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Staff Profile:

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Bio data

Dr. Nelly Mugo is a reproductive health specialist and clinical research scientists. She obtained her clinical training at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and received her public health training with a major in epidemiology at the University of Washington (USA). She has 30 years of clinical work experience as an obstetrician gynaecologist working in both rural and urban hospitals in Kenya, and 20 years as a clinical research scientist. During her tenure at the Kenyatta National Hospital as a clinical provider, she organized trainings for specialists in colposcopic examination and LEEP for prevention of cervical cancer and sourced for equipment for two referral hospitals. In addition, she founded the hospital research department.

Dr. Mugo set up and leads a clinical trial research clinic, (Partners in Health Research and Development (PHRD)-CCR) in Thika, Kenya with support and collaboration with the University of Washington, International Clinical Research Center. PHRD-CCR research team has a diverse portfolio of research work which encompasses work on sexually transmitted infections, HPV vaccine; contraception and HIV prevention. The research team has been part of multi-site clinical trials, namely the HSV/HIV transmission study and the Partners PrEP study. The Partners PrEP team contributed to scientific evidence on the efficacy of Truvada as HIV PrEP. The Partners Demonstration project, demonstrated ‘near elimination of HIV’ when PrEP is used as a bridge to ART by HIV sero-discordant couples. Through this collaborative work, PHRD-CCR is currently engaged in PrEP scale up with implementation of PrEP to public health facilities Kenya.

Dr. Mugo has been engaged by the National AIDS Control Council, and the National AIDS & STI Control Program (NASCOP) and selected to participate on a National level in various technical working group, including the HIV prevention revolution, the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF) 2014/15-2018/19. More recently Dr. Mugo contributed to the PrEP section for the 2016 Kenya HIV ART guidelines and was selected to work with the Ministry of Health, to conduct a baseline evaluation of the ‘Combination Prevention-COMBO’ strategy implementation in three ‘COMBO’ counties. A novel strategy towards ending the HIV epidemic in Kenya. the ‘Combination Prevention”

Dr. Mugo has also contributed to various World Health Organization (WHO) forums and guidelines committee. She co-chaired the WHO Guidelines Committee for Couples HIV Testing and Counseling and Antiretroviral Therapy for Treatment and Prevention in Serodiscordant Couples in 2011 and the WHO Guidelines Advisory Committee for PrEP for Prevention in 2015.

Her research has contributed to the evidence on pregnancy as a risk for HIV acquisition through secondary analysis of data from the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission clinical trial. Further evidence on safety of PrEP use in pregnancy through evaluation of the impact of PrEP on pregnancy incidence and outcomes in the Partners PrEP Study.

Dr. Mugo is a member of the ‘Evaluation of Contraceptive and HIV Outcome-ECHO’ research study, a landmark study implemented across 12 sites in 4 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. She has presented widely in local regional and international conferences and the Thika team is well recognized for work on HIV serodiscordant couples and HIV PrEP. Her research interests include, HIV and cervical cancer prevention, contraception and maternal health.

Dr. Mugo provides mentorship and teaches at various forums for the University of Nairobi (epidemiology) and University of Washington Implementation science Afya Bora fellowship in Global Health leadership. She is has over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Selected Publications

  1. Kirby T. Profile, Nelly Mugo-Rolling out PrEP in Kenya. The Lancet. Vol. 389 April 29, 2017
  2. Baeten JM, Heffron R, Kidoguchi L, Mugo NR, Katabira E, Bukusi EA, Asiimwe S, Haberer JE, Morton J, Ngure K, Bulya N, Odoyo J, Tindimwebwa E, Hendrix C, Marzinke MA, Ware NC, Wyatt MA, Morrison S, Haugen H, Mujgira A, Donnel D, Celum C; Partners Demonstration Project Team. Integrated Delivery of Antiretroviral Treatment and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis to HIV-1-Serodiscordant Couples: A Prospective Implementation Study in Kenya and Uganda. PLoS Med. 2016 Aug 23;13(8
  3. Mugo NR, Hong T, Celum C, Donnell D, Bukusi EA, John-Stewart G, Wangisi J, Were E, Heffron R, Matthews LT, Morrison S, Ngure K, Baeten JM; Partners PrEP Study Team. Pregnancy incidence and outcomes among women receiving preexposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014 Jul 23-30; 312(4):362-71.
  4. Baeten JM, Donnell D, Ndase P, Mugo NR, Campbell JD, Wangisi J, Tappero JW, Bukusi EA, Cohen CR, Katabira E, Ronald A, Tumwesigye E, Were E, Fife KH, Kiarie J, Farquhar C, John-Stewart G, Kakia A, Odoyo J, Mucunguzi A, Nakku-Joloba E, Twesigye R, Ngure K, Apaka C, Tamooh H, Gabona F, Mujugira A, Panteleeff D, Thomas KK, Kidoguchi L, Krows M, Revall J, Morrison S, Haugen H, Emmanuel-Ogier M, Ondrejcek L, Coombs RW, Frenkel L, Hendrix C, Bumpus NN, Bangsberg D, Haberer JE, Stevens WS, Lingappa JR, Celum C; Partners PrEP Study Team. Antiretroviral prophylaxis for HIV prevention in heterosexual men and women. N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 2;367(5):399-410
  5. Heffron R, Mugo N, Ngure K, Celum C, Donnell D, Were E, Rees H, Kiarie J, Baeten JM; Partners in Prevention HSVHIV Transmission Study Team. Hormonal contraceptive use and risk of HIV-1 disease progression. AIDS. 2013 Jan 14;27(2):261-7.
  6. Mugo N, Dadabhai SS, Bunnell R, Williamson J, Bennett E, Baya I, Akinyi N, Mohamed I, Kaiser R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 infection, human immunodeficiency virus/herpes simplex virus type 2 co infection, and associated risk factors in a national, population-based survey in Kenya. Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Nov;38(11):1059-66.
  7. Mugo NR, Heffron R, Donnell D, Wald A, Were EO, Rees H, Celum C, Kiarie JN, Cohen CR, Kayintekore K, Baeten JM; Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study Team. Increased risk of HIV-1 transmission in pregnancy: a prospective study among African HIV-1-serodiscordant couples. AIDS. 2011 Sep 24;25(15):1887-95.
  8. Mugo N, Ansah NA, Marino D, Saah A, Garner EI. Evaluation of safety andimmunogenicity of a quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in healthy females between 9 and 26 years of age in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hum Vaccin Immunother.2015;11(6):1323-30.