Esther Kanduma
Kenya 2010
Esther Kanduma vividly remembers that milk money earned from the family’s 10 dairy cows paid her school fees until events wiped out the milk market, leaving her family without income. “My mother had to start a trading business to keep us in school,” Esther recalls. “I was the best student in my high school class, and was admitted to a BSc program at the University of Nairobi with a focus on zoology and biochemistry.” In her career, Kanduma first concentrated on developing diagnostic markers for cancer by analyzing cancer antigens in sera from patients. She then worked in Tanzania on tuberculosis in a collaborative project between University College, London and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. She spent several years teaching biochemistry in Tanzania and at her alma mater in Nairobi. In 2007, she saw an advertisement from Biosciences for Eastern and Central Africa for a PhD fellowship, which she secured.
My mother had to start a trading business to keep us in school,” Esther recalls. “I was the best student in my high school class, and was admitted to a BSc program at the University of Nairobi with a focus on zoology and biochemistry.
Field of Research
Identifying polymorphic genetic markers to determine the diversity of the tick vector Rhipicephalus appendiculatus for effective vaccine development for bovine livestock.

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