Dr. Akinyi currently works as a Research Scientist at
the Institute of Primate Research (IPR). She has over 15
years’ research experience as a primate veterinarian for
both natural and captive primate populations.

She graduated with a Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University,
USA in 2017. She holds a Master of Science degree in Medical
Physiology and a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary
Medicine from the University of Nairobi.
Her research interest centers around surveillance of circulating pathogens, including zoonotic pathogens, in wild populations of non-human primates at
the human-wildlife interface.

She also conducts zoonoses outreach programs to
sensitize communities located at the human-wildlife interface on zoonoses and their risk factors. In March 2020 when COVID-19 first struck Kenya, Mercy was called upon to
serve as the deputy head of the IPR COVID testing and research center that was set up to support the government efforts in surveillance of the on-going pandemic. Her overall
role was to supervise and train staff on molecular diagnosis of COVID-19.

Over the years, Mercy has been awarded research grants by multiple funding agencies including;
1) the Government of Kenya, National Council Of Science And Technology, Science,
Technology And Innovations (ST&I) Grant,
2) The Developing Excellence in Leadership
and Genetics Training for Malaria Elimination in sub-Saharan Africa (DELGEME), The International Veterinary and Vaccinology Network, UK, and most recently the Organization for Women in Science for Developing (OWSD) countries amongst others.

Mercy’s training history as a veterinarian and a biologist, and her technical experience provides an opportunity for her to make significant contributions to the scientific arena and to serve as a role model for other African women in STEM fields.

Research Scientist
Dr. Mercy Y. Akinyi