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Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is a State Corporation established through the Science and Technology (Amendment) Act of 1979, which has since been amended to Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2013. The 1979 Act established KEMRI as a National body responsible for carrying out health research in Kenya.

Our Vision

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

Our Mission

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

Core Values

  • Purity
  • Innovativeness
  • Customer Focus
  • Team Work
  • Uprightness and integrity
  • Respect and Fairness
  • Excellence

Institute’s Motto:

The motto of the Institute is “In Search of Better Health” towards the realization of the above stated mission.


  • To carry out research in human health.
  • To cooperate with other research organizations and institutions of higher learning on matters of relevant research and training.
  • To liaise with other relevant bodies within and outside Kenya carrying out research and related activities.
  • To disseminate and translate research findings for evidence-based policy formulation and implementation.
  • To cooperate with the Ministry of Health, the National Commission for Science, Technology &
Innovation (NACOSTI) and the Medical Sciences Advisory Research Committee on matters pertaining to research policies and priorities. To do all things as appear to be necessary, desirable or expedient to carry out its functions.

Collaboration Regionally:

In line with its mandate, KEMRI has developed very useful linkages with the following local, regional and international institutions.

  • Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research -Accra, Ghana
  • National Institute of Medical Research, Dar es salam, Tanzania
  • Ethiopia Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Virus Research Institute - Entebbe, Ethiopia
  • Makerere University Medical School, Kampala, Uganda
  • University of Zambia Medical School, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Blair Research Centre, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • edical Research Council of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Collaboration Internationally:

Internationally, KEMRI also collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Walter Reed Army Institute of Medical Research, Welcome Trust-UK, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), British Medical Research Council, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, and World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO) among others.

International Recognition in the Promotion of Global Health Research Initiatives

  • Regional laboratory capacity building in operation research under the East African Public Health Laboratory networking project (EAPHLN).
  • WHO designated International Training Center to implement capacity strengthening training courses to support Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) control Programmes.
  • WHO designated Centre of excellence in Malaria, Nutrition and Virology World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for HIV/AIDS, Tropical Diseases Research, Polio Immunization, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and Anti-Microbial Resistance (WHO-NET).
  • USA National Research Council recognized training institute for postdoctoral and senior research awards
  • The Africa Regional headquarters for Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).
  • Africa’s regional center for International Union against TB and Lung Diseases, the International Union against Cancers and the Global Health Initiative on Climate Change and Health.
  • Africa Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) Centre of Excellence in the Manufacturing and Development of Diagnostic Kits and as a Centre of excellence for HIV Operational research.
  • A designated “Good Clinical Practice Centre” for Clinical Trials.
  • Global Centre of Excellence in Parasite Control under Hashimoto Initiative Programme.
  • Regional Headquarters for Emerging and Re-Emerging Disease and Climate Change & Health

Research Committees

KEMRI’s research regulation is comprised of the following research committees:-

  • Scientific Programme Committee (SPC)
  • Scientific Steering Committee (SSC)
  • Ethical Review Committee (ERC)
  • Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC)
  • Publications Committee (PC)

Products and Services

Through its research activities KEMRI has over a period of time developed various research products and service namely:


  • HEPCELL Rapid®
  • KEMCOM Rapid®
  • KEMPAC Rapid®
  • TBcide®
  • KemTAQ®
  • KEM - rub®
  • KEMpreg Rapid®
  • KEMRI Ready-To-USE Culture Media


  • Ethics Review for research protocols
  • The Wellness Programme
  • Conference Facilities
  • Incineration Services
  • Cancer Registry
  • Rapid Emergency Response and Disease Surveillance
  • Clinical Laboratory diagnostic services
  • KEMRI Human DNA Identification Laboratory
  • KEMRI HIV Proficiency test Panel & Services
  • Paternity/Maternity Test
  • Forensic Tests
  • Microbiological testing of Products/materials
  • Food Handlers Certification

Research Programmes

KEMRI has Six (6) Main Programmes, that are aligned to the KEMRI Strategic Master Plan and the Vision 2030 as follows:-


To promote, harness and apply biotechnology for the discovery and development fo tools and strategies for use in medicine and healthcare. The flagship project areas include: Vaccine Development, Diagnostics, Genetic Engineering and Bioinformatics.

Natural Products Research & Drug Development (NAPREDA)

To Identify and develop effective traditional / alternative medicines and drugs for use against human diseases. The flagship project include: Traditional Medicine, Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. This programme is a vision 2030 flagship project.

Infectious and Parasitic Diseases

To conduct research aimed at developing tools and technologies for reduction of disease burden due to infectious and parasitic agents. The flagship project areas include: Bacterial, Fungal and Viral Diseases, Parasitic Diseases, HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Public Health & Health Research Systems

To conduct multi-disciplinary epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental, occupational, nutritional, social, dental population and health systems and policy. The flagship project areas include: Epidemiology, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Nutrition, Environmental/ Occupational Health, Oral Health, Health Care Financing, Governance and Leadership and Service Delivery.

Non-Communicable Diseases

To conduct basic, clinical, operational, implementation and applied research in all matters related areas to non-communicable diseases such as: cancer, diabetes, lifestyle disease, mental health etc. The flagship project areas are: Life Style Diseases, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Drug and Substance Abuse, Cardiovascular, Cancer (Breast, cervix, prostrate, throat, stomach, ovaries and skin), Road Traffic Accidents, Domestic/Occupational Injuries, Mental Health.

Sexual, Reproductive, Adolescent & Child Health

To conduct basic, clinical, operational, implementation and applied research in all matter related to sexual, reproductive, adolescent and child health. The flagship project areas include: Maternal Health, child health, adolescent health, STI’s, Gender Based Violence (GBV), infertility, sexual dysfunction, family planning, harmful traditional practices, aging and sexual and reproductive health, gender and human rights.

Research Centres

The following are the Research and Training Centres in the Institute:

  • Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development (CBRD) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Clinical Research (CCR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Public Health Research (CPHR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Control Research (CIPDCR) Busia.
  • Centre for Microbiology Research (CMR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research (CRDR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research (CTMDR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) Kisumu.
  • Centre for Virus Research (CVR) Nairobi.
  • Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Coast (CGMRC) Kilifi.
  • Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasite Control (ESACIPAC) Nairobi.
  • KEMRI Graduate School of Health Sciences (KGSHS), Nairobi.

Major Achievements

Major Regulatory Function

  • KEMRI is the Medical Research arm of the Government and provides advice to the Ministry on various aspects of healthcare and delivery.
  • National diseases surveillance and rapid response capacity for major disease outbreaks (Cholera, Chikungunya Virus, H1N1 Flu, Yellow Fever, Rift Valley Fever, Ebola, Aflatoxicosis etc) Contribution to National Development
  • In line with the constitutional requirements, KEMRI has developed a comprehensive framework under which the Institute has devolved its research activities and services, through seven regional clusters that serves the forty seven counties under the strategic pillar of health research in the context of devolution.
  • Research Centres Guideline Development

  • Technical and research support for the Emergency Care of Critically Ill Children (ETAT) guidelines
  • KEMRI provided Technical Facilitation in development of National Guidelines for Prevention of Cervix, Breast and Prostate cancers
  • Developed a curriculum and guidelines on biosafety and biosecurity for Health Care Workers in collaboration with MOH
  • Rationalization and regulation of traditional medicine
  • Human resource capacity development for research though attachments and in the KEMRI-JKUAT

ITROMID Collaboration

Human Resource Capacity

KEMRI has developed a critical mass of scientists, technical and administrative support staff to rank as one of the leading centre of excellence in health research development.

KEMRI has trained all cadres of professionals totaling 1250 and it boasts of Professors, about 200 PhD’s, over 200 Masters & medical doctors, over 900 highly trained administrative & technical staff.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Institute promotes the spirit of social action through Corporate Social Responsibility activities such as:

Community Involvement and Public Health Education, as well as clinical, laboratory and diagnostic services.


KEMRI is one of the leading health, research, training institutions and through the KEMRI Graduate School of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, the Institute offers Masters and Doctoral training in health disciplines.

Registered office

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

Off Mbagathi Road

P.O. Box 54840 00200




Kenya Commercial Bank, Kipande House Branch,



Controller and Auditor General-Kenya National

Audit Office (KENAO)