Research groups: IMMUNOCOV, CONAIPS
Francis did his PhD in immunology at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK (NIMR). He then took up a post-doctoral training position at NIMR and was successful at implementing a new programme of research in quantifying antigen-specific memory B cells in a mouse model of malaria.
He moved back to KWTRP (Kenya) in 2008 as a post-doctoral researcher to start and build a research group. His main areas of interest are:
- Immunological memory to malaria parasites in historically infected individuals,
- Host factors responsible for increased susceptibility to malaria in a small proportion of children that experience excessively more malaria than expected, and
- The mechanisms responsible for controlling parasite growth and inflammation in semi-immune adults following experimental infections.
These studies are providing the much-needed insight into how we can induce protective immune responses to P. falciparum malaria by vaccination in the background of the immune-regulatory state induced by natural exposure in endemic areas.
Upon the introduction of Covid-19, he was quick to use his experience and skills to initiate a project on Covid-19 immunology – understanding Sars-CoV-2 immunology in the African population. Furthermore, his group has been involved in the response to the pandemic in Kenya with involvements in Covid-19 testing, and sequencing of Sars-CoV-2 viruses.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Host immune responses to SARS-CoV-2: correlating kinetics with the natural history of infection (ImmunoCoV)
- Determining Cellular Correlates of Immunity to Blood Stage Malaria in an Experimental Human Challenge Model of Exposed Adults
- Determining Correlates of Naturally Acquired Pre-Erythrocytic Immunity to Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in an Experimental Human Challenge Model
Title: CoNAIPS, ImmunoCoV
Research Group Members: Jedida Mwachiro, Perpetual Wanjiku, 3 PhD and 4 MSc students