National Strategic Calls on Covid-19, Cancer, Desert Locusts Invasion Shortlisted Proposals And Concept Notes

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The National Research Fund (NRF) published national strategic calls for proposals and concept notes in April 2020 in response to crisis brought about by COVID-19, Cancer incidences and Desert Locusts Invasion’ challenges in Kenya. These calls focused on identified priorities and was responded to by Government institutions, Institutions of Higher Learning (private and public) and private non-profit and profit organizations.

The response by the closure date on 28th May 2020 was as follows:

  • COVID-19: 350
  • Cancer: 134
  • Desert Locusts Invasion: 83

The proposals and concept notes were subjected to a rigorous peer review process and further evaluated by subject experts. The following list of shortlisted proposals and concept notes has been approved by the Board of Trustees of the NRF. Further communication shall be made to those shortlisted.

We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the researchers who participated in the Calls and congratulate the various teams that have been shortlisted.

a) COVID-19 Challenge Strategic Call

S/No. Institution Principal Investigator Research Project Title
1. Institute of Primate Research Joseph Kamau Whole Genome Sequencing of SARS-COV-2 and other Emerging Coronaviruses in Humans, Bats and Non-Human Primates from COVID-19 Hotspot Counties in Kenya and an SILICO Development of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates.
2. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology Dr. Karuguti M. Wallace Outcomes and Feasibility of an Evidence-Based Rehabilitation Program for Controlling Morbidity, Enhancing Immunity and Physical Function for People with Severe COVID-19 in Kenya
3. University of Nairobi Prof. Julius Oyugi Development of a Point of Care COVID-19 Test, Modeling of Case Management and Simulations of COVID-19 Interventions: Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Controlling COVID-19 in Kenya: (Demo-CASIK )
4. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology Muturi Njokah Development and Validation of a Low Cost, Rapid, and Ultrasensitive Next Generation Biosensor to Detect COVID 19 Infection
5. Institute of Primate Research Ruth Nyakundi Expanding Diagnostic Capacity of COVID-19 and Understanding the Role of Immunity in Disease Progression in Kenya.
6. Egerton University Prof. Isabel N. Wagara Development of Herbal COVID-19 Antiviral Interventions from Local Medicinal Plants and their Endophytes in Kenya
7. Kenya Medical Research Institute Jennifer Akinyi Orwa Ethnopharmacological Study of Natural Products with Potential for Management of COVID-19
8. Pwani University Joseph Mwafaida Mghalu Developing Functional Food Products from activated Edible Mushrooms to Mitigate SARS-Like Conditions.
9. Mount Kenya University Dr. Peter G. Kirira, Development of Immune Regulatory Supplements from Indigenous Edible Herbs and Vegetables for Prevention and Management of COVID-19
10. Multimedia University Dr. Martin Magu Antimicrobial Spray Formulations and Biocidal Binding Agents for PPE: Towards Effective Control of the Spread of SARS-Cov-2 and Long-Term Safe Management of COVID- 19
11. Kenyatta University Dr. Onyambu Meshack Ondora Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of Potential Herbal Formulations and Standardization for Integration into COVID-19 Prevention and Management in Kenya
12. Egerton University Prof. Micah C. Chepchieng Enhancing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support to address Effects of COVID-19 among Primary and Secondary School Learners in Kenya
13. Kenyatta University Dr. John Paul Oyore Optimizing Parameters for the Proper use of Face Masks to Reduce Severity of Underlying Infections for Enhanced Tolerance to COVID-19

b) Cancer Incidences Strategic Call

S/No. Institution Principal Investigator Project Title
1. Chuka University Tabitha Itotia Isolation and Characterization of Circulating Tumor DNA through Liquid Biopsy for The Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
2. Kakamega County (Department of Health) Dr. Mubisi Hilda Screening for Oesophageal Cancer: A Study of a Non-Invasive Screening Method to Mitigate Against Late Presentation
3. Machakos Level 5. Hospital Dr. Kamau Karuga HPV-DNA Co-Testing With Pap-Smear Screening for Early Detection of Cervical among Women in Machakos County
4. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology Prof. Benson Estambale Improving Early Diagnosis and Surveillance for Cervical, Liver and Eosophageal Cancers in Lake Victoria Region of Western Kenya
5. Kisii university Mr. Stanslaus Musyoki Evaluation of Cervicovaginal Microbiota, Human Papillomavirus Molecular Diversity and Immune Profile as Early Prognostic Markers of Cervical Cancer and the Use of Probiotics as a Potential Therapeutic Strategy in Kenya
6. Multimedia University Nicholas Muriuki Njiru An Imaged-Based Artificial Intelligent System for Computational Feature Engineering in Tumor Classification and Prediction Using Convolution Neural Network
7. University of Nairobi Dr. Esther N. M. Maina Rapid Identification and Validation of Molecular Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Management in Kenya
8. Institute of Primate Research Dr. Githui Therapeutic Monoclonal antibodies Targeting Immune Cells Neoplasm: Predictive Biomarkers and Checkpoint Blockade Inhibitors in Personalized Medicine
9. Maseno University Dr. Onyango David Evaluation of Blood and Urine Biomarkers for Early Detection, Diagnosis, Monitoring and Management of Prostate Cancer in Western Kenya
10. The Nairobi Hospital Dr. Eric Munene Immunodiagnosis, Immunotherapeutics and Sociodegraphic in Reduction of Breast Cancer Disease Burden
11. Strathmore University Dr. Bernhards Ogutu Individualized Drug Therapy: A Strategy to Improve Breast Cancer Treatment Outcome among Patients under Tamoxifen in Cancer -Care Hospitals in Kenya
12. Kenya Medical Research Institute Dr. Sabina Wachira Mass Production of Scarce Cancer Drugs Vincristine and Vinblastine from Madagascar Periwinkle Cultivated in Kenya; their Nano Formulation, Preclinical Studies and Economic Viability
13. Masinde Muliro university Dr. Danstone Lilechi Investigation of Synergy Between Selected Mushrooms and Plants from Western Kenya with Anticancer Activity, their Formulation and Propagation.
14. Moi University Dr. Geoffrey K Maiyoh Efficacy of Cytotoxic Agents from Plants Clutia Abyssinica, Garcinia Buchananii and Syzygium Cordatum in the Treatment and Management of Cancer
15. National Cancer Institute of Kenya Dr.Alfred Karagu Assessing a Multi Sectoral Cancer Communication Model to Promote Healthier Lifestyles and Healthy Environments in Selected Counties In Kenya
16. Tenwek Hospital Dr. Michael Mwachiro A Pilot Study on Increasing in-Country Capacity for Early Detection of Esophagael Cancer through Lugol's Chromoendoscopy and Palliation with Stenting for Advanced Disease in Select Counties-A Multi-Site Collaborative Project
17. Meru University of Science and Technology Dr. Dickson M. Kinyua Development of Point of Care Diagnostics for Early Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis Based on Optical Nano-Bio Sensing
18. Kenya Medical Research Institute Anne Korir Utility of Novel Technologies in the Collection and Aggregation of Data among Communities in Selected Counties of Kenya
19. Kenya Medical Research Institute Dr. Samuel Gathere Determining the Population Risk Factors, Exposures and Molecular Determinants of Clinical Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancer Patients in Nairobi and Nairobi Metropolitan Counties
20. Moi University Dr. Geoffrey K Maiyoh Response to Treatment and Survival among Patients with Head and Neck Cancer Stratified by Major Risk Factors and Associated Gene Mutations at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital
21. Kenya Medical Research Institute Hellen Meme Mortality Estimation, Risk Factors and Understanding Community Perceptions and Behaviour on Cancer and Screening Services for Colorectal and Oral Cancers (MERU-Study)
22. Kenyatta University Prof. Richard Oduor Characterization of Compensatory Angiogenic Pathways : A Novel Approach to Reducing New Blood Vessels Formation in Metastatic Stomach Cancer

c) Locust Invasion Strategic Call

S/No. Institution Principal Investigator Project Title
1. Chuka University Dr. Eunice Wamuyu Githae Mapping, Monitoring and Predicting Desert Locust Infestation in Kenya Using Ecological Conditions, Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing Technologies and Screening of Plant Phytochemical Compounds for Biocontrol
2. Kenyatta University Dr. Ruth Kahuthia-Gathu Integrated Strategies for Enhanced Control and Surveillance of Desert Locusts (Schistocerca Gregaria) In Kenya.
3. National Meteorological Centre (NMC) Dr. Muita Richard, Rukwaro Collaborative and Integrated Monitoring Early Warning and Forecasting System for Effective Control of Desert Locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) in Eastern Africa: The Case of Kenya
4. Kenyatta University Dr. Charles Oduor Odhiambo Desert Locust Early Warning and Preventive Control Systems Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) in Kenya.
5. Mount Kenya University John W. Kamau Prediction of Locust Invasions and Impact Using Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) for Control and Surveillance
6. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science & Technology Dr Solomon O Ogala. Development of Real-time Accurate Regional Locust Swarm Size and Future Movement Prediction System (LoSWAPs)
7. University of Nairobi, Professor James Mbaria Ethnobotanical Control of Desert Locust, Schistocerca Gregaria (Acrididae) in Kenya and Development of Locust Based Livestock Feed Proteins
8. International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology Dr Fathiya M. Khamis Harnessing Participatory Biopesticide-based Desert Locust Management Strategies for Sustainable and Resilient Food Security in Kenya
9. Moi University Dr. Njira Njira Pili Botanical Pesticides from Meliavolkensii and their Potential for the Management of Desert Locusts.
10. University of Eldoret Prof. Lizzy Mwamburi Biopesticide Development for Sustainable Management of the Desert Locust (Schistocercagregaria)
11. Kenyatta university George Ochieng Asudi Exploitation of Entomopathogenic Fungi Towards Development of an Autodissemination Management Approach for the Control of the Damaging Desert Locust in Kenya
12. Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization Dr. Johnson Nyasani Integrating Technology with Biological Control and Eco-friendly Synthetic Insecticides for Sustainable Management of the Desert Locust
13. South Eastern Kenya University Prof. Francis Wachira Intervention Tools for Signalling, Controlling and Managing Desert Locusts Swarm Invasions in Kenya
14. Mount Kenya University Charles Ndege Designing and Testing of Desert Locust Trapping Methods Based on Green Energy Innovations
15. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology Dr. Francis Xavier Ochieng Development of a Portable, Non-Contact Locust Destroying Radar (LDR) System
16. University of Nairobi Dr. Dora Kilalo Development of Synergistic and Sustainable Interventions for the Management of Desert Locust (Schistocerca Gregaria) in Kenya

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