Dr Sabina Wachira

Dr Sabina Wachira

Dr Sabina Wachira holds a BSc. degree (Chemistry major and Mathematics minor) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, an MSc in Natural product Chemistry from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and icipe. She has published her research in peer-reviewed international journals. Prior to being awarded a THRiVE postdoctoral fellowship at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Kenya in 2010, Sabina worked as a Research Officer at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

Sabina completed her two-year THRiVE postdoctoral fellowship in February 2013. Her THRiVE project focused on Exploiting Mosquito Phytoceuticals for Malaria Control (Grant number 087540), supported by the THRiVE Programme, using funds from the Wellcome Trust. She was mentored by Professor David Spring of the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge, and Dr Baldywn Torto at icipe.

When asked whether the THRiVE fellowship had been of any use to her, she said: “The THRiVE postdoc has not only enhanced my scientific research skills, but has also contributed to my overall career development and helped me achieve my personal goals. I am now more capable of designing and executing a scientific research project, compared to pre-THRiVE. The THRiVE postdoctoral fellowship was my first successful research grant application post-PhD, and it boosted my confidence to write more research proposals. Therefore, during my two-year fellowship, I applied for and successfully secured various competitive grants (including two equipment grants awarded to me by the THRiVE Programme to purchase an insect growth chamber costing £14,000 in July 2011, and a microplate reader costing £7,800 in August 2012; a grant from the Kenyan National Council of Science & Technology in support of research entitled 'Exploiting Anti-cancer Potential of Three Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Kenya: amount 33,000 USD). The THRiVE Programme also provided me with project management training and an opportunity to manage my own research project, with mentorship and support from more experienced academics at icipe and the University of Cambridge. This has endowed me with excellent skills in project management, which I am continuing to use in my scientific research career. During the THRiVE fellowship, I also prepared new research contacts and initiated collaborations and networks with scientists at icipe, THRiVE African partner institutions, the University of Cambridge, UK, the Wellcome Trust Sanger institute in the UK, as well as several Kenyan Public Universities.”

Sabina is currently the Registrar in the Department of Research, Technology Management and Community Linkages at the Dedan Kimathi University Of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya. In her previous post at KEMRI she was the principle investigator undertaking research into drug discovery focusing on exploiting the anti-cancer potential of the three medinical plants of interest (funded by the Kenyan National Council of Science & Technology). This project made it possible for in vitroanti-cancer assays to be run at KEMRI, and resulted in an increase in the number of collaborations between KEMRI and other national and international research institutes. Sabina was also a co-investigator for a malaria project and an antimicrobial products project at KEMRI.