-Omic approaches. Further with collaborators from Germany, he will be looking at the immune response to diseases such as leishmania and COVID-19, and the interplay between chronological and biological ageing.

Academic and Professional Qualifications
  • Post-Doc in Immunology
  • D. in Biochemistry
  • Sc. in Biochemistry
  • B.Sc. in Biomedical Science and Technology
Selected Publications
  1. Muema, J.M., Bargul, J.L., Mutunga, J.M., Obonyo, M.A., Asudi, G.O. and Njeru, S.N. Neurotoxic Zanthoxylum chalybeum root constituents invoke mosquito larval growth retardation through ecdysteroidogenic CYP450s transcriptional perturbations. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 2021: p. 104912. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048357521001437)
  2. Njeru SN*, Muema JM. Antimicrobial activity, phytochemical characterization and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of Aspilia pluriseta Schweinf. extracts. Cell PressHeliyon. 2020 Oct 8;6(10):e05195. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05195. PMID: 33083626; PMCID: PMC7551365. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33083626).
  3. Njeru SN, Kraus J, Meena JK, Lechel A, Katz SF, Kumar M, Knippschild U, Azoitei A, Wezel F, Bolenz C, Leithäuser F, Gollowitzer A, Omrani O, Hoischen C, Koeberle A, Kestler HA, Günes C, Rudolph KL. Aneuploidy-inducing gene knockdowns overlap with cancer mutations and identify Orp3 as a B-cell lymphoma suppressor. Oncogene. 2020 Feb;39(7):1445-1465. doi: 10.1038/s41388-019-1073-2. Epub 2019 Oct 28. PMID: 31659255.. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41388-019-1073-2.
  4. Chen Z, Amro EM, Becker F, Hölzer M, Rasa SMM, Njeru SN, Han B, Di Sanzo S, Chen Y, Tang D, Tao S, Haenold R, Groth M, Romanov VS, Kirkpatrick JM, Kraus JM, Kestler HA, Marz M, Ori A, Neri F, Morita Y, Rudolph KL. Cohesin-mediated NF-κB signaling limits hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal in aging and inflammation. J Exp Med. 2019 Jan 7;216(1):152-175. doi: 10.1084/jem.20181505. Epub 2018 Dec 7. PMID: 30530755; PMCID: PMC6314529, (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30530755/).
  5. Muema JM, Bargul JL, Nyanjom SG, Mutunga JM, Njeru SN (2016). Potential of Camellia sinensis proanthocyanidins-rich fraction for controlling malaria mosquito populations through disruption of larval development. Parasites & Vectors 2016, 9:512, DOI:10.1186/s13071-016-1789-6. http://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-016-1789-6.
  6. Sospeter Ngoci Njeru*, Meshack Amos Obonyo, Samwel Onsarigo Nyambati, Silas Mwaniki Ngari (2015). Antimicrobial and cytotoxicity properties of the crude extracts and fractions of Premna resinosa (Hochst.) Schauer (Compositae): Kenyan traditional medicinal plant. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-015-0811-4

Dr. Cecilia Wanjiku Kimani

Laboratory Analyst

Dr. Cecilia W. Kimani is a senior Laboratory Analyst and the acting Principal Analyst at the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research, KEMRI. Her academic background is in the field of Epidemiology. She attained her PhD on medical Science at the Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan in the program for Reduction of the burden of non-communicable diseases in Asia Pacific region. She also undertook an Exchange Research Program at the School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, St Mary’s Campus, Imperial College, London. She has published widely and presented research findings in major conferences such as; the World Health Summit Regional Meeting Asia, Kyoto; The Imperial College conference, London, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and EPILIFESTYLE Scientific Session, American Heart Association circulation in Portland, Oregon

Academic and Professional Qualifications
  • PhD, Shiga University of Medical Science, Medical Sciences in the program for Reduction of the  burden of non-communicable diseases.
  • MSc. Medical Epidemiology.
  • BSc. Medical Microbiology.
  • HND. Applied Biology.
  • Dip. Applied Biology.
Selected Publications
  1. Differences between Coronary Artery Calcification and Aortic Artery Calcification in relation to Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Japanese Men, Cecilia Kimani, Aya Kadota, Katsuyuki Miura, Akira Fujiyoshi, Maryam Zaid, Sayaka Kadowaki, Takashi Hisamatsu, Hisatomi Arima, Minoru Horie, Hirotsugu Ueshima, for the SESSA Research Group. J Atheroscler Thromb. May 2019, 1;26(5):452-464.
  2. Lifestyle Factors Related to the Difference in Serum Lipids Between Japanese -Americans in Hawaii and Japanese in Japan: the INTERLIPID Study, Cecilia Kimani, Aya Kadota, Katsuyuki Miura, Naoko Miyagawa, Nagako Okuda, Katsushi Yoshita, Masaru Sakurai, Akira Okayama, Hideaki Nakagawa, Shigeyuki Saitoh, Kiyomi Sakata, Beatriz Rodriguez, Kamal Masaki, Queenie Chan, Paul Elliott, Jeremiah Stamler, and Hirotsugu Ueshima. Circulation, 2017; 135, AP121
  3. In vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Methanol extracts of three Medicinal Plants from Kilifi District – Kenya. Korir, C. Kimani, J. Gathirwa, M. Wambura and C. Bii. Afr J Health Sci. September 20th,2012; 20:4-10
  4. Traditional herbal antimalarial therapy in Kilifi district, Kenya. J.W. Gathirwa, G.M. Rukunga, P.G. Mwitari, N.M. Mwikwabe, C.W. Kimani, C.N. Muthaura, D.M. Kiboi, R.M. Nyangacha, S.A. Omar. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 134, Issue 2, 24 March 2011, Pages 434-442.
  5. The Efficacy of a Cream Formulation from a Kenyan Medicinal Plant for Primary and Latent HSV Infection in Guinea Pigs. Festus M. Tolo, Geoffrey M. Rukunga, John M. Ochora, Charles N. Muthaura, C.W. Kimani, Jeniffer Orwa, Geoffrey M. Mungai. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 49, Supplement 1, 2010, Page S201.
  6. The in vitro anti-plasmodial and in vivo anti-malarial efficacy of combinations of some medicinal plants used traditionally for treatment of malaria by the Meru community in Kenya J.W. Gathirwa, G.M. Rukunga, E.N.M. Njagi, S.A. Omar, P.G. Mwitari, A.N. Guantai, F.M. Tolo, C.W. Kimani, C.N. Muthaura, P.G. Kirira, T.N. Ndunda, G. Amalemba, G.M. Mungai, I.O. Ndiege, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 115, Issue 2, 17 January 2008, Pages 223-231.

Dr. Sabina Wachira

Research Scientist

Sabina Wachira is an Assistant Principal Scientist in Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research. Her research interest is on application of chemistry to public health and healthy environment inclining toward drug discovery and bioanalysis, and also nurturing the next generation of research scientists in these fields. Currently she is a coordinator of drug discovery consortium with an aim of Mass Production of cancer drugs from Natural Product in Kenya.

Dr. Sabina is a PI of a project entitled “Mass Production of Scarce Cancer Drugs Vincristine and Vinblastine from Madagascar Periwinkle Cultivated in Kenya; Their Nano Formulation, Preclinical Studies, and Economic Viability”. She coordinates the project team in planting, quantifying, isolating and elucidating vinca alkaloids from Madagascar Periwinkle Cultivated in Kenya. She is a co- investigator of “A bioequivalent pilot study of a locally-produced brand of enalapril tablets:  an initial step of introduction of bioequivalent studies in East Africa”. She is responsible for the bioanalysis part of the project which includes optimization of the chromatographic conditions, methods development and validation, pharmacokinetics (PK) Analysis, samples preparation, interpretation & data analysis.

In addition, Dr. Sabina has done a number of cancer research and has trained PhD’s and MSc. Students. She has a PhD in chemistry from JKUAT and Post-doctoral training from University of Cambridge/ KEMRI/icipe.

Academic and Professional Qualifications
University of Cambridge/ Kenya Medical Research Institute/ International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) Post-doctoral training 01/2013 Natural Product Chemistry
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology PhD 07/2010 Natural Product /Chemical ecology Chemistry
University of Dar es Salaam MSc 11/2001 Natural Product Chemistry
University of Nairobi MAPPM 08/2013 Project Planning and Management
University of Nairobi B.Sc. Hons 12/1998 Chemistry major and Mathematics minor

 

Kenya Institute of Management PgDHRM 12/2003 Human Resource Management
Kenya Institute of Management Certification 10/2015 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
Kenya School of Government Certificate 10/2018 Strategic Leadership Development Programme (SLDP)

 

Ongoing Projects
  1. Mass Production of Scarce Cancer Drugs Vincristine and Vinblastine from Madagascar Periwinkle Cultivated in Kenya; Their Nano Formulation, Preclinical Studies, and Economic Viability
  2. Exploring possible synergistic anticancer properties of phytochemical constituents of some mushrooms and plants of western Kenya for their Medicinal potential towards cancer treatment and establish propagation methods
  3. Pre-Clinical Evaluation and Prototype Development of Natural Products or in Combinations with Hydroxychloroquine for Prevention and Management of Covid-19.
  4. Evaluation of antiproliferative Activity, Phytochemical Composition and Toxicity of Selected Plant Used in Traditional Medicine in Kenya
  5. Individual and Synergistic Antiproliferative Activity of Ocotea Usambarensis and Maytenus Obscura Extract on Abcg2 Protein of Selected Cancerous and Normal Cells
  6. A bioequivalent pilot study of a locally-produced brand of enalapril tablets:  an initial step of introduction of bioequivalent studies in East Africa
Completed Research Support
  1. 2011-2013 Wellcome Trust grant number 087540 Exploiting mosquito Phytoceuticals for malaria control: Two-year postdoctoral research fellowship. The project aim was to use mosquito as a guide to identify plants which can be used for further drug or insecticidal development. The plants which mosquitoes preferred to feed on in the field were targeted for the study. Role: PI
  2. 2011 Wellcome Trust grant, THRiVE 1st equipment grant for an insect growth chamber. Role: PI
  3. 2012 Wellcome Trust grant, THRiVE 2nd equipment grant for Microplate reader. Role: PI
  4. 2014-2018 Investigating Withania somnifera plant extracts for immune modulating potential in cancer management and establishing safety levels. Role: Co-PI
  5. 2013-2015 Safety and evaluation of anti-proliferative activity of Prunus africana, Warbugia stuhlmannii and Maytenus senegalensis in breast and tongue cancer cell lines. Role: Co-PI and a mentor
  6. 2011-2014 Exploiting Anti-Cancer Potential of Three Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Kenya. Role: PI
  7. 2017-2019 In Vitro And In Vivo Evaluation of The Medicinal Potential of Crude Extracts and Low Molecular Weight Peptides from Two Marine Invertebrates; Tympanotonus fuscatus var radula and Pachymelania aurita. Co-PI and a mentor
  8. 2013-2019 Evaluation of Anticancer Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Used for Management of Cancer by Traditional Medical Practitioners in Kenya. Co-PI and a mentor
Selected Publications
  1. Queensley Eghianruwa, Omolaja Osoniyi, Naomi Maina, Sabina Wachira, Regina Mbugua, Mabel Imbuga (2022). anti-inflammatory activity of (Muller) and var.(Linnaeus) whole body extracts in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated peritoneal macrophage cells. Biological letters 2021, 55(1–2): 3–16. Publishes 22 April 2022. DOI: (View Publication)
  2. Winfred Nassazi, Isaac O. K’Owino, Jacqueline Makatiani and Sabina Wachira (2020). Phytochemical composition, antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Rosmarinus officinalis leaves. French-Ukrainian Journal of Chemistry 8(2):150-167. (View Publication)
  3. Queensley Eghianruwa, Omolaja Osoniyi, Naomi Maina, Sabina Wachira, Mabel Imbuga (2020). Evaluation of Analgesic Activities of Extracts of Two Marine Molluscs: Tympanotonus fuscatus var radula (Linnaeus) and Pachymelania aurita (Müller). Journal of Pain Research 13:2739-2747. DOI: 10.2147/JPR.S271458 (View Publication)
  4. Winfred Nassazi, Isaac O. K’Owino, Jacqueline Makatiani and Sabina Wachira (2020). Phytochemical Composition, Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of African Basil (Ocimum gratissimumL.) Leaves. Asian Journal of Applied Chemistry Research 6(4): 1-18. (View Publication)
  5. Ng’etich Japheth, Swai Shaidi, Muturi Joseph, Wachira Sabina, Koech Lilian and Gathirwa Jeremiah (2020). Antimalarial potential and phytochemical composition of fractions of Lippia kituiensis Vatke (Verbenaceae) growing in Northern Tanzania. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 14(8), pp. 406-414. (View Publication)
  6. Queensley Eghianruwa, Omolaja Osoniyi, Naomi Maina and Sabina Wachira (2019). Bioactive Peptides from Marine Molluscs – A Review. International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review27(4), 1-12. (View Publication)
  7. Queensley Eghianruwa, Omolaja Osoniyi, Sabina Wachira, Naomi Maina, Regina Mbugua, Mabel Imbuga (2019). In vitro antiproliferative studies of extracts of the marine molluscs: Tympanatonus fuscatus Var radula (linnaeus) and Pachymelania aurita (muller). Int J Biochem Mol Biol;10(1):1-8. (View Publication)
  8. Onyancha JM, Gikonyo NK, Wachira SW, Gicheru MM (2019). Isolation and antiproliferative characterisation of bergenin from root extract of Uvariodendron anisatum Verdec (Annonaceae). Drug Discovery, 13, 55-78

Mr. Ngetich Japheth Kibet

Research Scientist

Mr. Kibet’s research interests are in Infectious Disease Research, specifically focused on research and development of new molecules for prevention and treatment of Malaria

Academic /Professional Qualifications

Mr. Kibet is a Biochemist by training with a Masters of Science in Global Health and Biomedical Science. Currently, he is PhD fellow at Nagasaki University

Selected Publications
  1. Antimalarial potential and phytochemical composition of fractions of Lippia kituiensis Vatke (Verbenaceae) growing in Northern Tanzania Ng’etich Japheth k ,Hulda Swai, Njoka Muturi, Lilian Koech, Sabina Washira, Jeremiah Gathirwa. (2019) International Journal of Medicinal Plants Research (https://doi.org/10.5897/JMPR2020.6936)
  2. Comparison of Freeze and Spray Drying to Obtain Primaquine-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Owuor, J. J., Oloo, F., Ng’etich, Japheth. K., Kivunzya, M., Omwoyo, W. N., & Gathirwa, J. W. (2017). Journal of Nanotoxicology and Nanomedicine, 2(2), 31–50. (https://doi.org/10.4018/JNN.2017070103)
  3. Comparative Anti-oxidant Activity of Aqueous and Organic Extracts from Kenyan Ruellia lineari-bracteolata and Ruellia bignoniiflora. Wangia, C., Orwa, J., Muregi, F., Kareru, P., Cheruiyot, K., & Ng’etich Japheth K. (2016). European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 17(1), 1–7. (https://doi.org/10.9734/EJMP/2016/29853)
  4. Anti-Oxidant Activity of Aqueous and Organic Extracts From Kenyan Ruellia Prostrata. Wangia, C., Wakori, E., Wangia, C. O., Orwa, J. A., Muregi, F. W., Kareru, P. G., Ng’etich Japheth K. (2017). Practical therapeutical drug quality control in Kenya-further observations Antiarthritic activity of Kenyan medicinal plants. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 8(3), 1282–1286. (https://doi.org/10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.8(3).1282-86)
  5. In vitro Antibacterial Activities, Safety Studies And Phytochemical Screening Of Dregea Schimperi Clark (Asclepiadaceae) Extracts.Jared, O. M., Ewt, W.,  Gervason, M. A., Bibianne, W. W., John, K. M., Lameck, A. N., & Ng’etich Japhet, K. (2017). World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research SJIF Impact Factor, 6523(7), 2277–7105. (https://doi.org/10.20959/wjpr20177-8758)
  6. In vitro Anti-Herpes Simplex Type-1 Virus Evaluation of Extracts from Kenya Grown Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) Alem, S., Tolo,  F.,  Adipo, N., Mwitari, P., Ng’etich Japheth, K., & Makokha, A. (2016).. European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 17(2), 1–8. (View)

Mr. Gabriel M. Amalemba

Research Scientist

Mr. Gabriel’s Research interests revolve around antimalarial bioassys which involves:

  • Revival of parasite plasmodium berghei in Swiss Albino mice from the -80 degrees’ refrigerator. This is done to maintain the plasmodium parasite in the animal model.
  • Infecting experimental animals (Swiss or Balb/c mice 20-22gms) of weight with 0.2ml of inoculum.
  • Drug administration during 4-day suppressive test experiments/bioassays.
  • Determination of chemosuppression of test drugs i.e. medicinal extracts and record mortality if the animals.
Academic /Professional Qualifications
  • M.Sc. Medical Microbiology (Ongoing)
  • B.Sc. Chemistry

Ms. Lilian Cherotich Ng’eny

Senior Research Scientist

Ms. Lilian Ngeny is a research scientist at the Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research, in the biological division. My broad research interest is in identifying novel products for the treatment or prevention of human diseases.

Ms. Lilian has contributed to research in bio-prospecting of natural products with antimalarial efficacy in vivo and antimicrobial activity. She is currently participating in research evaluating herbal-based products and foods for their anti-cancer properties

Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry (On-going)
  • M.Sc. in Biochemistry
  • B.Sc. (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Selected Publications
  1. Nicholas Kimutai , Elizabeth W. Njenga , Pascaline Jeruto , Janet Kosgey , Jonah N. Kipkorir , Charles Mutai , Lillian Ng’eny , and Richard Korir (2015). Antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of selected medicinal plants found in Nandi County, Kenya. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics 4 No. 3 Pages 86-91.
  2. Lilian C. Ngeny, Esther Magiri, Charles Mutai, Nicholas Mwikwabe and Christine Bii (2013). Antimicrobial properties and toxicity of Hagenia abyssinica (Bruce) J.F.Gmel, Fuerstia Africana C.E. Fries, Asparagus racemosus (Willd.) and Ekebergia capensis Sparrm. African Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Vol. 2 No. 3 Pages 76-82.
  3. A. Orwa, L. Ngeny, N.M.Mwikwabe, J.Ondicho , I.J.O.Jondiko (2013). Antimalarial and safety evaluation of extracts from Toddalia asiatica (L) Lam. (Rutaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 145: 587–590

Ms. Albina Makio Oboya

Research Scientist

Ms. Albina is a research scientist with more than 10yrs of experience in the study of arthropod-borne viruses and respiratory viruses, outbreak investigation and diagnostics production. She has isolated and studied more than 20 strains of arthropod-borne viruses during routine surveillance and in outbreak situations in Kenya. She was recently involved in the isolation of SARS-CoV-2 virus and is currently testing selected local plants for their antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 virus. She has participated in outbreak investigation of the Rift Valley Fever virus, Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Virus and ZIKA virus under the US Army Medical Research Directorate-Kenya and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya, USAMRD-K and CDC-K respectively.

Her interests are in studying host-pathogen (virus) interactions at a cellular level, pathogenesis of these viral infections, determination of antiviral activity and formulation of antiviral agents from selected local plants and herbs and development of diagnostics for detection of viral infections.

Her masters’ project was in the production of monoclonal antibodies using hybridoma technology and polyclonal antibodies for the development of Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays for detection of O’nyong-nyong virus in Kenya.

Ms. Albina was part of the frontline team for laboratory testing of COVID-19 infections at the CDC under the auspices of KEMRI and MOH

Academic/ Professional Qualifications
  • MSc. Medical Virology, Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID)-Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
  • BSc. Biochemistry major, Zoology minor – Egerton University
  • Post graduate diploma, Project Management- Kenya Methodist University
Selected Publications
  1. Hunsperger E, Odhiambo D, Makio A, Alando M, Ochieng M, Omballa V, et al. Zika virus detection with 2013 serosurvey, Mombasa, Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Jul
  2. Joel Lutomiah, Roberto Barrera, Albina Makio, James Mutisya, Hellen Koka, Samuel Owaka, Edith Koskei, Albert Nyunja, Rodney Coldren, Rosemary Sang (2016) .Dengue Outbreak in Mombasa City, Kenya, 2013-2014: Entomologic Investigations. PLOS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Oct 26; 10(10)
  3. Konongoi, L., Ofula, V., Nyunja, A., Owaka, S., Koka, H., Makio, A., Koskei, E., Eyase, F., Langat, D., Schoepp, R. J., Rossi, C. A., Njeru, I., Coldren, R., & Sang, R. (2016). Detection of dengue virus serotypes 1, 2 and 3 in selected regions of Kenya: 2011-2014. Virology journal, 13(1), 182.
  4. Joel Lutomiah, Lillian Musila, Albina Makio, Caroline Ochieng, Hellen Koka, Edith Chepkorir, James Mutisya, Francis Mulwa, Samoel Khamadi, Barry R. Miller, Joshua Bast, David Schnabel, Eyako K. Wurapa, and Rosemary Sang. Ticks and Tick-Borne Viruses from Livestock Hosts in Arid and Semiarid Regions of the Eastern and Northeastern Parts of Kenya, Journal of Medical Entomology 2014 51 (1), 269-277.
  5. Caroline Ochieng, Joel Lutomiah, Albina Makio, Hellen Koka, Edith Chepkorir, Santos Yalwala, James Mutisya, Lillian Musila, Samoel Khamadi, Jason Richardson, Joshua Bast, David Schnabel, Eyako Wurapa, Rosemary Sang. Mosquito-borne arbovirus surveillance at selected sites in diverse ecological zones of Kenya; 2007 – 2012, Virol J. 2013; 10: 140. Published online 2013 May 10. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-10-140
  6. Victor O. Ofula, Alan B. Franklin, J. Jeffrey Root, Heather J. Sullivan, Patrick Gichuki, Albina Makio, Wallace Bulimo, Bernard O. Abong’o, Muchane Muchai, and David Schnabel, Detection of Avian Influenza Viruses in Wild Waterbirds in the Rift Valley of Kenya Using Fecal Sampling, Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases Journal Volume 13, Number X, 2013
  7. Rosemary Sang, Joel Lutomiah, Hellen Koka, Albina Makio, Edith Chepkorir, Caroline Ochieng, Santos Yalwala, James Mutisya, Lilian Musila, Jason H. Richardson, Barry R. Miller, David Schnabel (2011). Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus in hyalommid ticks, Northeastern Kenya, Journal of Emerging infectious diseases, 17, No.8-August 2011.
  8. Joel L. Lutomiah, Hellen Koka, James Mutisya, Santos Yalwala, Milka Muthoni, Albina Makio, Samson Limbaso, Lillian Musila, Jeffrey W. Clark, Michael J. Turell, Elizabeth Kioko, David Schnabel, and Rosemary C. Sang (2011). Ability of Selected Kenyan Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Species to Transmit West Nile Virus Under Laboratory Conditions. Journal of Medical Entomology, 48(6):1197-1201. 2011
Academic/Professional Qualifications
  • BSc. Biochemistry and Chemistry

Ms. Alice Mugure Wanyoko

Research Scientist

Alice is a young scientist with an interest in drug discovery from indigenous plants that would be useful in current medicine globally.

Currently,Ms. Mugure is involved in Malaria work.