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MMUST’s Prof. John Muoma and His PhD Student Samuel Mulama Clinch the Kenya-France Pamoja Research Initiative Travel Grant

Prof. John Muoma (Right) and Samuel Mulama prepare to work on their adopted research benches.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology’s Prof. John Muoma of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Samuel Mulama, his PhD student, have clinched the ‘Grant’. The initiative, which has officially been rolled out, has enabled them to travel to France and they are being hosted by Plant Health Institute Montpelier (PHIM), located at Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) laboratories. Prof. Muoma and Mr. Mulama will work closely with PHIM’s Prof. Sergio Svistoonoff, in order to support the student and add value to the research project.

Prof John Muoma on Wednesday, 29th May, 2024, presented his research findings at the CIRAD board room to a team of researchers both from France and Senegal working on various CIRAD ongoing projects. The findings provided the basis of the current research on groundnuts and cowpea, an orphan crop with a significant potential in agriculture crop production and commercialization. Prof. Muoma’s work on common bean which is equally a legume like the targeted crops will inform future work on the two crops.


Prof. John Muoma presents at the Plant Health Institute Montpelier, CIRAD in France.

The resilience of the rhizobium species provided the groundwork for the current project. This was strongly aided by Prof. Muoma and his previous PhD students; Dr. Fanuel Kawaka, Dr. Emily Nakhumicha and Dr. Clabe Wekesa. Dr. Kawaka is a senior lecturer at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Dr. Nakhumicha is a lecturer at the department of Biological Sciences in MMUST while Dr. Wekesa is a Post Doc student at the prestigious Max Plank Institute in Jena Germany.


Samuel Mulama attends training on dPCR, a new tool which has replaced qPCR.

Mulama, who has previously worked with all the above PhD students during his Master of Science program, has great understanding of the basis of the project and has started preliminary work on the project at the CIRAD laboratories. He will be spending the next one month acquainting himself with the techniques needed in his work before coming back to Kenya for sample collection. He will then travel back to France in September to embark on analysis. The Pamoja initiative has enabled Mulama to win an IRD Scholarship which will complement the Pamoja initiative so that his travel and stay from September to December 2024 can be comfortable and fruitful.

Prof. Muoma will be traveling back to Kenya in a week’s time to set-up the activities plan as per the objective of the research plan. MMUST is truly proud of him!

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