Our Research Areas

Africa faces a double burden of infectious and chronic diseases. While infectious diseases still account for the highest-burden of morbidity and mortality on the continent, age-specific mortality rates from chronic diseases as a whole are actually higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in virtually all other regions of the world, in both men and women. Over the coming years, the continent is projected to experience the largest increase in disease and death rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes.

VIBRI conducts health research in six research thematic areas.


Clinical Trials and Adaptive Trial Design

VIBRI aims to contribute to the clinical development, safety, and efficacy evaluation of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that improve global health. This will enable us to proactively help answer questions of immediate translational importance, focusing on both outpatient and inpatient healthcare settings.  To achieve this, we will conduct clinical trials across all phases of clinical development from Phase Ib, Phase II, Phase III through Phase IV.

We will accelerate progression through early to late testing by undertaking clinical research studies, providing critical safety, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and efficacy data to support licensure and inform health policy decisions. Learn more

Bioequivalence Studies

Bioequivalence with reference drugs forms the basis for the approval of generic drugs. While bioequivalence certification is a requirement for registration of medicines in Kenya and many African countries, the lack of local bioequivalence testing facilities has made enforcing bioequivalence difficult. Hence, locally made medicines are marketed without fulfilling the WHO-prequalification criteria for therapeutic interchangeability.

Generic drugs offer a cost-effective alternative to brand-name drugs to treat patients in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) in Africa and other parts of the world. However, due to a lack of bioequivalence testing, additional quality assurance tests are needed to build trust in cheaper generic drugs. We aim to promote patient-centered access to quality medicines by testing the bioequivalence of generic drugs to the gold standard. Learn more

Epidemiology and Population Health

We aim to understand the epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Kenya and Africa, understand the determinants of diseases in our population, and to promote the use of health data for policymaking by country ministries of health and global health institutions. Through research in epidemiology, we aim to contribute to the discovery of factors that range from environmental, social, and behavioral to biological and genetic determinants of health. The Department of Epidemiology and Population Health will provide expertise and training on study design, data collection, analysis, and proper interpretation of scientific evidence to improve human health in the clinic and in the field. Learn more

Data Science and Statistics

The clinical research ecosystem now has access to data in a way that has not been the case before: from biological data to data on clinical trials to health outcomes data contained in electronic health records (EHRs) to hospital data among others. The use of data sciences in clinical research is a strategic initiative that can improve on the challenges faced during the conduct of clinical research. Putting this enormous repository of data into the right use through data-driven analytics and insights have the potential to revolutionize clinical research. We aim to apply Data Science to add value to our work in the following areas:

  • Patient recruitment and retention which results in cost reduction.
  • Identification and enrolment of eligible patients to reach enrolment goals on time.
  • Optimization of the patient and site monitoring cost through data-driven insights.
  • Clinical Trials Data Management and Statistics
  • Move from traditional Randomized Clinical Trials to Adaptive Trial designs.
  • Improve trial operations, proactively identify, and track indicative study performance ‘markers’ during the course of a trial. Learn more

Implementation Science and Programs

Our implementation science strategy is aimed at addressing bottlenecks, testing interventions, and evaluating the real impact of programs to help inform global health practice. Our approach will focus on studying and developing different methods to improve the uptake, implementation, and translation of research findings into routine and common practices

We aim to improve program effectiveness and optimize efficiency, including the effective transfer of interventions from one setting to another. The key components include:

  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Operations research
  • Impact evaluation

Learn more

Training and Capacity Building

Our training strategy is to emphasize the full career path for clinical research scientists with a long term plan of developing African research leadership. We aim to build a critical mass of African researchers who are technically competent, able to work independently and lead applications for internationally competitive science grants, engage with funders and policymakers, and act as supervisors and mentors for the next generation of scientists. Learn more

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