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The Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development (CBRD) is one of the research centers of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The Centre is located within the KEMRI Headquarters complex in Nairobi.

The Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development (CBRD) is one of the research centers of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The Centre is located within the KEMRI Headquarters complex in Nairobi.


To improve human health and quality of life through
research, capacity building innovation and service delivery


To be a leading Centre of excellence in research for human health


  1. To apply modern science and biotechnology to discover, develop and improve tools and strategies for diagnosis, prevention and control of major human diseases in Kenya and the region
  2. In addition, the Centre co-ordinates and advises on issues related to basic biomedical and biotechnological research, pre-clinical studies, quality control and bio-safety. The Centre also provides specialized laboratory services and expertise to the scientific community and the general public. It also mentors, trains and supervises both undergraduate and post-graduate students from local colleges and universities.
  3. To improve our basic understanding of the biology of disease causing agents of public health importance in Kenya and the region, including their responses to intervention (e.g. drugs or vaccines), host responses and diseases processes (e.g. immunity, pathogenesis, patho-physiology, host-pathogen interactions), and disease epidemiology.


  1. Analysis of CD4/CD8 T-cells in HIV/AIDS as a service to the scientific community and to the general public,
  2. Training in flow cytometry technology,
  3. Training of university undergraduate and polytechnic students on industrial attachment,
  4. Research training for university post-graduate students,
  5. Supply vertebrate animals (mice, hamsters, guinea pigs) for research or teaching purposes to interested researchers or institutions.

Ongoing Projects

  • Current research in the Centre focuses on HIV/AIDS, malaria, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and lymphatic filariasis. Research expertise includes molecular parasitology, molecular entomology, cellular immunology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and malacology.Broadly speaking, research in CBRD aims to develop and improve diagnostic assays, to understand immune responses and disease processes, to characterize pathogens and their responses to chemotherapeutic interventions, to understand vector biology and ecology, develop strategies for pathogen and vector control, and to exploit biodiversity for the discovery of new drugs against diseases.


  • Stem Cell Research which seeks to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for cancer and diabetes with the goal of reducing the economic burden of medical care, thus making it more accessible
  • Lymphatic filariasis research involving epidemiological surveys on Lymphatic filariasis in Coastal Kenya to determine the impact of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in this Lymphatic filariasis endemic area and development of a new Point of Care (POC) diagnostic kit for Lymphatic filariasis for use in the resource limited settings.
  • Malaria Research involving malaria prevalence studies and surveillance for antimalarial and insecticide efficacy and resistance in Kenya so as to inform policies on malaria control and treatment through provision of quality data to ensure that only quality and effective antimalarials and insecticides are in use. Additional research is in the development of new malaria diagnostic tools and of novel antimalarial and insecticidal compounds.
  • Leishmaniasis Research includes disease surveillance and epidemiological studies with the goal of identifying new foci of leishmaniasis transmission and thus control to reduce disease transmission, evaluation of anti-leishmania activity of a novel compound in the mouse model and in vitro and anti-leishmaniasis vaccine studies.
Dr. Luna Kamau

Dr. Luna Kamau, is a Molecular Entomology and Ecology Researcher with over 21 years’ experience in research and training in vector biology and control. She has held numerous research grants in the field of molecular and population genetic studies of disease vectors, vector ecology and behaviour, insecticide resistance, development and testing of new tools for vector identification, analysis and control. She is widely published and has played a key role in supervised and mentored students and upcoming scientists in the field. Dr. Kamau also serves as the Deputy Director, Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development at KEMRI. Dr. Kamau holds a PhD in Molecular Entomology, a Master’s degree in Immunology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).
 Principal Investigator, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant: Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis genetic diversity and association with insecticide resistance in Kenya, 2019 – 2020.
 Principal Investigator, Kenya Government Research Grant: Mapping emerging infectious diseases in Kenya within the context of climate change, 2019 -2020.
 Co-Principal Investigator & Mentor, Kenya Government Research Grant: Occurrence, density & insecticide susceptibility of Anopheline mosquitoes in cluster regions of Isiolo County (PI Stanley
Kitur), 2019 – 2021.
 Co-Principal Investigator, Swedish Research Council: Vector Control by Multiple Classes of Small Organic Compounds to Combat Mosquito-Borne Infectious Diseases and Sustain Insecticide
Resistance (Co-PI Anna Linusson, Umeå University, Sweden), 2015 – 2020.
 Co-investigator, NACOSTI: Evaluation of isothermal amplification methods and development of an OligoChromatographic dipstick assay for point-of-care diagnosis of Wuchereria bancrofti and disease
surveillance (PI Nancy Kinyatta), 2015 – 2019.

1. Kinyatta NM, Wambua L Mutahi W, Mugasa C, Kamau L, Wachira D, Ichugu C, Waigi E, Githae R, Lusweti J, Kagai J. 2019. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Wuchereria bancrofti in human blood samples from Malindi and Tana River Delta, endemic regions in Kenya, Journal of Biomedical Research and Reviews, In Press.

2. Knutsson S, Engdahl C, Kumari R, Forsgren N, Lindgren C, Kindahl T, Kitur S, Wachira L, Kamau L, Ekström F, Linusson A. 2018. Noncovalent Inhibitors of Mosquito Acetylcholinesterase 1 with
Resistance-Breaking Potency. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61, 10545 – 10557.
3. Kleinschmidt I, Bradley J, Knox TB, Mnzava AB, Kafy HT, Mbogo C, Ismail BA, Bigoga JD, Adechoubou A, Raghavendra K, Cook J, Malik EM, Nkuni ZJ, Macdonald M, Bayoh N, Ochomo E, Fondjo E, Awono-
Ambene HP, Etang J, Akogbeto M, Bhatt RM, Chourasia MK, Swain DK, Kinyari T, Subramaniam K, Massougbodji A, Okê-Sopoh M, Ogouyemi-Hounto A, Kouambeng C, Abdin MS, West P, Elmardi K, Cornelie S, Corbel V, Valecha N, Mathenge E, Kamau L, Lines J, Donnelly MJ. 2018. Implications of insecticide resistance for malaria vector control with long-lasting insecticidal nets: A WHO-coordinated, prospective, international,  bservational cohort study. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 3099(18)30172-5.
4. Kiuru CW, Oyieke FA, Mukabana WR, Mwangangi J, Kamau L, Muhia-Matoke D. 2018. Status of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors in Kwale County, Coastal Kenya. Malaria Journal, 5;17(1):3
5. Ondeto BM, Nyundo C, Kamau L, Muriu SM, Mwangangi JM, Njagi K, Mathenge EM, Ochanda H,Mbogo CM. 2017. Current status of insecticide resistance among malaria vectors in Kenya. Parasites and Vectors, 19;10(1):429.
6. Knutsson S, Kindahl T, Engdahl C, Nikjoo D, Forsgren N, Kitur S, Ekström F, Kamau L, Linusson A. 2017."N-aryl-N'-ethyleneaminothioureas Effectively Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase 1 in Disease-Transmitting
Mosquitoes. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 134: 415 – 427.

Mr. Bernard Osero Ong’ondo-Research Officer

1. Use of aptamers in diagnosis of leishmaniasis
2. Cytokine profiling on BALB/c mice infected with leishmania parasites
3. Gene expression levels on uninfected commercial sex workers who are highly exposed to HIV-1 infection
4. Gene expression on leishmania infected BALB/c mice treated with well-known drugs
5. Transcriptomic approaches, the significance of genes, factors and cells for host protection on knockout and knockdown animal models


1. Barasa Mustafa, Ndeti Muia Cosmas, Wanjala Christine Ludwin, Ingonga Mwihwa Johnstone, Osero Bernard, Sarah Shinoko Muyonga, Wanyonyi Khakasa Mable, Frankline Tireito, Drinold Mbete, Kokonya Apollo Donald, Ozwara Suba Hastings, Zipporah Waithera Ng’ang’a, and Anjili Omukhango Christopher (2015). Cytokine-CpG Motif Oligodeoxynucleotide Co-Inoculation in BALB/c Mice Infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA Strain. Journal of Medical and Biological Science Research, 1 (10), pp. 145-161
2. Osero BO, Mosigisi A, Ogeto TK, Mugambi R, Ingonga J, Karanja RM, Gicheru M, Anjili C. (2015). Effects of glucocorticoids in leishmania major infection. International Journal of Fauna and Biological Studies; 2 (3): 16-22
3. Rose M. Nyamao, Zipporah O. Lagat, Khayeka W. Christopher, Bernard N. Jumba, Rebecca W. Waihenya, Robert Karanja and Bernard Osero Ong’ondo. (2014). Efficacy of glucocorticoids in controlling leishmania major infecting Balb/c mice. Journal of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, 6(2): 10-18
4. Edwin Too, Sabah Omar, Joseph Makumi, Francis Kimani and Bernard Osero Ong’ondo. Evaluation of efficacy of artemether lumefantrine and dihydro-artemisinin piperaquine in clearance of gametocytes in uncomplicated plasmodium falciparum malaria and effectiveness of microscopy and RT-PCR in gametocytes detection. Abstract A-004 (page 17) presented in the 2nd Kenya National Malaria Forum held in Kenya from 13th-14th October, 2014
5. Ogeto T.K, Odhiambo R.A, Shivairo, R.S, Muleke C.I, Osero B.O, Anjili C, Ingonga J.M, Osuga I.M. (2013). Antileishmanial activity of Aloe Secundiflora plant extracts against Leishmania Major. Advances in Life Science and Technology, 13: 9-17
Elijah M Songok, Bernard Osero, Lyle Mckinnon, Martin K Rono, Winnie Apidi, Elizabeth J Matey, Adrienne FA Meyers, Ma Luo, Joshua Kimani, Charles Wachihi, Blake T Ball, Frank A Plummer, Solomon Mpoke. CD26/ dipeptidyl peptidase IV (CD26/DPPIV) is highly expressed in peripheral blood of HIV-1 exposed uninfected Female sex workers; Virology Journal 2010, 7:343

 David W. Muriu-Chief Lab Technologist
Research Interest

Use of natural products to control parasites

1. Effect of Praziquantel on platelets levels in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni: Wambayi E., Kasili, Kimani G., and Warunge D.- E.A. Med. Journal 70: 665 1993
2. Daily variation of Schistosoma hematobium egg excretion. David Warunge Muriu, Yoshiki Hamada, Kanji Watanabe, Yoshiki Aoki, Kazuhiko Moji,Yawo Dotse Afetse, Mohamed Karama, Ng’ethe Muhoho, and Masaaki Shimada, Tropical Medicine & Health, Vol. 33 no 01, March 2005
3. Rodent parasites isolated from KEMRI Animal House. David Muriu, Timothy Kamau, Joseph Mwatha, Kimani Gachuhi, African Journal of Health Sciences, Vol. 19, no 3-4 (Supplementary) June- Dec 2011
4. Antischistosomal Activity of Azadirachta indica and Ekebergia capensis in Mice Infected with Schistosoma mansoni Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a and Gachuhi Kimani, European Journal of Medicinal Plants 6(2): 92-102, 2015, Article no.EJMP.2015.046

Mr David Siele-Senior Lab Technologist
Research Interest

Efficacy testing of medical significant pesticides chemicals to Leishmania related vectors and parasites

Lawyer PG, Mebrahtu YB, Ngumbi PM, Mwanyumba P, Mbugua J, Kiilu G, Kipkoech D, Nzovu J, Anjili CO.Phlebotomus guggisbergi (Diptera: Psychodidae), a vector of Leishmania tropica in Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1991 Mar; 44(3): 290-8.
Larvicidal effects of crude plant extracts from Tarchonanthus camphoratus (Family: Asteraceae) and Cassia didymobotrya (Family Ceasalpiniaceae on Culicine mosquitoes.
Bernard Langat, David Siele, Faith Mwende, Christopher Anjili, Willy K. Tonui, Charles Mwandawiro, Charles Mutai and Lawrence Muthami

Mr. Edwin Kimeli Too-Research officer

• Assessment of therapeutic efficacy to the antifolates, artemisinin and non-artemisinin based combinations against falciparum malaria.
• Molecular characterization and application of radionuclide techniques for the detection of drug-resistant malaria parasites.
• Monitoring of antimalarial drug efficacy using quantitative assays, e.g nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (QT-NASBA) and RT-PCR.
• Transmission dynamics studies post-artemisinin-based intervention.
• Parasite population studies determining origin and dispersal mechanisms of resistant parasites.
• Human population studies investigating protection to malaria disease and prevalence of some human immune genes and other phenotypic markers.
• Diagnosis of malaria parasites.
• In vitro screening of traditional medicines for antimalarial activity, towards bio-prospecting for antimalarial agents.

1. Evaluation of Efficacy of Artemether Lumefantrine and Dihydro-Artemisinin Piperaquine in Clearance of Gametocytes in Uncomplicated Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria and Effectiveness of Microscopy and Rt-Pcr in Gametocytes Detection.
Edwin Too, Sabah Omar, Joseph Makumi, Francis Kimani, Benard Ongondo.

2. PfEMP1 DBLα Sequence Tags in Genomic DNA of P. falciparum Field Isolates from Two Malaria Endemic Sites in Kenya.
Francis W. Makokha1, 2, 4* Sabah A. Omar4 Francis T. Kimani4 Gabriel Magoma4 Rahma Udu4, 6. Edwin Too4 Nathan Shaviya5 Charity Hungu4.

3. In Vivo Anti-malarial Test of Essential Oil Extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) Seeds‟. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Sabah O mar, Rahma U. Yusuf, Edwin Too. (2009).


 Principal Investigator and experienced senior research officer with hands-on expertise in a range of molecular laboratory techniques in basic science and actively contributing to the mission of the institute.
 Knowledge and experience in quality management functions in a Molecular laboratory while closely working with the laboratory management and personnel to ensure that quality is maintained at the highest levels for output of quality results.
 Manager of capacity building within Schistosomiasis section through recruitment, training, supervision and mentoring of both undergraduate and postgraduate students and interns.


1. Development of a Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technique for the detection for Diagnosis of Ascaris lumbricoides in fecal samples. Shiraho Esther, Agola Eric, Mwangi Ibrahim, Kinyua Johnson, , Mkoji Gerald:. Journal of Parasitology Research Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7376207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7376207

2. Current Status of Soil-Transmitted Helminths among School Children in Kakamega County, Western Kenya. Teresia Ngonjo, Collins Okoyo, Julius Andove, Elses Simiyu, Agola Eric Lelo, Ephantus Kabiru, Jimmy Kihara, and Charles Mwandawiro. Journal of Parasitology Research Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7680124
3. Activity of MG-192 Against in Vitro Cultures of Infective Trypanosome Species and its Acute Toxicity Effects in Mice. Maureen Kamau, Joanna Auma, Monica Maichomo, Jesca Wesonga, Joseph Chege, Agola Eric Lelo. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR)(2016) Volume 25, No 3, pp 315-323
4. William Chege Kiarie, Laura Wangai, Eric L. Agola, Francis T. Kimani3 and Charity Hungu. Chloroquine sensitivity: diminished prevalence of chloroquine‑resistant gene marker pfcrt‑76 13 years after cessation of chloroquine use in Msambweni, Kenya. Malar J (2015) 14:328. DOI 10.1186/s12936-015-0850-9
5. Phytochemical constituents of senna didymobotrya fresen irwin roots used as a traditional medicinal plant in kenya Lydia Bonareri Nyamwamu, Moses Ngeiywa , Margaret Mulaa, Agola Eric Lelo, Johnstone Ingonga, Albert Kimutai. International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 3 No. 6 June 2015

Dorcas Wachira
Designation: Research Officer
Research Interest -Stem cell Research, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
Contact Information:
Email: dwachira@kemri.org

• Dorcas Wachira, Raphael Lihana, Vincent Okoth, Alex Maiyo, and Samoel Ashimosi Khamadi Chemokine Coreceptor-2 Gene Polymorphisms among HIV-1 Infected Individuals in Kenya Disease Markers Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 952067
• Beatrice Mukami Muriuki1, Michael Muita Gicheru1, Dorcas Wachira3, Anthony Kebira Nyamache23* and Samoel Ashimosi Khamadi3 Prevalence of Hepatitis B and C viral co-infections among HIV-1 infected individuals in Nairobi, Kenya (2013) BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:363
• Albert K; Willy K. Tonui; Michael M; Peter N; Johnstone I; Stella K; Laban N; Dorcas W; Robert K; Milkah M and Lydia N. Evaluation of the Adjuvanticity with Soluble Leishmania Major Antigens in BALB/c Mice (2009). Journal of Nanjing Medical University, 23(6): 1-14.
• Kimutai, Albert; Tonui, Willy K.; Gicheru, Michael M.; Ngure, Peter Kamau; Ingonga, Johnstone; Kepha, Stella; Njeru, Laban Ireri; Wachira, Dorcas; Muhia, Robert Karanja; Mwangi, Milkah; Nyamwamu, Lydia B.Evaluation of the Adjuvanticity of Artemisinin with soluble Leishmania Major Antigens in BALB/c mice. Journal of Nanjing Medical University vol. 23 issue 6 November, 2009. p. 359-372

Mr. Japheth Lusweti-Laboratory Technologist

– Research Grants in the last three (3) years.
1. NRF Infrastructure grant Co-Investigator in Establishment of a Stem Cell Research Unit
2. Generation, Characterization, Maintenance and Propagation of Mice Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Application in Pre-Clinical Animal Model of Diabetes
3. KEMRI IRG Grant- Co-PI Restorative Capacity of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Cutaneous leishmaniasis Skin Lesions in Balb/c Mice


1. Molecular Characterization and Phylogenetic analysis of Wuchereria bancrofti in human blood samples from Malindi and Tana River Delta, endemic regions in Kenya (2019)
2. Antiproliferative Activity of Kenyan Trametes versicolor Aqueous Extract on Selected Cancer and Normal Cell Lines (2016)

MR. Lynus Murungi M’Rewa-Principal Medical Laboratory Technologist

1. Specific humoral responses to S. mansoni crude antigens in primary school children before and after treatment in Makueni District, Kenya. Lynus M’Rewa, David Muriu, Timothy Kamau, Joseph Mwatha, Eliud M.N. Njagi, Eucharia U. Kenya, Kimani Gachuhi. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 19 No. 3 & 4 (supplementary abstracts) June-Dec 2011.
2. Antischistosomal Activity of Azadirachta indica and Ekebergia capensis in Mice Infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a, Gachuhi Kimani. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 6(2): 92-102, 2015, Article no.EJMP.2015.046.

Ongoing Project

1. Schistosomiasis and pregnancy: alterations in susceptibility and immunes responses in mice

Anthony M Muthee-Laboratory Technologist

Antischistosomal activity of Azadiracta indica and Ekebergia capensis in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni.
Rael Musili, Francis Muregi, Joseph Mwatha, David Muriu, Linus M’ Rewa, Timothy Kamau, Antony Menaine, Simon Chege, Joseph Thiong’o, Zipporrah Ng’ang’a and Kimani Gachuhi.


Kinyatta NM, Ng’ang’a ZW, Kamau L, Kimani FT, Githae RW and Kagai JM. 2011. Determination of vectorial potential of Mansonia species in the transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti in Tana-Delta District, Coast-Kenya. East African Medical Journal Vol. 88 No. 10 pg.344-348
Manuscript under review:
Kinyatta NM, Ng’ang’a ZW, Kamau L, and Kagai JM. Comparison of mosquito collection methods in the assessment of lymphatic filariasis transmission dynamics in mosquito vectors in Tana River County, Kenya,

Contact Info