Dr Kirtika Patel BSc; MSc; PhD; MSc Allergy; DIC, Senior Lecturer and Head of Immunology Department
The department of Immunology at the school of medicine at Moi University has distinguished itself in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research. It is involved in teaching various schools i.e. medicine, nursing, dental and public health in the College of Health Sciences. In the school of Medicine where the department is housed, the faculty is in involved in teaching medical physiotherapy and medical lab technology undergraduate students. At postgraduate level the department of Immunology has its own masters programme i.e. MSc in Immunology since the last 10 years. It will soon mount the PhD in Immunology programme. It is also involved in teaching MSc in Biochemistry and clinical pharmacology and the M.Meds i.e. medicine, paediatric, reproductive health, surgery and orthopaedic students.
The department has 10 academic staff with one visiting Professor from the University of Toronto and employs the problem-based teaching with great emphasises on student directed learning. The department boasts two Professors; one whose book on Immunology is very popular among students of the continent and the other is the Director of Research at Moi University. The department is unique as it has one of the very few allergy specialists in the country. All members are involved in teaching and research among varied topics in parasitology, HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer and allergy with direct benefit to community health.
Immunology is a laboratory-based science and is now gaining a lot of importance in diagnostic and personalised medicine. Its involvement in treatment (oncology, Immunotherapy) and prevention (vaccines) is recognized worldwide. The department has the capacity of performing immunological techniques like precipitation, agglutination, western blots, ELISA, PCR, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. The department is in the process of acquiring capabilities of carrying out molecular techniques as one of the members is in training at post doctorate level at Stellenbosch University. The department is also involved in initiating the bio-repository at the MTRH hospital, which will aid collaborative research nationally and internationally.