My vision is to “Make Malaria History”. I lead two core teams of over 25 scientists across KEMRI–Wellcome, Kenya and Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. Our 15 projects focus on creating highly effective malaria vaccines. We designed an innovative custom protein microarray KILchip ©, a first of its kind in Africa. We built a SMART network of Partners that enabled us to assemble 10,000 samples from across Africa to probe our chip, the largest study of this nature. We anticipate transformative results! We spend ~$1M annually supported by Wellcome, UKRI, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, EDCTP, DELTAS Africa and Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA).
As part of the Executive Management at the KWTRP, I provide oversight for teams comprising ~800 individuals across Africa. We conduct multidisciplinary research in human health from ethics to clinical trials and post-registration monitoring of pharmaceutical interventions. We liaise with local governments and regional economic communities, turning research into policy, towards UHC. Our five-year budgets exceed $120M supported principally by Wellcome, the BMGF, UKRI and DfID.
I am President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (> 60,000 members globally) – the first African and only second woman in this role. I have won multiple prestigious prizes including the Royal Society Pfizer, the Sofja Kovalevskaja and the UKRI-MRC/DFID African Research Leader Awards. I am a 2018 TED Fellow and a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. I serve on Boards and Expert Committees at the WHO, Wellcome, UKRI, MVI-PATH & BactiVac. I have a global footprint as a keynote & motivational speaker. I am an Official #TOGETHERBAND Ambassador for the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being. I am passionate about emerging African scientists as key agents of change, delivering the health interventions our continent urgently needs.