Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

In collaboration with Maseno University and the University of Nairobi

The KEMRI-UCSF collaboration was founded in 1995 by Drs. Cohen (UCSF) and Bukusi (KEMRI). In 2004, they began Family AIDS Care & Education Services (FACES), a Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded program to provide HIV care, treatment and preventative services in the western region of Kenya. FACES has supported HIV treatment to more than 170,000 people at over 148 Ministry of Health facilities and supports an expanding array of transdisciplinary clinical and implementation research funded by NIH, CDC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and other agencies. Current projects include the following: 1) East Africa International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS; 2) An agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya; 3) A community model to improve cervical cancer screening and treatment; 4) Integration of sexual and reproductive health services into HIV care and treatment including transforming gender norms to improve family planning uptake; 5) The SEARCH trial; 7) Mental health and HIV; 8) HPV vaccination; 9) PrEP implementation trials; and 10) HIV prevention with long-acting pills (IMPOWER).

KEMRI and collaborating UC mentors cover a wide range of disciplines, including epidemiology, biostatistics, pediatrics, neurology, sociology, mental health, women's and adolescent health, anthropology and migration and health. Drs. Cohen, Weiser (UCSF), Bukusi and Ndunyu (Maseno University) lead the FIC-supported “The Sustainable Development for HIV Health (SD4H) Training Program” that provides intensive graduate training for Kenyan PhD and MSc candidates with a focus on improving HIV health outcomes through innovative food security and poverty alleviation interventions. In addition, KEMRI collaborates with faculty and trainees from UC Davis on childhood nutrition and planetary health projects, and UC Riverside on projects associated with the emerging HIV epidemic among injection drug users directed by formative a former GloCal fellow, now Associate Professor Jennifer Syvertsen. Professor Guiyun Yan at UC Irvine has a 25-year collaboration with KEMRI focused on malaria eradication, including a FIC D43 grant that contributes significantly to the career development of Kenyan and other African scientists by bridging laboratory and field research experience in vector and parasite biology.

The collaboration with KEMRI also includes an expanding portfolio of research and training programs with Maseno University in western Kenya (e.g. SD4H), and the University of Nairobi with the latter focused on capacity building in placental biology, reproductive health and psychiatry.

Site contact: Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi