Global WACh

March 9, 2020

Introducing Preston Owiti, UW/UoN Pediatrics Collaborative Research Lab Manager

Global WACh welcomes Preston Owiti, the new Laboratory Manager for the University of Washington/University of Nairobi’s Pediatrics Collaborative Research Laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya. The late Brian Khasimwa previously held this position for 10 years. In this role, Preston is responsible for the management of laboratory operations and coordination of laboratory activities to support several research studies within Global WACh and the Department of Global Health.

Preston Owiti has a master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He previously worked at Kenya Medical Research Institute/Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (KEMRI/CDC) Research Collaboration Program in Kenya for over 8 years. He headed the section for DNA Sequencing at HIV-R Laboratory, mainly involved in HIV genotyping for detection of ARV resistance. The KEMRI/CDC HIV-R DNA Sequencing section (part of the World Health Organization (WHO) was a designated regional HIV genotyping laboratory whose responsibility included genotyping nationwide ARV resistance cases and HIV resistance analysis survey samples from regional countries. At the national HIV program level, Prestone continues to contribute to discussions at the national technical working group on HIV drug resistance, HIV testing and treatment guidelines and strategic plan for HIV drug resistance testing. His previous experience included performing PCR-based and ELISA assays for diagnosis and clinical characterization of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He implemented protocol-specific procedures for ACTG, HPTN, MSF, MTN among other research groups. Preston has interests on methodologies for refining molecular epidemiology tools to be more robust at characterizing community epidemic hotspots to leverage precise and powerful disease control strategies.

If you are in Nairobi, please take a moment to drop by the lab and introduce yourself, or send him a brief email to welcome him to our community!