Dr. Agnes A. Gwela


Dr. Agnes A. Gwela

Post-doctoral Fellow


I completed my D.Phil in Immunology and Translational medicine from the University of Oxford in 2014.  Later i joined the Translational Gastroenterology Unit at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine. Here I worked on a project trying to find the link between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) that affects the liver, specifically whether the Immunological drivers of IBD also drive or exacerbate PSC. Later I moved to KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Program, to undertake a post-doctoral position in Immunology within the CHAIN Network. I have focused on understanding how the immune system in children is altered by adverse situations such as undernutrition occurring alone or in the presence of prevailing illness.  



  • Reena Shah, Stanley Lutchers, Shaheen Sayed, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi  
  • Sodiomon B. SIRIMA and MIMVaC Africa, GRAS, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso  
  • Jean Langhorne, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK 
  • Azza Idriss and Robert Seder, NIH, USA 
  • Azza Idriss and Robert Serder, NIH, USA  
  • Katie Ewer and Adrian Hill, Oxford, UK 
  • David Anderson, Burnet Institute, Australia 
  • Ian Cockburn, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia  
  • Azza Idriss and Robert Serder, NIH, USA  
  • Peter Billingsley and Stephen Hoffman, Sanaria, USA 
  • Stephen Scally and Alan Cowman, WEHI, Melbourne, Australia 
  • James Brewer and Paul Garside, University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Anna Farnert and Anna Smed Sörensen, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 
  • Bartek Makower and Peter Jahnmatz, Mabtech AB, Stockholm, Sweden 
  • Tom Ottenhoff, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands 
  • David Anderson, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia  
  • Pjotr Prins, University of Tennessee, USA 

Scientific Involvements:  


  • Co-Directs AfriBOP, an international immunobiology course targeting young African scientists. 
  • Advanced Immunoloy Courses and supervision at Pwani University. 

Supervision: 2 postdoctoral, 4 PhD and 10 MSc students so far 

Reviews: Several  


Focus of research group/Title of group: CHAIN-(Childhood acute Illness & Nutrition Network).  

CHAIN is an international network of health professionals drawn from various institutions across the globe. Focus areas: Childhood Illness & Nutrition, Nutritional Immunology, Epidemiology, Enteric function, Pathogen biology 

Group research description 

Young children (<5 years) living in low & middle-income countries are at an increased risk of illnesses that lead to hospitalisations and death. The CHAIN network focuses on identifying and understanding the risk factors (biological & social) that drive vulnerabilities in young children in resource poor settings particularly in Africa and Asia. The ultimate goal is to identify modifiable risk factors that can be targeted for various interventions to mitigate poor outcomes and improve child health and survival. 

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Research Group Members: Jedida Mwachiro, Perpetual Wanjiku, 3 PhD and 4 MSc students