Associate Vice Chancellor, RIE, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson officially opened the IRES track II grant Workshop on 6th June 2022 at the Arzki, Chiromo. She commended the three heads of departments and the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, together with the Dean of Science and Technology for embracing multi-disciplinary research and training.

Partners and collaborators present included: PI- Prof Anne Osano- Bowie State University, USA, CO-PI, Dr Jiangnan Peng- Morgan State University and CO-PI-Dr. Eike Reich- International Association For The Advancement Of High  Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC), Switzerland

Kenyan Collaborators: University Of Nairobi (Host) Dr Margaret Oluka- Pharmacy, Dr. Peggoty Mutai- Pharmacy, Prof Sheila Okoth - Biology and Dr Solomon Derese- Chemistry.

The three principal investigators and the UoN Team,  were congratulated for winning a grant totalling to US$ $389,837.00.  which has been allocated to the University of Nairobi for the next 5 years.

Metabolomics Technologies is an emerging tool and is the most recent of the ‘-omics’ approaches to emerge that enables the analysis of the metabolite production by plants and is important in advancing our understanding of primary and secondary metabolism in plants and is revolutionizing and transforming the field of plant biology.

The overarching goal of this Plant Metabolomics Advanced Training Institute (ASI) is to use metabolomics approaches to study Plants used in Traditional Medicine system in Kenya.The project is established and supported by three departments at the University of Nairobi, namely, the Department of Pharmacy, Department of Biology and Department of Chemistry.

Project Trainees/Fellows

The proposed Advanced Study Institutes (ASIs) will provide training opportunity for 10 US graduate students per year (30 US graduate students total for 3 years) and 30 graduate students from Kenya.  Each training session will each last three weeks.

Training Program

 Each ASI will include lectures by US and Kenyan Scientists, a field trip, followed by laboratory analysis of samples as well as a closing Symposium as well as professional development.

Impact on practice and policy

The ASI will provide a platform for dialogue with researchers, regulators and manufacturers from Kenya during the symposium which is expected to deeply root the knowledge of HPTLC in local decision making at various levels. Thus, a significant impact on quality, safety and  use of traditional /herbal medicines / supplements in Kenya can be expected.

Impact on Academia

The academic impact of this project is the rigorous training of at least 30 US students and 30 Kenyan students, total of 60 graduate students in plant research over a period of three years.

The students will be mentored and trained in research methodology and techniques and skills in Plant Metabolomics while being involved in real research in Plant Science, thereby advancing discovery and understanding in Natural Products.

Our stakeholders include:

    1. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)

Dr Xavier Cheseto

    1. Veterinary Services Research Laboratory (Vet labs, Kabete)

Dr Nancy Mulwa

    1. Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI)

                        Dr Margaret Kaigongi