JKUAT Don Recognized by KENET as Top Researcher

Dr. Sheila Ommeh

Dr. Sheila Cecily Ommeh (pictured left), a researcher at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), has been recognized by the Kenya Education Network (KENET) as the top female researcher at the university.

The announcement, communicated through the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, was signed by KENET’s Executive Director and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Prof. Meoli Kashorda.

A Molecular Geneticist and an authority in poultry, Dr. Ommeh, was recognized for her “publications captured in the Elsevier Scopus database over the period 2015 – 2020 in all subject areas,” the letter states.

The subject areas cited include; Animal Science and Zoology (15.1%), Molecular Biology (8.2%), Genetics (8.2%), and others (68.5%).

According to KENET, Dr. Ommeh, who is in-charge of the Animal Biotechnology Section in the Institute of Biotechnology Research (IBR), published 32 publications with 387 citations.

Alongside the recognition, KENET presented Dr. Ommeh with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 being the organization’s recognition for her contribution in research productivity in Kenya.

An elated Dr. Ommeh thanked God for the recognition stating it was as a result of concerted effort and hard work, not only by her, but also other players who made it possible for her to attain the achievement.

Dr Ommeh particularly thanks JKUAT management for the research fund that enabled her to set up Animal Biotechnology Research through the flagship indigenous poultry project. This is alongside funding from the International Foundation of Science (IFS).

She has graduated 10 Masters and 3 PhD students who undertook studies in poultry and poultry related birds like chicken, Geese, Guinea fowls, Quails, Ducks and Pigeons.

Under her mentorship, most of these graduates have been able to publish in peer refereed journals that have been cited globally.

Dr. Ommeh further extended her appreciation to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Kunming Institute of Zoology (Chinese Academy of Sciences) under the Sino-Kenya collaboration through whose partnership has enabled her realize her work being published and cited globally, especially in the areas of genomics of livestock and domesticates.

Other organizations she appreciated for her achievement included the National Museums of Kenya, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Irrigation, Kenya Wildlife Services, University of Nairobi and all other international collaborators and individuals.

Signs to become a global researcher started way back in 2014 when, as a research fellow at the University, Dr. Ommeh was appointed to represent Africa at the Scientific Training Advisory Board of the Genomics Analysis Centre, United Kingdom, where she joined a team of six other scientists at the Board that was mandated to deliberate and advise the Centre on training current and next generation of scientists in genome analysis and bioinformatics.

Further, in the same year, working together with Dr. Johnson Kinyua, Dr. Steven Ger Nyanjom (JKUAT) and other international scientists, Dr. Ommeh succeeded in sequencing tsetse fly genome of the sleeping sickness disease vector that was slated to make a major contribution in the control of trypanosomiases. This was published in the Science journal with an impact factor of 41.8 from the ISI Web of Science metrics.

Recently, KENET ranked JKUAT top amongst Kenyan universities in the “Usage of the KENET Remote Teaching Platform.”

Prof. Ngumi (left) hands over the KENET award to Dr. Ommeh.

According to communication from KENET to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, May 12, 2021, the announcement made during the virtual 2020 annual Heads of Institutions forum, gave JKUAT a thumbs up and awarded the institution a certificate for the top ranking nationally amongst universities in recognition of its outstanding usage of technology in teaching and learning.

While presenting the award to Dr. Ommeh on behalf of KENET, Prof. Ngumi hailed her as a research champion whose efforts have put the university on the global map.

“The University is proud of what you are doing and I urge you to continue flying the University flag even higher,” said, Prof. Ngumi.

The Vice Chancellor urged other researchers to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Ommeh and work towards realizing the University’s vision to be “A University of Global excellence in Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Development.” 

Also read a related story at https://www.jkuat.ac.ke/jkuat-ranks-top-among-kenyan-universities-in-remote-teaching




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