Utafiti News Issue 4 Dec 2016

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This is the fourth issue of Utafiti News, a research newsletter published by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension (RPE). The newsletter highlights the research activities of the University including related support services. Utafiti News is open to contributions by researchers from all disciplines. I would like to thank the researchers who made time for our interviews as well as those who submitted their articles because in doing so they made the fourth issue of Utafiti News a reality. In addition, they provided the opportunity for our readers to know about the activities taking place in the workshops, laboratories, and other research spaces of the University. We hope that the information contained in this newsletter will find useful application.

The theme of this particular issue of the newsletter is “Collaboration in research”, which is an important objective of the University as captured in the messages from the Vice-Chancellor and DVC (RPE). The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter M. F. Mbithi, has affirmed that research collaboration is an important vehicle towards making the University truly world class in line with the institutional vision. The DVC (RPE), Prof. L. Irungu, on her part, conveys the Division’s commitment to providing the support needed by researchers to engage in successful collaborative research arrangements.

Prof. Ben Sihanya offers expert opinion on the implications of research collaboration by answering the vital questions that researchers ought to consider before signing collaborative research agreements. One of the key messages is that researchers must be clear about intellectual property rights, ownership, and exploitation and how these issues relate to them and their institutions vis a vis other parties to the agreement.

In this issue also, Prof. L. Irungu reviews the last five years in office as DVC (RPE). She evaluates the Division’s achievements and also challenges. Her plans for the Division going forward are outlined including the lessons she has carried to inform future actions.

In our research section, we learn about the intensive research work taking place at KAVI-Institute of Clinical Research in the area of stem cell research and why the Institute is ready to implement the ambitious plan of establishing the first stem cell bank in sub-Saharan Africa. Read about the journey so far and what it means to have a stem cell bank within your reach. In another research story, follow the interesting description of the technological advances taking place in the area of livestock breeding from our researcher from the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), including the production of Kenya’s first test-tube calf. The researcher is looking at the possibility of providing farmers with gender-selected embryos.

Meet our researcher for this issue, Prof. George O. Rading, who will tell you about his work in material science and what drives him in an area of research that many of us are not familiar with, yet as he reminds us “everything we use is made of some kind of material”. Perhaps this is a good time to show more than a passing interest in the materials around us.

Our researcher on climate change directs our attention to Mount Kenya and the disappearing glaciers. Should we worry? Yes, but most significantly we need to spring into action. The newsletter continues to emphasise the importance of communication between researchers and the non-specialist audiences. This issue introduces science communication and how researchers can get involved without being labelled as “rock star scientists”. We have other interesting articles in this issue.

If you would like Utafiti News to feature your research work or explore and learn the activities of your department, please write to editor-utafiti@uonbi.ac.ke  or dvcrpe@uonbi.ac.ke.

Pamellah Asule



Pamela Asule

Sub editor
Njeri Muhoro

Frequency of Publication: