Dr. Eunice Nduati


Prof. Thumbi Ndung’u Prof. Shane Crotty

I joined the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Nairobi working on antimalarial drug resistance. In 2005 I transferred to Kilifi to pursue my interest in the immunology of infectious diseases under the Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite (BiolMalPar) Ph.D. training programme. This was a collaborative programme with time spent between the UK and Kenya. My thesis was on understanding host immune responses, specifically B-cell regulation in malaria. On returning to Kenya, I was awarded 6 months funding by BIOMALPAR/European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL) a European Union Initiative to understand the role of soluble factors, such as the B cell activating factor (BAFF) on B-cell differentiation and function. I then successfully obtained a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship, which supported my work on B-cell regulation in HIV infection and exposure. The aim of this work was to understand whether exposure to HIV virus or antigens, antiretroviral drugs and/or an altered placental cytokine milieu, in utero, affects the developing immune system in infants born to HIV infected mothers but are themselves not infected. In HIV infection, I have been involved in understanding B cell phenotypic and functional changes in HIV infected children. Currently I hold a mid-career fellowship with the IDeAL program at KWTRP and working within the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)-Vaccine Immunology Science and Technology for Africa (IAVI-VISTA) consortium, which has established longitudinal HIV cohorts. My work involves understanding adaptive immune responses, specifically T cell and B cell functions in early HIV infection and how this may impact on subsequent disease outcomes.