Primary: St. Andrews Kaggwa Girls, Nyansiongo, Secondary: Alliance Girls High school, University: Voronezh State medical academy, The university of Nairobi, The University of Oxford
Bsc. Microbiology, Msc. Microbiology, Currently pursuing Dphil in Clinical Medicine
International Livestock Research Institute, KEMRI- Wellcome Trust
A Dphil Student
Favourite thing to do in my job: Reading current developments in my research field
Honest, Humble, Focussed and Optimistic
I was born and raised in a family of 5 sisters and 1 brother. We lived in rural nyanza, Kenya. My parents separated when i was 7 and my mother single-handedly cared for us. She sacrificed her happiness into investing towards our education. Despite several occassions of being in and out of school due to unpaid tuition fees, I managed to top my class in the primary school national examinations. Subsequently, I was selected to join one of the best secondary schools in the Country. Though it seemed a golden opportunity, I initially turned it down considering the required financial obligations for my mother who was already overwhelmed. I remember telling mum; ” you know the books they read in this school are the same even in our local secondary school, let me just go to the nearby day school and I promise to work hard”. Mum was optimistic, she insisted i register at Alliance Girls, and if the worse come to the worst, only then I could debate plan B. I joined a community of students from all backgrounds. I underwent a season of culture shock and my self-esteem was slowly fading for the following reasons
1. Most of my classmates could speak perfect fluent English which was not my case so i preferred silence
2. My classmates could gather during free sessions to discuss a certain TV Series, holiday escapades and other fancy events – we never even owned TV , i was only conversant with village life
3. Students could be occasionally visited with massive shopping bags, and never missed going home for half term breaks – because of distance and transport fare involved, I could only get enough to travel to and from school in opening and closing dates.
The list can continue, but I began appreciating the positive side of life. I was privileged to be in this school. I understood that I never had a choice where I could be born, but i had the power to change my destiny – through my books. I changed my attitude , began interacting with my classmates and teachers, by the end of my first year i realized that I was whom I perceived myself to be. With positive energy, I kept the focus throughout high school and emerged among the best candidates in the secondary national exams. I got a well-wisher who sponsored my undergraduate studies in a Russian medical institute. After which I enrolled for a second degree under the government scholarship scheme. On attaining a first class honors and being the best in my college, I was a awarded a university scholarship to pursue a master’s degree. During my second year of research work, a German organisation ,DAAD, awarded me a scholarship to complete my studies. Later I joined the university of Oxford for a PhD as an Oak Fellow.
I believe in my life journey, and I endeavor to encourage the youth to keep focus and ignite positive energy for tomorrow is theirs.
I am a christian and the bible is my first point of reference when it comes to life rules.
I love the African continent and I am optimistic that a day will come when nobody will talk of poverty, death from curable diseases and iliteracy
Surveillance for infectious viruses, vaccine and therapeutics development
I am interested in investigating the mosquito-borne viruses that are infectious to humans e.g Zika virus, Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus and Onyong’nyong’ virus. For my studies, I use samples (whole blood, Serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid and urine) collected from patients in hospital and stored in a biobank. Specifically, I first find evidence of virus presence in a population at a given time by assessing the percentage of people who have been infected using established molecular and serological laboratory techniques. I analyze this information linking it with demographic and clinical data of the patient, to understand the temporal transmission patterns, the spatial distribution of disease and associated risk factors. After establishment of an active infection, I isolate the responsible virus and study its biology including the genetic composition. This gives insights into the evolutionary trends of the virus over time and key biological features that can be used in developing curative remedies or vaccines.
My Typical Day
Retrieving samples from biobank, running a series of experiments and generating reports of the results
What I'd do with the money
Organize career talk sessions in local public secondary schools in Kilifi County
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Resilient, Optimistic
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A Medical Doctor
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
African Dishes anytime...Ugali + greens(saget,managu,mrenda etc) + Avocado+ sour milk from a gourd
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Milking a cow
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1.Live in a world free of poverty and Diseases 2.Travel the whole world without financial constraint 3.Get functional robots to do my manual duties
Tell us a joke.
A dung beetle walks into a bar and says, “Excuse me, is this stool taken?”