Ms. Caroline Kithinji

2006 Trainee

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nairobi, Ms. Kithinji employed her knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology in conducting trypanosomiasis research at the Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute. In the course of her twelve years of trypanosomiasis research, she attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she received a Masters of Science in Medical Parasitology.

Through her experience as a medical researcher, Ms. Kithinji was exposed to a host of bioethics issues arising from international research collaboration. She found that many ethical review boards were compelled to approve proposals with little or no recourse as to how the study wou ld actually be conducted. Also, she witnessed a lack of bioethics knowledge on the part of principle investigators and research participants.

In May of 2004, Ms. Kithinji joined the Ethical Review Committee (ERC) in the Research and Development Department of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). While at KEMRI, Ms. Kithinji has initiated a post-approval monitoring program, developed a digital database of Ethical Review Committee documentation, and played a key role in the development of a com prehensive Intellectual Property Policy for the Institute.

Ms. Kithinji intends to use the skills she takes away from the Training Program to transform the ERC into a center of bioethics excellence for the Great Lakes region. Towards this goal, she wishes to expand and train the ERC’s skilled staff base, introduce research tracking mechanisms and monitoring systems, and develop a method by which dissemination of ERC materials will create awareness in the population of potential research subjects.

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