Meet the 2019/20 IDeAL MSc Fellows

December 18, 2019

We are proud to welcome the 21 MSc fellows who joined us this year. The fellows are undertaking various masters programmes including immunology and bioinformatics.

In line with our mandate and commitment to churn a critical mass of African research leaders, our Masters Studentship Scheme seeks to support talented students registered at local universities to complete their research project training component as well as support the students to pursue taught courses at Pwani University.

Over the last 4 years, we have enrolled 84 fellows in our different training schemes, 60 of whom have completed their training. While we pride ourselves for this great achievement, our emphasis goes beyond numbers. We are keen to see a large proportion of our fellows transition to the next level on the research career ladder.

Learn more about these future research leaders that are at the forefront of driving Africa’s research agenda.

William Ilua Muasya

The complexities of the human body in protecting us against infections has been a subject of interest since childhood.  Understanding the pathogenesis of infections is fundamental in finding solutions to the high disease burden and improving the outcome for diseased individuals. The longing to contribute to malaria elimination globally shaped my research journey towards understanding gametocytes and the involved immune responses against them. My project aims at identifying molecules that can help reduce transmission of malaria and thus crucial in the attainment of the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030 (GTS) goals. Furthermore, it will guide towards the development of transmission-blocking vaccines that are useful in blocking transmission in malaria-endemic regions.

William is fascinated by how the human body works and the utilisation of technology to improve medical research. This inspired him to pursue Medical biotechnology with Information Technology at Maseno University. In 2018, he completed a Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Health Research Methods at Pwani University in collaboration with KEMRI-Wellcome Trust. He worked on the kinetics of gametocyte expression in individuals undergoing controlled human malaria infection (CHMI). His interests lie in understanding the immunology of infectious tropical disease and vaccine development. He seeks to identify novel antigens on the surface of gametocyte-infected erythrocytes that could be utilized as transmission-blocking vaccines in malaria.

Martha Luka

Respiratory disease is still among the leading causes of death among children under the age of 5 years and human rhinovirus (HRV) is a commonly isolated respiratory pathogen. My master’s research project aims at elucidating HRV transmission pathways in Kenya using whole-genome sequence data. This will inform computational models which can be used to predict potential outbreaks and assess the effectiveness of public health outbreak management and prevention measures. Given the abundance of HRV, understanding its transmission can also be used as a proxy for other less frequent, but more severe respiratory viruses.

Martha holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi and a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Health Research Methods from Pwani University. She worked as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist at the Nairobi Hospital and interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya. As an IDeAL PGD fellow, she worked on the molecular characterization of human rhinovirus among school-going children. This experience equipped her with numerous molecular and computational skills, and as a result, she won an EANBiT scholarship to pursue an MSc in Bioinformatics at Pwani University. Her research interests are pathogen genomics, virology and data visualization.

Kashero Kaingu

My aspiration is to have a prosperous community that makes informed decisions about their welfare. My experience in the Department of Health as a Community Health Officer revealed that this aspiration cannot be realized in a society ravaged by diseases and ill health. To address this one is prompted to take a historical or rather a scientific journey to understand the genesis of diseases and ill health. This journey, however, is next to impossible if one lacks the necessary skills and knowledge and therefore to equip oneself with these tools, goes a long way. The desire for such a society, therefore, has been my drive.

Kashero is currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Public Health at Pwani University. His project is on Educational outcomes in the context of HIV amongst adolescents in Kilifi titled Educational Outcomes and their correlates among HIV Infected, HIV-Exposed and HIV Unexposed Uninfected Adolescents in Kilifi, Kenya’’. His inspiration towards doing a Master’s in Public Health and a project that gives emphasis to adolescents living with HIV is embedded on the view that there has been little effort on these adolescents which in turn will affect the educational and health outcomes of the general population in the near future and something needs to be done to salvage the situation.

Bernadette Kutima Ataku

My exposure to immunology during my undergraduate studies got me fascinated about the broad spectrum of fields where the subject may potentially be applied. Traditionally, its application is biased to study of diseases, but I am curious about immunology’s usefulness in my other fields of interest including the use of bacteriophages against antibiotic-resistant bacteria in biomedical settings and the related host immune responses to the viral agents once exposed. The potential use of DNA vaccines to help the immune system develop protection from a disease and the use of nanotechnology in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases as seen in various article. My research project is centred around improving the well-being of individuals around the globe. Studying and testing candidate proteins that could be instrumental in the production of a good vaccine against Dengue is vital as the virus has for years contributed to huge losses and will continue to do so if not prevented through vaccination. Data from my research will be useful in determining candidate epitopes for vaccine development against Dengue virus.

Bernadette Kutima holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Microbiology from Pwani University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Immunology. Her study focuses on producing protective Dengue virus envelop proteins for immunological screening. Her research interest entails understanding the biology of organisms of importance to public health and their use in vaccine development.

Elizabeth Indeje

Born in a malaria-endemic region, I once encountered a severe malaria episode.  Over the years I witnessed how community members, mainly children, suffered from malaria which in some instances resulted in death, however, some were never infected despite similar exposure. My interest in studying Immunology was to understand how the body defends itself by mounting a protective immune response, the immune evasion mechanisms of pathogens as well as immune variations in individuals.

Elizabeth Indeje holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Pwani University. Her research focus is on investigating the effects of nutritional status on immunity and vaccine responses in Kenyan children. Her current interest is understanding malnutrition, immunity in infants, and vaccine humoral responses with the desire to understand how malnourished children respond to vaccines in the quest to provide mechanistic insights, which can be utilized in designing interventions targeted to alleviate malnutrition to complement vaccination in children and thus improve their health.

Matano Emmanuel Rumba

When I was in high school, I longed to work in the health sector. I applied for a BSc. Science at Pwani University and majored in Zoology. During my third year, I was introduced to immunology, one of the taught units, and this sparked a strong interest and an ideal entry into health research. Later on, I was successfully awarded a competitive attachment position at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi.  I did a mini-project in immunology to familiarize myself with the flow cytometry technique which fascinated due to its ease of use in cell identification. Upon completion of my attachment, I kept yearning for an opportunity to return to the Programme in order to learn more. Fortunately, I won a Masters studentship in immunology, a perfect opportunity to achieve my career goal.

Emmanuel pursued BSc. Zoology for his undergraduate studies at Pwani University and is now on his second year doing MSc. Immunology under the IDeAl studentship scheme. His study is on understanding the role of Plasmodium falciparum extracellular vesicles (PfEVs) on host immune regulation specifically the role of PfEVs on host immune downregulation as a mechanism for immune evasion by the malaria parasite which has been shown to happen in other infections such as cancer. He is working towards becoming an independent health research scientist who can not only identify a research problem but a solution as well. He has a strong interest in extracellular vesicles.

Roselyne Nguti

I did a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Immunology and this was one of those fascinating courses during my studies. The laboratory techniques in the master’s programme were inviting since the exposure facilitated communication to patients about diagnosis and prognosis. My research aims to accelerate the attainment of the third SDG goal; ‘End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases by 2030.’ Specifically, I will focus on malaria as one of the areas of concern in the SDG. This I hope to do by adding to the existing body of knowledge on immunity to malaria. The findings of my research could help in the development of a more effective vaccine to be used against malaria.

Roselyne pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Nairobi and is an MSc. Immunology student at Pwani University. Her project focuses on how individuals develop immunity to malaria: The goal is to establish whether some individuals have a characteristic antibody – which contains a particular insert termed LAIR1. She is interested in understanding how this antibody affects the individuals’ responses to an infection with the parasite that causes malaria.

Robert Mugendi Mugo

During my undergraduate studies, I developed a passion for infectious disease.  I have been constantly looking for opportunities to enhance my immunological and scientific research knowledge. Through my experiences at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Kilifi during my Post-Graduate Diploma course, I learned of the increasing antigenic diversity and rampant immune evasion by infectious diseases. This has significantly enhanced my zeal in immunology as a key to curbing the increasing burden of infectious diseases in developing countries. I strongly believe that it’s only through advanced knowledge in the immunity to infectious diseases, that we will be able to develop highly effective vaccines. Coupled with my career inspirations and passion to develop a vaccine(s) against infectious diseases, I believe this timely MSc in immunology will greatly facilitate my career objectives. I wish to continue advancing my knowledge in immunology by undertaking a PhD in Immunology of Infectious Diseases aiming to become a world-class research leader.

Robert holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University and Bachelor’s Degree from Kenyatta University.  He is currently an MSc Immunology student at Pwani University in collaboration under IDeAL studentship. He aims to determine the kinetics and longevity of RTS,S/ASO1 induced complement-fixing antibodies, this will be essential in the development of a highly efficacious and long-lasting Malaria Vaccine. Previously worked on sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Rotavirus strains, to find out whether there is potential for the development of vaccine escape mutants. Robert is passionate about understanding immunity to infectious diseases, specifically Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Mercy Wanjiru

I liked working in the molecular biology lab at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). However, the most exciting moments were the times I stared at my screen wondering how to go about analyzing the data. This led to my decision to enrol in a statistics course. I have always been intrigued by the medical field and I believe that being a medical researcher will place me at the knowledge hub. Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death by a single infectious agent and is in the top ten causes of death globally. Ending the global tuberculosis epidemic has therefore been one of the goals in the SDGs. Previous studies have reported that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of Tuberculosis. Possible mechanisms underlying this association include the role of vitamin D in the immune functions against TB. My study aims to determine whether there is a causal relationship between vitamin D status and TB. Results from this study may help in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.

Mercy holds a BSc. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree from South Eastern Kenya University. She previously worked as a molecular laboratory assistant at icipe where she also did an introductory course in bioinformatics. She is currently enrolled at the University of Nairobi where she is pursuing an MSc in Biometry. She is undertaking a project aimed at investigating the relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and Tuberculosis. She is excited that her project cuts across three major fields in medical research: Infectious diseases; nutrition; medical statistics. She is positive that the diverse skills she will gain, plus the mentorship will be sufficient to steer her into her aspired health research career.

Berrick Otieno

I aspire to be neuroscience researcher a dream I have harboured since childhood. Growing up in rural Siaya, I interacted a lot with people living with epilepsy and there are myths around causes and treatment of epilepsy in Siaya.  In a setting where the majority are semi-literate and economically unstable, dealing with epilepsy is a challenge with many resorting to traditional healers. My degree in nursing provided a platform to gain a deeper understanding of the disease as well as associated risks, and its management. A Master’s in Public Health exposed me to a world of health research and I was challenged to view public health issues in socio-economically and cultural dimensions. The urge of being a neuroscience researcher was reinforced through my master’s research on the association between electroencephalographic features and neuropsychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy.

Berrick has a background in BSc Nursing and Public Health from Pwani University and holds a certificate in Health System Management from Pwani University/IDeAL. He has done research related short courses on including systematic literature review offered through Cochrane Interactive Learning and Management of Human Resource for Health (HRH), a program offered by MoH-Kenya/USAID. 

John  W. Oketch

Upon my graduation, I engaged in health research applying Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology techniques in molecular Epidemiology studies. However, my exposure has been limited due to the lack of bioinformatic skills. I, therefore, seek to develop strong bioinformatics knowledge and skills to contribute to the analysis of complex genomic data and generate bioinformatics tools that will aid in genomic data analysis and contribute to health research. Respiratory viruses are a major global concern as emerging pathogens contribute significantly to the pneumonia burden. My project seeks to understand the patterns of spread and virus relatedness of respiratory viruses specifically Human metapneumovirus and Respiratory Syncytial virus across Africa, using sequence data from five African countries (Kenya, Mali, Zambia, the Gambia and South Africa). This study will inform on the evolution and spread characteristics of the two viruses and inform on potential control strategies.

John holds BSc. Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate from Kenyatta University, Kenya. He is undertaking a project aimed at comparison of the patterns of spread of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Africa using virus sequence data.  He is passionate and keen to build a solid scientific career in biomedical research; specifically, he is interested in the genetics of human infectious diseases.

Joy Kabagenyi

When I was in grade 7 I attended to my mother in the hospital and I met a surgeon whose work ethics and evident commitment to “fight diseases” amazed me. I wanted to join in the fight. I wanted to discover drugs so that people are never stuck in the hospital with incurable diseases. Upon graduation, I was introduced to immunology and worked with the Immunomodulation and Vaccines programme at MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit on projects that aimed to understand immune profiles to diseases and vaccines. It is here that I developed a keen interest in the possibility of using computational methods to understand host and pathogen interactions and how these influence disease dynamics thus enrolling for an MSc in Bioinformatics. Vaccination is one of the measures that has shown great success in reducing the global burden of infectious diseases and thereby improving public health. Understanding immune development towards common infections in infants is key to vaccine design and my project will contribute data towards this aspect.

Joy is an IDEAL and EANBiT funded student pursuing an MSc in Bioinformatics. She holds a BSc. (Biology) from Kyambogo University- Uganda. Currently, she is undertaking her research project under the Viral Epidemiology and Control group at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust. Her project aims at profiling immune responses to common and emerging infections in infants during the first years of life.  Before joining IDEAL, she worked with the Immunomodulation and Vaccines programme at MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. While there she worked on various projects that aimed to understand immune profiles to vaccines such as BCG and MVA85A, and infections such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus and how helminth infections influence these profiles. Her interest in using computational methods to understand host and pathogen interactions specifically integrating pathogen genomics and host functional genomics, as a way to contribute knowledge to vaccine and drug development.

Moses Njagi Mwaniki

I’m a curious person with a professional background in software engineering. While in it I got interested in the code of life itself, genomes. I found the problems in Biology fascinating because exist at many levels, microscopic to ecological, in an ever-changing environment and with many coexisting solutions. I, therefore, started to explore computer science applications in biology and biological data which somewhat naturally led me to  a masters degree in Bioinformatics The current methods of representing genome information introduce bias and lose variation information. My masters’ project involves exploring graph-based methods of representing genomic diversity moving us closer to a genomic representation with diversity inherent in it and even the promise of a personalized genome. Being awarded 10 months to focus on genome graphs is a privilege that I cannot take for granted. I really like the topic I’m studying and I’m looking forward to contributing to how genomes are represented at the lower levels not only in viruses but for other species as well.

Njagi holds an undergraduate degree in Informatics from Moi University and currently working towards a master’s degree in Bioinformatics at Pwani University. He worked for two years in Software Engineering before moving into Bioinformatics where he’s working on exploring virus genomic data using various graphs using currently existing software and developing new tools. He strongly believes in the ability of variation graphs to represent sequence data and that the current methods used to represent sequence data will be replaced by methods that inherently represent variation and wants to be there when the change occurs.

Cecillia Nafula Wechessa

Growing up, I watched a lot of TV particularly health and investigative series such as CSI, Bones and Greys Anatomy. This developed my curiosity for science and a constant need to help people. However, later on I learnt about HIV, cancer and I just could not understand why it was so difficult for the body to fight them off yet we were equipped with our own defense. I, as a result, naturally acquired curiosity on things to do with the immune system and all the loops that terminal illnesses use. What better way than being an immunology Guru. However, quality research always seemed to be in the West and I like Kenya best. Thus I promised myself that should I find an opportunity to develop not only Kenya but Africa I will grab it with both hands. This need to develop not only Kenya but Africa as a whole and the need to seek understanding of the immune system is what has inspired me. The need to make Africa rely on its own researchers and research works and the need to train more African immunologists.

Growing up, I had the constant need to give a helping hand to people and interest in scientific research. This led me to pursue a degree in Biochemistry at Egerton University. Currently, I am a student at Pwani University under IDeAL Immunology Masters Studentship.  I started off as a volunteer at a local dispensary and high school.  I later joined The Institute of Primate Research for my personal attachment and acquired skills on molecular work, tissue processing and Immunological techniques. Later on, I joined Nyumbani Diagnostic Laboratory for my Industrial Attachment where I gained basic medical laboratory skills. For my internship I was trained on procedures such as phage therapy and microscopy, just to mention a few, at IPR. My primary interest lies on understanding the human immune system in relation to emerging non- communicable diseases and how such knowledge can be used to improve the well-being of the African population.

Christine Kalekye

They say dreams are the seed of reality. Ever since I was in grade 6, I dreamt of studying biomedicine. From where I come from, I saw some of my best friends and family succumbing to complicated diseases which could not be diagnosed early, and the feeling of being powerless at those times greatly saddened me. My dream was then set to venture into a study that would guide me into understanding these diseases and to device an elimination strategy that would cumber them. When I lost my first born due to respiratory infection, I could not understand how such an infection would take away my baby while there have been many researches on RSV and other respiratory infections. I wished there was some vaccine or drugs which would have helped out. I took Microbiology for my undergraduate and did most units in Immunology. My greatest goal now is to find cure, vaccines or therapies to common diseases which have become an enigma in our society, and it will be achieved through my Masters in Immunology.

Kalekye did her undergraduate studies at Kenyatta University and holds a BSc in Microbiology having graduated with a First Class Honors. She interned with GreenLife International where she worked as a marketer for herbal medicine. She amassed gained knowledge on herbal medicine from local plants. She has interned with Equity Bank as a Wings to Fly program alumnus and a full-time mentor under Equity Leaders Program (ELP). Her current area of interest is pharmacogenomics of antimalarials in response to P.Vivax and P.falciparum, which she is enthusiastic to start on once she finishes her course work. 

Hannah Wanja Kimingi

The desire to become a leading research scientist in the aspect of infectious diseases inspired me to pursue a course in Medical Microbiology for my undergraduate studies. During this period, I got exposed to vast research work being carried out in KEMRI, Nairobi, in the different departments from this, I found research almost indescribably fascinating. After graduating in 2017 I secured a chance at the Institute of Primate Research (IPR), this helped refine my career goals of becoming a biomedical research scientist. I secured an opportunity to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods. During my Postgraduate Diploma, I gained a lot of experience and developed a strong interest in immunology.  The opportunity will help me advance in research to achieve my professional goals in contributing to the improvement of human health and the achievement of health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3) through biomedical research. In the long run, it will facilitate in addressing pertinent issues affecting the wellbeing of society both now and in the future.

Hannah graduated with BSc. Medical Microbiology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She’s an MSc Immunology student at Pwani University under IDeAL. She is a former PGD student where she was working on understanding the role of antibodies against P. falciparum variant surface antigen. Prior to being a PGD fellow, she volunteered and gained Biomedical laboratory experience at the Institute of Primate Research. During her undergraduate, she gained Microbiology, Molecular, Immunological and Serological lab work experience from KEMRI, Nairobi, and Thika Level 5 Hospital.

Jeremiah Waswa Wanyama

I have learnt to appreciate immunology as a field in life science in solving life problems. My inspiration to immunology is providing answers for the many questions in HIV where I seek to learn more on the host cell and virus interactions mechanisms thereby enhancing gene silencing therapy. My master’s research will help me address and provide scientific data on infectious diseases like HIV and thereby providing awareness and communication and designing of cheap immunological tools for clinical diagnostics.

Jeremiah is a master’s student in Immunology at Pwani University under IDeAL- KEMRI. He holds a bachelor’s degree in BSc in Biochemistry from Pwani University. During his BSc degree, he did a research project addressing the health side effects of triclosan based antiseptic soaps to the immune system. He did his internship at the Institute of Primate Research. He aspires to be a senior research scientist in the area of viral immunology, especially in HIV infection in addressing the gene silencing in targeting the transmission mode of the virus. 

John Nderitu Kimotho

During my primary school days, a classmate of mine developed this rash on his skin and we all avoided contact with him. The teacher later confirmed the disease as Measles. She advised that had if we received medication, then we would not contract the disease. She further added that our friend will never get the disease again. The whole notion of how we are protected from measles if we received medication and our classmate never contracting the disease again was very confusing and at the same time fascinating. I aspired to someday try to figure out what our teacher meant. I developed an interest in biology at high school and had a lot more interest in Immunology based units in College. I even did an undergraduate research project based on Immunology. This brings me to what am doing, MSc. Immunology. By now, I have figured out what the teacher meant. I believe vaccines are the biggest innovations that man has invented. If we had vaccines for all the life-threatening diseases, then diseases like HIV and Cancer would not be a bother. The MSc. Immunology will equip me with diagnostic and research skills necessary to perform clinical research on vaccine development to improve disease control.

John has a background in BSc. Medical Laboratory Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi. He is also a licensed Laboratory Technologist by the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists board. Before his studentship, he worked as a Laboratory Technologist where he gained laboratory technical skills. He has done clinical attachments at Kenyatta National hospital and Mbagathi District Hospital. His interest lies in the area of vaccine development which he believes to be the smartest human invention ever. He is interested in malaria vaccine development which has proven troublesome over the years. He foresees himself holding a PhD within 5-10 years and at the same time leading a research group in a research institution or an academic institution.

Lewis Murugu Mukiiri

My interest in science started when I was young, a drive that can partly be linked to loads of science fiction and medical drama films I watched. During my third year in college, I got the opportunity to work at KEMRI’s Center for Respiratory Disease Research (CRDR) for my industrial attachment. My four months stay at CRDR cemented my interests in biomedical research. I interacted with an array of scientists working on diverse projects. The lab experience was sensational. Every time I sat behind a biosafety cabinet working on science, I was in my element! I came across a lot of information about the incredible research work and training opportunities at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and IDeAL via social media. However, it is the TED video by Prof Faith Osier on the key to a better malaria vaccine that really spoke to me. Evidently, malaria remains a health concern in Africa. The current vaccine is not highly effective.  Therefore, Africa desperately needs a pool of trained scientists to address our health problems. My IDeAL Masters in Immunology studentship is designed to contribute to the growing pool of young African scientists. Apart from research work, I have keen interests in pedagogy. My advanced training will enable me teach young scientists and mentor many into biomedical research. Such efforts are profoundly geared towards the elimination of poverty and disease while promoting science in Africa.

Lewis graduated from the University of Nairobi with a BSc in Microbiology & Biotechnology. He started his journey in science by volunteering at Githongo Sub-county hospital, Meru. He has acquired basic medical lab skills and participated in community outreach programmes for diabetes awareness.  Prior to joining IDeAL, he worked as a Research Assistant with JHPIEGO in the Postpartum Family Planning (PPFP) Choices Study. He was involved in coordinating with facility clinicians to identify and recruit eligible participants in the study. He has special interests in understanding malaria and human host immune responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens and how such knowledge can be used to address the need for an effective malaria vaccine.

Lynn Nanjala Fwambah

Growing up I had a close friend born and living with HIV. This gave me a secondhand experience of the effects of the condition. I was too young to understand, but thinking about it in retrospect, I realise the magnitude of HIV. Her body wasted away and her school attendance went from bad to worse. She faced stigma as a result of stereotypes and misconceptions associated with HIV. Unfortunately, she died because her family was not able to provide treatment for her. My keen interest in the immunology of infectious diseases, especially, HIV immunology stemmed from this experience. These personal experiences are a reality check that disease statistics are not just numbers but actual people with morbidities that affect their day-to-day lives. This is my incentive to work harder to make life worth living for everyone.

Lynn is currently an MSc Immunology student. She graduated top of her class from the University of Nairobi with a BSc Biochemistry First Class Honours. She was later awarded a studentship by IDeAL to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods. Her PGD thesis was a systematic review of the effects of haptoglobin in bacterial infections. Her interests lie in HIV immunology and she would like to focus on determining what immunological and genetic factors that elite controllers possess that enable them to suppress HIV viral load without antiretroviral therapy. This information may be useful in identifying possible vaccine candidates.

Daisy Chelangat

I love adventure and research so, I wanted a course that would drive me through diverse fields handling different issues every other time. This began right in high school where I participated in the Science Congress of the Kenyan schools and was able to write and defend several projects. The course in statistics involves handling research data from different disciplines and this has been made even better now that I have entered the medical research field. This inspires me to go on in the journey as I will handle data from different medical studies. I am currently modelling trends in hospital admissions due to diarrhoea and dehydration. I hope to be a better statistician at the end of my study period as I realize my research career.

Daisy is pursuing a master degree in Applied Statistics at the University of Kabianga. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied statistics with computing from Maasai Mara University. She is studying time trends of diarrhoea and dehydration admissions to Kenyan hospital following the introduction of the Rotavirus Vaccine. Her interest is in understanding other underlying factors that could be affecting the trends in hospital admissions other than the introduction of the vaccine. One of her aspirations is to develop strong statistical models that would detect possible underlying factors, affecting the trend.