Principal Investigator

Research group:


Sam (MBChB, MMED in Paediatrics & Child Health, Dphil in Clinical Medicine) did his medical education in Kenya and his Dphil studies at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. His Dhil, awarded in 2012, investigated haemodynamic status of children with severe febrile illnesses. Sam took a research break between 2012-2015 to obtain specialist medical training and re-joined KWTRP in 2016 as a post-doctoral researcher focussing on understanding the impact of recommended interventions of survival of hospitalised children. His main research interests are; 

  • Understanding the aetiology, management, and impact of interventions in children with severe febrile illnesses, focussing on malaria and severe infections   
  • Improving triage and treatment of children with febrile illnesses presenting to hospitals  
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in paediatric inpatient settings 
  • Hospital inpatient surveillance for understanding impact of interventions and burden of diseases in children  

The studies inform case management of common childhood infections which lead to admission while also identifying areas that need further research evidence. He has led the sentinel surveillance in Kenya for the WHO-led evaluation of RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine following its pilot introduction in 2019 in Kenya, Ghana, Malawi.  He leads the childhood severe febrile illness study group (cSEFI Group) within the Nairobi hub of KWTRP. He also supported publication of evidence briefs on COVID-19 that supported Kenya’s MoH response to COVID-19.    

Research Projects 

  • An evaluation of the cluster-randomised pilot implementation of the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine through routine health systems in western Kenya: a post-authorization observational study 
  • The CINAMR (Clinical Information Network-Antimicrobial Resistance) Project: A pilot microbial surveillance using hospitals linked to regional laboratories in Kenya  
  • Strengthening the evidence for policy on the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine: assessment of safety and effectiveness using case-control studies embedded in the Malaria Vaccine Pilot Evaluation 
  • A Clinically Oriented Antimicrobial Resistance Network (ACORN 2.0) 
  • Triage and management of sepsis in children using the point-of-care Paediatric Rapid Sepsis Trigger tool 


Internal: In the Programme -Bob Snow, Edwine Barasa, Mike English, Philip Bejon, Anthony Etyang, Ambrose Agweyu, Jay Berkley, Ednah Ooko, Edna Mutua, Eunice Kagucia, Anthony Scott,  

External: beyond the Programme – 

  • Mark Ansermino-University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 
  • Niranjan (Tex) Kissoon- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 
  • Paul Turner- Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) 
  • Susie Dunachie- Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom  
  • Jacob Mcknight – Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 
  • Catrin Moore – Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 
  • Christiane Dolecek- Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 
  • Mathew Wiens- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 
  • Tellen D. Bennett – Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA  
  • Bernhards Ogutu-Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) 
  • Simon Kariuki- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)  
  • Sam Kariuki- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)  
  • Robert Onsare- Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) 
  • Maj (Dr) Jack Hutter- USARMD-A/K  & Walter Reed Army Institute of Research  
  • Maj (Dr) Nathanial Copeland- USARMD-A/K & Walter Reed Army Institute of Research 
  • Lucas Tina- KEMRI-USARMD-A/K 
  • Aaron Samuels (CDC) 
  • Nelli Westercamp (CDC) 
  • Titus Kwambai (CDC), 

 Other roles 


  • Has supervised 2 completed MSc and 2 completed postgraduate diploma 
  • Supervising 2 ongoing PhDs 
  • Has supervised 1 postdoctoral scientist 

Editorial boards you sit on.  

  • Associate Editor of BMC Medicine -since 2021 

Advisory/technical working groups you belong to.  

  • Member of the Kenya National COVID-19 response taskforce representing KWTRP 
  • Member Sepsis Definition Taskforce of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (https://www.sccm.org/Home ) (2019-Dec 2020)  
  • Member of the Malaria Technical Working Group, Ministry of Health, Kenya (2019-2024)  
  • Steering committee member of Paediatric Sepsis CoLab ( https://www.wfpiccs.org/the-pediatric-sepsis-colab/) an initiative to develop data driven tools for sepsis diagnosis (2019-2023) 
  • World Health Organization (WHO)-Technical consultant on several topics WHO prequalification requirements for haemoglobin point of care  
  • Member of the Kenya Paediatric Research Consortium (KEPRECON)   
  • Member of Kenya Paediatric Association (KPA) and Kenya Medical Association (KMA) 

Reviewer roles 

  • Several journal 
  • Funding bodies  


  • Honorary Lecturer, Department of Paediatics and Child Health, University of Nairobi (teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students)  
  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 
  • Consultant Paediatrician 


  • Wellcome Trust 
  • WHO 
  • EDCTP 



  • childhood SEvere Febrile Illness study group (cSEFI Group)-Leads group -members include -Brian Mose Nyamwaya, Joyce Kigo, Cynthia Khazenzi, Monica Musa, Morris Ogero, Jackline Gachoki, Stephen Kamau 
  • Health Services Research Unit (HSU), KWTRP, Nairobi-Part of the leadership of HSU