Reproductive Health and Biology


This department conducts basic and applied research on aspects of reproductive health, reproductive biology, physiology and immunology that are relevant to the understanding of both human and non-human primate’s reproduction and fertility/infertility. In our research efforts, we have developed non-human primate models (especially baboon) to study specific aspects of reproductive health. This is as a result of our establishment that the baboon is a suitable model for testing the efficacy, safety and mechanism of action of new drugs for reproductive diseases and disorders.



Conservation and management of primate species (both wild and captive) are also of major concern in the department and are being addressed in several ways. Studies on habitat ecology, housing designs and reproductive technologies (i.e. semen cryopreservation, artificial insemination, IVF and embryo cryopreservation/transfer) are envisaged. Assisted reproductive techniques that target endangered primates are urgently required to facilitate captive breeding and as an aid to genetic management since some colonies may not breed well in captivity.

 The department conducts or emphasizes on research in the following areas:

–    Molecular and cellular aspects of reproduction
–    Molecular characterization of baboon papilloma virus
–    Uterus transplantation studies
–    Ovarian transplant
–    Development of new birth control methods
–    Testing for the safety and efficacy of novel agents for fertility control
–    Development of assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF
–    Studies on possible interaction between human contraceptives and  SHIV
–    Diseases that are associated with female infertility such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
–    Development of Spermicides(to prevent pregnancy) and Microbicides(to prevent STDs and HIV/AIDS infections)
The department is currently composed of senior scientists who lead key research group in addition to technical and support stuff.

Funding and Collaboration.
We have received funding and collaborated with several institutions and organizations including The Government of Kenya, World Health Organization, National Institute of Health, USA, Conrad, Merck Serono, European Union, PVEN and in various Universities in the USA, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The department is involved in training students from tertiary institutions including polytechnics and universities. This is crucial as scientist mentor various undergraduate, Graduates and Post-doctoral students

Together with our collaborators and partners, we have published our findings in various peer-reviewed international journals from in addition presenting our research findings in various local and international meetings.

Dr. Atunga Nyachieo, Ph.D
Head of Department
Reproductive health and Non Communicable Diseases
Institute of Primate Research (IPR)
WHO Collaborating Center
P.O. Box 24481-00502 Karen, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel. 254-20 3882571/4 (ext 147)
Fax 254-20 3882546
Email: /



July 19, 2012