IPR

Reproductive Health and Biology Profile

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In 1975 under the directorship of Dr Jim Else interest was generated in the development of a primate research centre for biomedical research in the country and funding was acquired from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the regional primate research centres in the USA (first through Oregon and later Yerkes) and from the World Health Organizations (WHO) Special Programme in Human Reproduction. A proposal by the then Director IPR, Dr Jim Else to World Health Organization (WHO) in 1980, to breed 500 monkeys for biomedical research, was approved, leading to the Government of Kenya allocating land in Oloolua forest in Feb 1981 for this purpose. In April 1983, IPR moved from Tigoni to Oloolua forest and WHO hired consultants for expanding the monkey colony and undertaking research in human reproduction.
The department conducts both basic and applied research aspects of reproductive health including reproductive biology, anatomy and physiology, immunology, pathology and fertility mechanisms.

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These are aimed at understanding both human and non-human reproductive functions and enhancing primate conservation. The research efforts have led to the development of non-human primate models, particularly the baboon, to study specific aspects of reproductive health including contraception, in vitro fertilization, semenology, sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex virus that causes cervical cancer. This is as a result of our establishment that phylogenetically, the baboon is closer to humans and therefore a suitable model for testing the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of contraceptives and new drugs for reproductive diseases and disorders.

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OUR RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

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IPR

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT

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Name: Dr. Jael Apondi Obiero
Title: Head of Department
Academic Qualifications: BSc: B.Ed Science (Bot/Zoo), Egerton University, MSc: Mammalian Physiology (UoN), PhD: Medical Microbiology (UoN)
Area of Expertise: Infectious Diseases of reproductive Health, Contraceptive Research, Systematic Reviews and meta-analysis, Vaginal and Gut Microbiota, Antimicrobial resistance, Bacteriology & Molecular Biology

Reproductive Health and Biology

SCIENTISTS PROFILE

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Senior Research Scientist II

Dr. Almas Ramadhani Juma

Academic Qualifications: BSc Medical Bioscience - Monash University (Australia), BSc Biotechnology - Monash University (Australia), Honours in Genetics (Australian MSc equiv.) - Monash University (Australia), PhD Physiology - La Trobe University (Australia) Area of Expertise: Investigating the molecular mechanisms governing male infertility. Teaching, training and mentorship (former university lecturer) and Molecular Biology experience. Molecular biology work: genetically modified animal research (mice and zebrafish), PCR, qPCR, genotyping, DNA and RNA sequencing, In-situ gene expression studies (immunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridisation, LacZ staining) bacterial and mammalian cell cloning and culture, gene knockdown (morpholino studies) and organism developmental studies.
Director IPR Senior Research Scientist I

Dr. Peter Gichuhi Mwethera

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc – Kenyatta University, MPhil – University of Bristol, UK, PhD - University of Bristol, UK AREA OF EXPERTISE: Molecular Biology, In-vitro fertilization, Research and Innovation, Product Development, Cancer Research, Entrepreneurship
Chief of Research

Dr. Atunga Nyachieo

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc: - JKUAT, MSc – KU-Leuven, Belgium PhD - KU-Leuven, Belgium AREA OF EXPERTISE: In-vitro fertilization, Molecular Biology, Mechanisms of human diseases, Phage Biology, Endometriosis, Contraceptive Research, Systematic Reviews and meta-analysis
Senior Research Scientist I

Dr. Pius Aoko Adoyo

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc - UoN MPhil – University of London, UK PhD – University of London, UK AREA OF EXPERTISE: Molecular Biology Cancer Research
Senior Research Scientist II

Dr. Joseph Muiruri Kamau

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BVM – UoN MSc – Molecular Genetics UoN PhD – Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases Hokkaido, Japan AREA OF EXPERTISE: Molecular epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Diagnostics One Health

Dr. Jashon Mwenda

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; PhD – Liverpool, UK

Dr. Kem Githui

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc – Biochemistry, UoN MSc – Biochemistry, UoN PhD – University of Georgia,
Senior Research Scientist II

Dr. Stella Irungu

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc: Biomedical Technology (UoN) MSc: Medical Microbiology (Middlesex University, UK) PhD: Biomarker Discovery and proteomics (University College London, UK) AREA OF EXPERTISE: Biomarker discovery & Proteomics
Research Scientist II

Dr. Sharon Cherotich Chepkwony

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS; BSc: BEd (Science) Bio/Chem, KU MSc: Immunology (KU), PhD: Vet Science (Ghent University) AREA OF EXPERTISE: Immunology and Virology
Reproductive Health and Biology

DEPARTMENTAL NEWS

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Alu Leap May Explain Why Apes Don’t Have Tails

he presence of a transposable element might explain how humans and our great ape cousins lost our tails about 25 million years ago. 

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