The AMPATH Research Network, currently led by Dr. Rachel Vreeman of Indiana University and Dr. Winstone Nyandiko of Moi University, was born in 1998. The research program was built on a solid foundation with an eye toward sustainability. The efforts to create a sustainable program included establishing:
- A research program office at AMPATH to oversee and coordinate research activities.
- A Research and Sponsored Programs office to provide grants managements and other essential services.
- An Institutional Review Board to ensure that proposed research is both ethical and culturally-appropriate.
- An ISO certified laboratory with enhanced capacity to support research projects.
This infrastructure has allowed the program to grow from a single research project to more than 90 active projects with research funding in excess of $83.4 million. Our research projects have included collaborators from more than 19 universities and academic institutions in Africa, Europe, and North America. Over 275 publications have resulted from these collaborations.
The program structure has been adapted over the years to deal with its growth. Initially, there was one full-time IU researcher working and living in Kenya. Now, there are 5 co-field directors for Research; three are full-time in Kenya. To facilitate collaboration, the program is organized into 9 research working groups (adult medicine, basic science, behavioral & social science, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, oncology, pediatrics, public health & primary care, reproductive health, and tuberculosis) and 7 cores (operations, data management, biostatistics, clinical informatics, pharmacy, laboratory, and bioethics). Additionally, each project must have both a North American and Kenyan principal investigator.