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Research Fellows


Gurdeep Jaswant – Kenya

Project: Establishing rabies genomic sequencing capacity and reference repository for East Africa.


Institute: University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (UNITID)


Through the GeMVi project I have been able to sequence rabies virus in Kenya and Tanzania. The effort has boosted molecular surveillance efforts in Kenya and Tanzania as we aim towards the global health target of zero rabies by 2030.

Project: Testing Novel Technologies for Characterizing Emerging and Re-emerging Blood-Borne Infectious Diseases During Epidemics of Non-Malarial Acute Febrile Illness in Tanzania.


Institute: Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute


The GeMVi Fellowship has provided me with the technical support required to design and implement the study protocols for my study on the application of metagenomics and bioinformatics in characterising viral components in outbreak of acute febrile illnesses in Tanzania.


Shabani Mziray – Tanzania


Phionah Tushabe – Uganda

Project: Whole genome sequencing of enteroviruses from Acute Flaccid Paralysis patients in Uganda.



With the near eradication of the Poliovirus (the principle cause of paralysis), other enteroviruses (non-polio enteroviruses) have been detected as causes of enteroviral-associated acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The GeMVi fellowship will enable me generate full genome sequence data from non-polio enteroviruses present in stool samples of AFP patients and as such gain insight into the evolution of these viruses.


Project: Genetic Characterization of measles viral genomes obtained from vaccinated individuals in Uganda


Institute:Uganda Virus Research Institute


Full genome sequence data from the measles virus circulating in Uganda is limited. The GeMVi fellowship will enable me to generate full genome sequences from current measles and other enteric viruses and should provide important data to improve our understanding of the measles pathogen..



Prossy Namuwulya – Uganda


Alfred Ssekagiri – Uganda

Project: Identification of viral pathogens associated with Acute Febrile Illness of unknown origin in Uganda


Institute: Uganda Virus Research Institute


As an effort towards identifying viral causes of acute febrile illness in Uganda, GeMVi fellowship has provided guidance and technical support from project design to data analysis procedures of virus discovery using metagenomics data. GeMVi will in addition provide hosting fees for the database of known and novel viruses identified as part of this project.

Project: Establishing Rift Valley Fever genomic sequencing capacity for benefit towards pastoralist communities in Kenya.


Institute: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology – Institute for Biotechnology Research


The GeMVi opportunity will inculcate advanced skills to enable me develop a molecular surveillance platform for Rift Valley Fever using a one-health approach. This will benefit to both National and especially County governments with pastoralist communities in Kenya.


Sheila Ommeh – Kenya


Mary Bridget Nanteza – Uganda

Project: Does recombination of polioviruses with locally circulating enteroviruses play a role in acute flaccid paralysis and vaccine-derived polioviruses?

Institute: Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI)


The GEMVi Fellowship has provided me with the technical support to identify mutations within the poliovirus that could be common to AFP, and cVDPV cases. This study will provide further insight into the evolution and possible mitigation of vaccine-derived polioviruses and related outbreaks.

Project: Modelling the risk of spillover from Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo to neighboring countries.

Institute: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Rwanda


Because the natural reservoir of the Ebola virus has not been identified and spillovers present an irregular pattern, it remains unclear how the probability of Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission in human populations varies in space and time, particularly in cross-border population movement settings. The GeMVi Fellowship will enable me to build the best predictive Ebola transmission model that can inform public health prevention strategies and policy to forecast, identify, and rapidly respond to Ebola spillover influenced by cross-border population movement patterns between DRC and neighboring countries


Utazirubanda Jean Claude – Rwanda


Benard Kulohoma – Kenya

Project: Characterising the virus composition of outbreaks of non-malaria acute febrile illness.

Institute: Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (CEBIB), University of Nairobi


The GeMVi Fellowship has provided me with an opportunity to set-up a bioinformatics platform that will facilitate development bioinformatics pipelines for analysis of meta-genomics datasets of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease pathogens, and capacity building.

Project: Integration of virus whole genome sequencing into surveillance and outbreak investigations for non-malarial acute febrile illnesses at the National Public Health Laboratories-Kenya.

Institute: National Public Health Laboratories-Kenya


The GeMVi fellowship provides me with a platform to integrate virus whole genome sequencing into diagnostics for surveillance and outbreak response at the national laboratory level, providing high resolution pathogen genome data needed for prompt and effective disease control.


Timothy Nzomo – Kenya


Winifred Mutuku – Kenya

Project: Estimating the distribution of new HIV infections in Kenya.


Institute: Kenyatta University, Kenya


In order to respond to the HIV epidemic in terms of resource allocation for prevention and control of HIV (programmatic planning), there is need to understand the dynamics of the epidemic in terms of new infections according to identifiable characteristics such as different age groups, sexes, geographical regions and population groups (sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men). The GeMVI fellowship will provide me with resources required to develop a model to estimate the distribution of new HIV infections in accordance to the different population groups and regions.

Project: Modelling the spatio-temporal risk of measles outbreaks and options for their control in Kenya.


Institute: Maseno University, Kenya


GeMVi has provided me with training materials and linkages with international collaborators, which have enabled me to develop advanced skills necessary for working on my project on the Modelling of Spatio-temporal risk of measles outbreaks and options for their control in Kenya. The technical support has been fundamental in my investigation of the possible reasons for the continued measles outbreaks in Kenya, and also in the prediction of the optimal interval and age-range for Supplementary Immunisation Activities.

The GeMVi Fellowship has also provided my department and me with technical skills in the modelling of infectious diseases.



Cameline Nafula Orlendo – Kenya


Victor Ogesa Juma – Kenya

Project: Modelling the impact of influenza vaccination in Kenya.

Institute: Nairobi University, Kenya


Influenza vaccination is not routinely carried out in Kenya being given to only special interest groups who routinely get it. However, the ministry of health began an influenza vaccine pilot study amongst children in Nakuru and Mombasa counties, to determine if influenza vaccine should be included in the Kenya Expanded Programmme on Immunization (KEPI). Therefore this study aims at providing the evidence-based decision to the National Immunization program (NVIP) on strategy options for influenza vaccination in Kenya.

The GEMVI support through funding, training and links to international collaborators will enable me to develop predictive influenza models and hence advise the NVIP on the best strategy for influenza vaccination in Kenya.

Project: Tracking HIV drug resistance mutations across Tanzania to inform National treatment guidelines

Institute: Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Tanzania



Ireen Kiwelu – Tanzania