Research activities on Tuberculosis were carried out in East Africa during the early fifties, involving the three East African countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (Tanzania) all under British rule.

The formation of East African Tuberculosis Investigation Centre was witnessed in the early 1960s under the auspices of East African Community. The present Center for Respiratory Diseases Research (CRDR) was built in the early seventies with its extension put up in 1980.

Throughout this period the Centre has distinguished itself in contributing a lot of information regarding diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis.

In the course of implementing its mandates to carry out research on Lung Health and other respiratory diseases, the Centre has also shed light on challenges such as Asthma, smoking problems and industrial Health. Lately, the strong association of TB and HIV, prompts the Centre to embark on work that would support both categories of patients


  • 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
  • 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 disease processes (e.g. immunity, pathogenesis, patho-physiology, host-pathogen interactions), and disease epidemiology.
  • To co-ordinate and advise on issues related to basic biomedical and biotechnological research, pre-clinical studies, quality control and bio-safety.


To undertake basic and biotechnology-related research on human diseases in Kenya, with the overall goal to contribute in the improvement of human health and welfare.

Ongoing Programmes

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

Leshmainia Section

Schistosomiasis Section

Malaria section

Animal House

Molecular Entomology & Ecology Section


CBRD offers the following specialized services to interested researchers, institutions or the general public:

  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.