The idea to start a primate research centre in Kenya was mooted in 1958 when Dr. LSB Leakey was visiting Ghana. He found that his friend, Dr. Alan Angus Booth, had died very suddenly after about nine years of primate research work in Ghana, which he had carried out jointly with his wife, Cynthia Booth. Both of them had been known to LSB Dr. LSB Leakey for a long time, and both were very highly qualified Cambridge University graduates in Biology and Animal Behavior. Dr. LSB Leakey enquired of Cynthia what she planned to do now that her husband had died, and she said that she would finish off the publication of their latest joint report, and wind current research, and then she would wish to leave Ghana. After pondering the matter for 24 hours, LSB suggested the next day that she should come and continue research on monkeys with a base somewhere near Nairobi. Accordingly, at the end of 1958 she arrived in Kenya, and the Tigoni Primate Research Centre came into existence.


Prof. Josephat Mulimba
Board Chairman

Professor Josephat Mulimba is a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon who retired  from the University of Nairobi after 46 years of service.  He joined the department of Orthopaedic Surgery as a tutorial  fellow  on 30th January 1976.  He rose through the ranks to become the first African full professor of Orthopaedic surgery in Kenya and East Africa.  He played a major role in the development of Orthopaedic surgery in Kenya, East and Central Africa for which he has won numerous awards.

He was the chairman of the department of Orthopaedic surgery for 12 years during which time he was a member of the senate of  the University of Nairobi. He played a major role in starting the College of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) which is now a major trainer of personnel within this region.

Prof. Johnson Kangethe Kinyua
Board Member

Prof. Johnson Kang’ethe Kinyua Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture and Technology. Prof. Kinyua is an accomplished researcher whose work has positively impacted the livelihoods of many communities. Among his most important contributions has been the reformulation of fertilizer aimed at improving crop yields for farmers and, as a result, bolstering the world’s rapidly declining food security. His malaria research also resulted in a patent. He previously served in the Directorate of Gender and Mentoring Centre, as a Director and a Deputy Director prior to his appointment as the Chairperson Department of Biochemistry. He holds a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi.

Prof. Mary Gikungu
Board Member

Director General – National Museums of Kenya

Prof. Isaac Ogangu Jumba
Board Member

Prof Jumba holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biochemistry and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in chemistry from the University of Nairobi.

He has 46 years of experience as a public servant – 8 years as a research officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and 38 years as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi Chiromo Campus, where he rose to the level of professor in 2006. He has served in various administrative positions at the University; First as chairman of the Department of Chemistry, then as Dean of Faculty of Education, Deputy Principal in charge of Kenya Science Campus and Principal of the College of Education and External Studies. He has also served as a member of the University of Nairobi Senate for a record 21 years from 2001 – 2022.

Prof Jumba has published numerous scientific journal articles, book chapters and topical research papers in the areas of ecosystem health, environmental pollution, occupational toxicology and mineral metabolic profile testing in herbivores. He has received several awards in recognition of his achievements. He retired from the university in October 2023.

Mr. Paul Ndambuki Mutuvi
Board Member
Dr. Gaynor Noreh Lumbasio
Board Member

Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biotechnology Microbiology, Biotechnology, Genetics

He is currently an Embryologist at The Nairobi IVF Centre Ltd

Dr. Peter Gichuhi Mwethera PhD., MBS
Director General, KIPRE

Dr. Mwethera is an experienced Biomedical Scientist with a demonstrated history of working in reproductive health & health care industry.  He is a strong research professional who  graduated from Bristol University, UK, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA and University of Leuven, Gathuisberg Hospital, Belgium.

Dr. Mwethera has a number of products developed by his research including two medical gels, Smugel and Smuscan. The gel is also used to safely deliver babies and is especially valuable for women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).

He has won various awards for his innovations including the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Award in Africa (2015), Africa Union Innovation Award, Brazzaville (2013) the best prize in Science and Innovation category in the Kenya Public Service Innovation and Award Scheme (2012), and best prize in National Council for Science and Technology Award, Kenya (2012).

Dr. Mwethera was in 2019 awarded with the Head of State Commendation - Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) - for his scientific research.

Dr. Mwethera has supervised and mentored several PHD, MSc Students and is currently an external examiner of the at University of Nairobi

Before appointment to the position of Director general of Kenya Institute of Primate Research, Dr. Mwethera  served as Head of Reproductive Health Biology Department.

Ms. Lucyline Mbogori
Head of Public Relations and Secretariat to the Board




Welcome to the Kenya Institute of Primate Research formerly IPR. This is a 63-year-old premier biomedical Scientific Research Institution that was started by Dr. LSB Leakey. His objective was to study monkey behaviour so that it can give an insight into behaviour of early man. Functions of IPR have since expanded to include
biomedical research, laboratory animal science and Conservation biology.




Dr. Atunga Nyachieo

Chief of Research

Dr. Peter Gichuhi Mwethera, PhD, MBS


Mr. Patrick Manene

Ag. Principal Administrative Officer

Contact Us

Functions of IPR include biomedical research, laboratory animal science and conservation biology. 
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