Dr. Sam Kinyanjui is the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kenya and the Director for the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL). Prior to current position he spent 16 years doing research on the immunology and molecular biology of malaria parasites. During this period he developed a strong interest in capacity building for health research in Africa.
As the Head of Training and Capacity Building at the KWTRP in Kenya he provides scientific, and strategic guidance for academic training towards research leadership. His key achievement has been the development and implementation of a comprehensive research career framework for attracting, training and retaining African research leaders. Through the framework Dr. Kinyanjui has overseen the training of over 200 graduate interns, the majority of who have taken up a research career after the internship. This scheme has now been developed into a nationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods. He has also overseen over 90 Masters and over 60 PhD training since 2008. In 2015 Dr. Kinayanjui was awarded a further 8 million pounds by the Wellcome Trust to build on this work through the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL)
Kandala is Professor of Biostatistics at Northumbria University, UK.
Prior to this, he worked as Head of Health Economics and Evidence Synthesis Research Unit at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, Luxembourg and was Associate Professor in Health Technology Assessment, a joint appointment with the University of Oxford and University of Warwick.
He previously worked in many academics institutions and in various positions including as a Medical Statistician at the University of Southampton and King’s College London; a Mellon Foundation Fellow at the University of Montreal, Canada; Associate Professor at the University of Botswana and Associate Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is also affiliated with the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa as a Distinguished Professor of Biostatistics. He obtained a PhD in Economics/Statistics from the University of Munich (LMU) in Germany in February 2002.
For the past 15 years, his main research interests are in Bayesian statistical methods and their application to epidemiology and health. In particular, addressing maternal and child health and a variety of health-related health inequalities both in the developing countries and command economies, using large scale household data. He is also engaged in capacity building in Biostatistics throughout the world.
Kandala has published widely in high impact peer review journals in both the field of Statistics and health in diverse populations. He recently published a book with Springer Science on ‘Advance Techniques in modelling Maternal and child health in Africa’ (2014).
Kandala current research interests include, Bayesian modelling and diseases mapping, statistical methods applied to epidemiology, survival analysis, longitudinal data analysis, meta-analysis, Bayesian spatial Analysis, Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment.
Developing capacity for Statistical Expertise in East and Southern Africa
My life has encompassed many false starts, and wrong turns, and all are incorporated in my current work, and life. I dropped out of school, and it will remain my greatest achievement. I became a teacher, and that is in my blood. I have spent 20 years living in Africa, and almost as long working for LSHTM, and both provide some inspiration for my work and life. Applied statistics provides the thread which enables me to pull these diverse components together. I have no responsibilities, only privileges.
I studied Medical Statistics and have endeavoured to apply that knowledge in my work, and in my teaching. An understanding of data, and how to present results, is important in so many different areas. An understanding of people and how they work together, is probably more important, and a more reliable way to achieve results.
In my previous existence at the School, I taught and organised several face-to-face courses. I have organised many short courses (some in the School, and some for collaborative institutions). Since 2009 I have been the module organiser for EP202, within the distance learning MSc in Epidemiology. I have supervised three PhD students, and co-supervised many more, both in the School and elsewhere. In addition, I have advised many MSc students in both formal and informal ways. As a mentor I am always willing to give advice, some of which may actually be useful.
Since 2010 I have developed a Masters in Epidemiology and Applied Biostatistics in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Tanzania. Application can be made through www.kcmuco.ac.tz. In addition I have helped develop short courses in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Research methodology in various centres across East Africa. I am thankful to the THRiVE consortium for the support and help in organising and developing these courses.
I am fortunate to have collaborated with colleagues from many institutions in East Africa over the last 25 years. As one of the original co-investigators in the Alpha network (from 2005) I am proud of the collaborative analysis workshops that have been developed, which have given many researchers the ability to go onto further studies and research. These Alpha workshops are intensely practical and have influenced the way I think about the teaching of statistics.
My current research focusses on the SEARCH project (http://searchproject.lshtm.ac.uk/), which aims to train fellows in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi in the analysis of routinely collected HIV data. The project links the analysis, results and data to real questions raised by policy makers. I am leading a project funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, which is delivering ART in health centres, and monitoring the impact on health outcomes.
I am a co-investigator on the Alpha network, which is funded by Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/eph/dph/research/alpha/). The network recognises the power of sharing data across sites in order to answer some important questions about HIV infection, and treatment of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
My recent work includes research on the impact of HIV, and the subsequent impact of anti-retroviral therapy on mortality in Tanzania, and across East Africa. A lot of data are available in national and district databases, and it is important that we think of ways to analyse those data in a proper way.
I am a member of the editorial board of Parasite Immunology, and Tropical Medicine and International Health.