The Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL) is a high-quality training programme designed to develop outstanding young African scientists into world-class research leaders. It is hosted by KEMRI – Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya. IDeAL is available to young researchers, from Undergraduate Research Attachments to Postdoctoral Fellowships, with the aim of keeping scientists at African institutions through a defined programme of recruitment, supervision, mentorship, multidisciplinary approaches and clear career paths.

It is part of 11 other Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science in Africa (DELTAS Africa) initiatives funded the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) and supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the UK Government.

The IDeAL Team comprises of over 200 people including fellows, mentors, supervisors, and the secretariat.

More about the schemes under IDeAL are discussed under the Programmes Page.

IDeAL builds on previous capacity strengthening activities at the KEMRI – Wellcome Trust Research Programme. As illustrated in figure below capacity building at the Programme has gone through different phases. During the earliest phase, 1989-2008, the emphasis was on building core structures to support research and training including high quality laboratory, clinical, field and ICT infrastructure. As these core structures expanded there was a gradual increase in the number of local researchers training at Masters and PhD levels, albeit on an ad hoc basis.  It eventually became clear that there was need to develop a coherent framework to manage and scale up research training activities at the Programme. This was achieved through the awarding of a Strategic Award amounting to 12 Million Pounds by the Wellcome Trust. The award supported research training activities from 2008 to 2015.

As a result of the Award capacity building activities in the Programme  expanded markedly. In addition, the award facilitated the centralisation and harmonization of capacity building management by providing a secure financial base that enabled long term planning of career paths.

In brief, between 2008 and 2015, 52 students were support to undertake PhDs and also received a further one year Postdoctoral support. 32 of these are Postdoctoral Reseachers at KWTRP and elsewhere while 8 are lecturers in local Universities. 5 have already received Wellcome Trust Training Fellowships.  88 people were supported for Masters training either directly or through support leading to the successful application for external Masters Fellowships (e.g. the Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowship). We have provided internships to  172 recent Kenyan graduates. Over 30 of who have now progressed through the research training to Postdoctoral level. Majority of the rest are either research assistants or Masters students elsewhere.

Importantly, work supported by the SA has contributed to development of a number of health policies and practice guidelines  in Kenya and Globally particularly for prevention and treatment of early childhood illnesses. In addition, it has been presented in over 200 conferences and resulted in over 300 peer-reviewed publications (>150 first author papers – >50  in journals with an Impact Factor of >4,  and > 150 non-first author papers – >30  in journals with an Impact Factor of >4.

Vision

African-led research solving African and global health issues

Mission

To generate a critical mass of African Research Leaders

Objective

Attract – To attract young African to research

Train – To provide high quality research training

Retain – To support the retention of African researchers in the Continent

Nurture – To nurture emerging African research leaders

Dr. Sam Kinyanjui

Dr. Sam Kinyanjui is the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kenya and the Director for the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL). Prior to current position he pent 16 years doing research on the immunology and molecular biology of malaria parasites. During this period he developed a strong interest in capacity building for health research in Africa.
As the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KWTRP in Kenya he provides scientific, and strategic guidance for academic training towards research leadership. His key achievement has been the development and implementation of a comprehensive research career framework for attracting, training and retaining African research leaders. Through the framework Dr. Kinyanjui has overseen the training of over 200 graduate interns, the majority of who have taken up a research career after the internship. This scheme has now been developed into a nationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods. He has also overseen over 100 Masters and over 70 PhD training since 2008. In 2015 Dr. Kinyanjui was awarded a further 8 million pounds by the Wellcome Trust/DIFD to build on this work through the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL)
Regionally, Dr. Kinyanjui is involved in advocacy for increased commitment to building research capacity in Africa by both African governments and funding agencies. In 2006 he worked at the African Union Headquarter promoting health research agenda within the Union. He also sits on the advisory boards of several African capacity building initiatives including MUIIplus, SSACAB, SANTHE and the TDR Global Community Adhoc Workgroup.

Dr. Francis Ndung’u

Dr. Francis Ndung’u

Francis did his earlier education in Nairobi, Kenya, before proceeding to the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK, where he did his PHD in immunology with Dr Jean Langhorne and Prof Kevin Marsh. He was awarded the PHD in 2005, after which he took up a post-doctoral training position at the same institute, and was successful at implementing a new programme of research in quantifying antigen-specific memory B cells in a mouse model of malaria. He moved back to Kenya in 2008 as post-doctoral researcher, with the aim of obtaining own funding to start and build a research group. His main areas of interest are: (i) immunological memory to malaria in historically infected individuals, and, (ii) hosts factors responsible for increased susceptibility to P falciparum malaria in a small proportion of children that experience excessively more malaria than expected.

Liz Murabu

Liz Murabu

Liz Igombo-Murabu is the students’ administrator for IDeAL and KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. Her role is vital in ensuring the smooth and efficient management of the training of nearly 80 academic trainees ranging from school leavers and undergraduates attachees, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters, and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows funded under IDeAL.

She joined the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in 1996 and has served in different capacities within the Programme. She has been the training administrator since 2008 supporting both academic training and continuing professional development of over 800 staff. She also holds a HND in Executive Assistance, a Diploma in Administrative duties from Cambridge International College, UK, and a Certificate in Computer Operations and Business Applications from The Mombasa Polytechnic. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor degree in Executive Business Administration Programme with specialisation in Management and Administration with Cambridge International College, UK, and a certificate on Leadership and Management in Health Systems with the University of Washington.

Rita Baya

Rita Baya

Rita Baya joined KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in June 2012 and currently holds the position of an Administrative Assistant. She is tasked with Office management, Interface administrative functions of various projects, Travel Management from Reservations, transfers, travel authorization documents, Itinerary coordination, foreign & local travels, Organize & coordinate logistics for local and international meetings, trainings, seminars, workshops, conferences. Documentation i.e. reports, filing and documents archiving. She has over 5 years’ experience in Administration and holds a Bachelor degree in Administration from Kenya Methodist University.

Charles Kamau

Charles Kamau

Prior to joining the IDeAL Management team, Charles was an IDeAL Fellow where he graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods offered jointly by Pwani University & KEMRI – Wellcome Trust. His PgDip project focused on the situational analysis of Blood Transfusion Services in the Coastal Region of Kenya which in detail described the supply of blood by the Mombasa Regional Blood Transfusion Services  and usage at Kilifi County Hospital.

Charles has a background in Nursing and Public Health and is currently undertaking a Science Communication Professional Course with the University of the West of England, UK.

He has over 5 years of free lance communication experience spanning from events to social media to TV and Radio. He is currently responsible for all Communication related activities within the Initiative.

David Ngui

David Ngui

David Ngui joined KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in November 2013 and is currently tasked with producing both internal management reports and grant donor reports with a key focus in ensuring timely, accurate and complete recording, reporting of financial transactions according to accounting best practice and donor reporting guidelines. He has over 5 years’ experience in auditing and finance, having previously worked as an Audit Assistant and Assistant Accountant in auditing and micro-finance institutions in Kenya.

He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at Kenyatta University.

Pascal Mbamungu

Pascal Mbamungu

Florence Kirimi

Florence Kirimi

Florence Kirimi joined the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in August 2016 as the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for IDeAL. She is responsible for implementing the Monitoring and Evaluation activities of the Training Department, assisting the Head of Training in monitoring the Department’s activities on a regular basis, developing and maintaining the Department’s MIS and for collecting and analyzing different data in relation to the Department’s activities. She also prepares periodic reports on the training activities including those supported under IDeAL grant.

She holds a Masters’ Degree in Public Health with over 5 years’ experience in implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation for development projects which include developing M & E Plans, logical frameworks, output, monitoring and impact indicators for projects, participating in regular project reviews, Preparation of annual progress reports for feedback to donors and other stakeholders.

Dr. Alun Davies

Dr. Alun Davies

Alun Davies has over 20 years experience in science education, health research and community engagement in Kenya: nine years as a science and senior teacher at urban and rural schools in Kenya; followed by eleven years as a researcher at KWTRP. Prior his current post, Alun managed an HIV research project in Kilifi, employing 50 staff at three sites to initiate HIV clinical trials. Alun’s current role in community engagement draws on a combination of his experience in education and health research towards facilitating engagement interactions between researchers and school students. Over the past six years, Alun has established a ‘Schools Engagement Programme’ (SEP) which facilitates interactions between researchers and up to 1000 students form 25 schools a year. The activities are aimed at promoting positive attitudes towards science among secondary school students; and promoting mutual-understanding between health researchers and the community. SEP has also enabled Kilifi students’ views to be incorporated into the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party report on Ethical Issues for Research Involving Children. Alun’s current research explores ways of evaluating engagement with health research using a combination of quantitative, qualitative and participatory approaches.

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Dr. Martin Rono

Current Students

Tony Isebe -

Past Students


Dr. Agnes Gwela

Current Students

Faith Kamau -

Past Students


Dr. Amin Hassan

Current Students

George Makau -

Past Students


Dr. James Njung’e

Current Students

Sydney Mwasambu -

Past Students


Dr. Jacquie Narosto Oliwa

Current Students

Sabina Odero -

Past Students


Jacquie is a paediatrician and clinical epidemiologist, currently pursuing her PhD studies at the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her interests lie in health systems research, specifically use of implementation science theories to improve quality of care to sick children. Her PhD work involves understanding and improving case detection of tuberculosis (TB) in children, including use of new and emerging diagnostic tests.

Her past research work involved being an investigator on a large multi-site clinical trial on treatment of severe pneumonia in children and an observational study on optimising diagnosis of TB in children-both contributed to policy change in Kenya. She was also the lead in a project implementing use of donated medical equipment and best clinical practice guidelines to improve quality of care in maternal, new-born and child health in several hospitals in rural Kenya.

She serves on the Paediatric TB Technical Working Group, advising the Kenya National TB Programme on matters pertaining to childhood TB. She was involved in updating the Paediatric TB guidelines, developing a training curriculum and delivering training to health care workers in Kenya. She is also a member of the Union of Lung Health and the WHO Child TB subgroup-involved in global child TB policies.

Dr. Julie Jemutai

Current Students

Dismus Kombe -

Rebecca Njuguna -

Past Students


Julie is an IDeAL Early Career Postdoctoral Researcher with interests in applying and developing econometric and mathematical models. Her PhD research assessed technical efficiency and the effect of ownership in public and faith-based hospitals in Kenya. Her current focus is in economic evaluation of treatments for severely acute malnourished children as part of the FLACSAM (First Line Antimicrobials in Children with Complicated Severe Acute Malnutrition) Trial. She is particularly interested in assessing cost effectiveness of antibiotics administered to severely acute malnourished children. Her research work also aims to investigate the economic burden of antimicrobial resistance among children with severe acute malnutrition.

Dr. Kui Muraya

Current Students

Maureen Okinyi -

Past Students


Kui Muraya is a Post-Doctoral Social Scientist at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya with a particular interest in gender & health and social science research more broadly. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree (majoring in Psychology & Anthropology) from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and an Honours Degree in Health Sciences (General Practice) from the same institution. For her Honours Degree she undertook research work on the experiences of intimate partner violence amongst African refugee women who had been resettled in Australia. She obtained her PhD in Public Health and Social Care from the Open University, UK in 2014. Her PhD focused on exploring the interaction between household gender relations and community-based child nutrition interventions; with a focus on the implementation and use of such interventions. More recently she was a co-principal investigator in a multi-country study exploring gender and leadership within health systems in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. She currently plays a leading role as a social scientist in one study site (Nairobi) of a multi-country study exploring (socioeconomic, cultural and household) factors that contribute to post-hospital discharge mortality in acutely ill undernourished and well-nourished children; with a goal to develop targeted actionable interventions to lower mortality. Her other research interests include qualitative research methods, health systems research, research uptake and communicating research evidence, and translation of research evidence into policy.

 

Dr. Marta Maia

Current Students

Martin Wagah -

Past Students


Dr. Sam Kinyanjui

Current Students

Nadia Tagoe -

Emma Khaemba -

Past Students

Gulatoon Teresa -


Dr. Sam Kinyanjui is the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kenya and the Director for the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL). Prior to current position he spent 16 years doing research on the immunology and molecular biology of malaria parasites. During this period he developed a strong interest in capacity building for health research in Africa.
As the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KWTRP in Kenya he provides scientific, and strategic guidance for academic training towards research leadership. His key achievement has been the development and implementation of a comprehensive research career framework for attracting, training and retaining African research leaders. Through the framework Dr. Kinyanjui has overseen the training of over 200 graduate interns, the majority of who have taken up a research career after the internship. This scheme has now been developed into a nationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods. He has also overseen over 100 Masters and over 70 PhD training since 2008. In 2015 Dr. Kinyanjui was awarded a further 8 million pounds by the Wellcome Trust/DIFD to build on this work through the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL)
Regionally, Dr. Kinyanjui is involved in advocacy for increased commitment to building research capacity in Africa by both African governments and funding agencies. In 2006 he worked at the African Union Headquarter promoting health research agenda within the Union. He also sits on the advisory boards of several African capacity building initiatives including MUIIplus, SSACAB, SANTHE and the TDR Global Community Adhoc Workgroup.

Dr. Francis Ndung’u

Current Students

Diana Nyabundi -

Jacqueline Mutai -

Rowland Osii -

Past Students


Francis did his earlier education in Nairobi, Kenya, before proceeding to the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK, where he did his PHD in immunology with Dr Jean Langhorne and Prof Kevin Marsh. He was awarded the PHD in 2005, after which he took up a post-doctoral training position at the same institute, and was successful at implementing a new programme of research in quantifying antigen-specific memory B cells in a mouse model of malaria. He moved back to Kenya in 2008 as post-doctoral researcher, with the aim of obtaining own funding to start and build a research group. His main areas of interest are: (i) immunological memory to malaria in historically infected individuals, and, (ii) hosts factors responsible for increased susceptibility to P falciparum malaria in a small proportion of children that experience excessively more malaria than expected.

Dr. Alun Davies

Current Students

Past Students

Stephen Mwaniki -


Alun Davies has over 20 years experience in science education, health research and community engagement in Kenya: nine years as a science and senior teacher at urban and rural schools in Kenya; followed by eleven years as a researcher at KWTRP. Prior his current post, Alun managed an HIV research project in Kilifi, employing 50 staff at three sites to initiate HIV clinical trials. Alun’s current role in community engagement draws on a combination of his experience in education and health research towards facilitating engagement interactions between researchers and school students. Over the past six years, Alun has established a ‘Schools Engagement Programme’ (SEP) which facilitates interactions between researchers and up to 1000 students form 25 schools a year. The activities are aimed at promoting positive attitudes towards science among secondary school students; and promoting mutual-understanding between health researchers and the community. SEP has also enabled Kilifi students’ views to be incorporated into the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party report on Ethical Issues for Research Involving Children. Alun’s current research explores ways of evaluating engagement with health research using a combination of quantitative, qualitative and participatory approaches.

Dr. Anja van’t Hoog

Current Students

Dr. Jacquie Narosto Oliwa, MBChB -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Anja obtained a medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1993. After having worked as a resident medical officer in internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics in several Dutch hospitals, she completed the Dutch course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam in 1996 and moved to western Kenya. She was a general medical officer in two rural hospitals near Kakamega and joined the KEMRI/CDC program in Kisumu in 2000. While working on programs to establish services in Kisumu for the prevention of maternal-child HIV transmission, HIV counseling and testing, and HIV care and treatment, she developed an interest in epidemiology. She completed an MSc in epidemiology through the external programme of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2005 and became involved in tuberculosis epidemiology. As the local co-principal investigator she coordinated all aspects of the tuberculosis prevalence survey and other studies described in this thesis. She also was the coordinator of a grant from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership to conduct cohort studies and build site capacity in preparation for tuberculosis vaccine trials. She became the head of the TB research branch that was established at the KEMRI/CDC research and public health collaboration in Kisumu in 2007. In 2010 she relocated to the Netherlands to focus on the completion of this thesis at the department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Informatics at the Academic Medical Centre, and joined the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development in July 2011 as a postdoctoral fellow / epidemiologist. She intends to continue her career in the field of global health, TB and HIV, and to work in Africa again in the future

Prof. Michaël Boele van Hensbroek

Current Students

Dr. Jacquie Narosto Oliwa, MBChB -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Michael Boele van Hensbroek, Professor of Global Child Health and paediatric infectious disease specialist, is a staff member of the Emma Children’s hospital, Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam. He previously worked in The Gambia (1991-1995), conducting randomized controlled trials on the treatment of severe malaria in children. The research was based at the MRC research laboratories and was part of collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of Amsterdam. This was followed by a 5-year (1996-2000) training period in pediatrics. In 2000 he obtained a Wellcome Trust career development fellowship to study the aetiology, pathogenesis and outcome of severe anemia in Malawian children. During his fellowship he was based at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratories in Blantyre, Malawi, conducting his research and working as a consultant in Pediatrics at Queens Elisabeth Central Hospital. In 2005 he (as P.I.) obtained a grand from the Dutch government to develop a Research Support Centre (RSC) at the University of Malawi and conduct a series of related intervention trials on severe anaemia prevention. In 2005 he returned to the Emma Children’s hospital to become the Head of the Global Child Health Group, pediatric advisor for Doctors Without Boarders (MSF) and to complete his training in Pediatric infectious diseases. In 2013 he was appointed Professor in Global Child Health at the University of Amsterdam. His is currently principle investigator of a € 2,8 million project of developing a network of RSC’s in Southern Africa in order to build local research capacity and of €1,0 million grant on studying the etiology of Nodding Syndrome in South Sudanese children. Finally he is co-principle investigator of a large program in Kwara state, Nigeria evaluating the impact of a health insurance system on maternal and child health. This program includes household surveys and randomized studies.

Maureen Njue

Current Students

Past Students

Gulatoon Teresa -

Eva Mwangome -


Affiliation(s):

KEMRI – Wellcome Trust, Kenya

Maureen is a Research Officer working within the Health Systems and Research Ethics Group at KWTRP, Kilifi. She currently coordinates the activities of the research ethics group as well as conducts action research to support ethics across the Kilifi programme. She currently chairs the Communication and Consent Committee (CCC) an Institutional review committee that reviews aspects of consent and communication for all new research proposals developed at the programme.Her main research interests are around research ethics focusing on consenting processes for a wide range of research studies and participants. She’s done research around benefits and payments in research and the findings informed the institution’s guidelines on Benefits and Payments which are actively used to inform practice when planning for benefits.Currently, she’s undertaking a study exploring the perceptions of participants within a Malaria Challenge study. She has a Project Management certification from Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) and a Master’s degree in Public Health (Health Services Research) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.

Prof. Anneloes van Baar

Current Students

Derrick Ssewanyana -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands

Prof. Kara Hanson

Current Students

Dr. Kenneth Munge, MBChB -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

My research has focused primarily on the economics of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. I have done research on hospital sector reforms in Uganda and Zambia, focusing on the implications of two-tier pricing for equity of access to hospital services. I am interested in the role of the private sector in health systems, and in identifying the opportunities and limitations of the private sector in improving the efficiency, quality and responsiveness of health systems.  I work with a DFID funded project on education systems research, contributing insights from the development of health systems research methods.  I am co-Research Director of RESYST – Resilient and Responsive Health Systems , which is a UK-DFID funded research consortium bringing together researchers from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Vietnam and the UK. Our programme includes research on health financing, health workers and governance and leadership in the health sector.

My second area of focus is the economics of malaria control interventions. In particular, I am interested in understanding better how to expand access to interventions that have been shown to be cost-effective. Recent activities in this area include the ACTWatch Project, studying the market for antimalarial medicines and a linked grant from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to estimate the demand for antimalarials; and economic evaluations of a range of interventions addressing malaria in pregnancy; and the Independent Evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility-Malaria, which is an innovative financing mechanism for antimalarial drugs.

I am a member of the Centre for Evaluation, the Malaria Centre, and the Centre for Global Noncommunicable Diseases.

In January 2015 I was appointed Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy.

Prof. Anna Färnert

Current Students

Akua Botwe -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Dr. David Gathara

Current Students

Past Students

Vivian Nyakangi -

Mathias Zosi -


David is a post-doctoral researcher with the Health Systems Research Department (HSRD) at KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) Nairobi. He holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD from the University of Amsterdam.
Since joining KWTRP in August 2008, his research work has spanned a range of disciplines including, clinical trials, evaluation of quality of care within hospitals and exploration of the application of various statistical methods (propensity score analysis, multi-level models and statistical process control) to routine data.
David helped lead the development, database design and coordination of country wide quality of care surveys of 22 hospitals in 2012. He played a key role in setting up the Clinical Information Network before taking up the position of post-doctoral researcher and co-PI on work as part of the Health Services that Deliver for Newborns Project. In this project he is developing work on how to evaluate the quality of nursing care as well as evaluating service delivery and access.
He has broad interests’ health informatics and its integration with epidemiology to monitor disease trends, interventions effects, identify quality of care gaps and the use of this data for effective decision making. In addition, he has interests in human resources for health more specifically the nursing workforce and how this influences the quality of care provided.

Prof. Dejan Zurovac

Current Students

Beatrice Amboko -

Past Students


Affiliation(s):

KEMRI – Wellcome – Trust, Kenya

Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Dejan is an epidemiologist and lead scientist of Malaria Case Management and Drug Evaluation Group within the Department of Public Health Research of the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 1997 he has worked in several African countries as a medical doctor, health programme manager and public health researcher within the field of malaria control and the quality of health service delivery. He is translational scientist working in close collaboration with Ministry of Health’s National Malaria Control Programmes. Dejan is affiliated to the University of Oxford, UK and Boston University, USA and is member of several national and international advisory and technical working groups on malaria case management, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and operational research.

Prof. Amina Abubakar

Current Students

Derrick Ssewanyana -

Dorcas Magai -

Patrick Katana -

Past Students

Jane Wangui -

Esther Chongwo -

Agnes Mutua -

Patrick Mwangala -


Amina is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Health at Pwani University, Kenya and a Research Fellow at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Programme. She co-leads the Neuroscience research group at KEMRI-WTRP. She is also an honorary fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK. She holds the prestigious MRC/DfiD African Research Leaders award. In 2016, she was awarded the Royal Society Pfizer Award. Her main interests are in the study of developmental delays and impairments among children exposed to various health problems such as HIV, malnutrition and malaria. A focus in her work is the development of culturally appropriate strategies for identifying, monitoring and rehabilitating at-risk children. Prof Abubakar has been instrumental in developing various culturally appropriate measures of child development that have been used in many African countries. In addition, she is also interested in examining the prevalence of and risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically ASD, within the African context. Prof. Abubakar has given guest lectures, and workshops largely focusing on cross-cultural research methods in various countries, including Cameroon, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain. She has (co)-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She has served on technical working groups, and forums for various international organizations including the World Health Organization, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (USA), Save the Children, and Autism Speaks. She is actively involved in capacity building for African Scientists; she has supervised Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD students in Kenya. She has also supervised PhD students from South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.