Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) Africa Regional Office based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Session: Building Clinical Trials Capacity in Africa
March 13, 2020
10:00 – 11:00
Monique Wasunna is the Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) Africa Regional Office based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been supervising and leading DNDi’s activities in Eastern Africa since 2003. She is a founding member and former Chair of the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP). LEAP is a clinical research platform created by DNDi that brings together scientists and institutions in Eastern Africa to develop clinical trial capacity and to deliver new treatment options to neglected VL patients. Dr Wasunna is a physician and infectious disease and tropical medicine specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Nairobi. Her postgraduate training in medicine was sponsored by WHO-TDR at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, where she obtained an MSc and a PhD in medicine and a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a member of the Kenya Medical Association and Kenya Association of Physicians. Dr Wasunna was the Chief Research Officer and Assistant Director of Research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). She has served as the Director, Centre for Clinical Research, KEMRI, from 1996 to August 2007. From August 2007 to May 2009 she was the acting Director KEMRI. From 2008 to 2015, Dr Wasunna was appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO as a member of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee (IBC). During this period, she was a rapporteur and a Vice-Chairperson of IBC. Currently, she is a member of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) African Scientific Advisory Board (ASAB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases – Leishmaniasis. She is also a member of the Kenya National Bioethics Committee, the Kenyatta National Hospital and the University of Nairobi Scientific and Research Ethics committee as well as a member of the Expert Committee of Clinical Trials of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Kenya. Dr Wasunna’s research interests are primarily focused on neglected diseases such as leishmaniasis and mycetoma with special focus on clinical trials in visceral leishmaniasis, malaria, and HIV. She has been a principal investigator in many clinical trials that have attracted funding from WHO and other international organizations. She is well-published in peer-reviewed journals.