A molecular parasitologist studying malaria and parasitic neglected tropical diseases (such as soil-transmitted helminths) impacting Africa. Understanding the molecular basis of these diseases will aid the development and use of diagnostic and surveillance tools for their control and elimination.
As a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences I supervise Masters and PhD students’ research within the College of Health Sciences. Currently, I have projects investigating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and disease. The first examines the association of β-tubulin gene SNPs of soil-transmitted helminths (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms) with the drug resistance phenotype.
Albendazole has been used continuously in Kenya for mass drug administration in the Kenya National school-based deworming programme. An upsurge in drug-resistant mutant helminths would be a threat to albendazole efficacy.
Other projects explore whether SNPs in the human SH2B3 (LNK) and angiotensin II receptor genes may be associated with essential hypertension (EH). The rationale is to determine whether these mutations that have been detected in non-African populations may contribute to the onset of EH in Kenyan populations. All these projects were supported by research funds from the Africa-ai-JAPAN Project at JKUAT.
In addition to research activities as Project Manager, I contributed to the design, renovation, naming and operationalization of the Small Animal Facility for Research and Innovation (SAFARI), the new JKUAT rodent housing facility for research and training. This is open to for researchers within and beyond JKUAT.
- British Society of Parasitology
- African Society for Laboratory Medicine