Nelly Mugo

Nelly Mugo was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2019. As a fellow, Nelly Mugo contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Medical & Health Sciences

Dr. Nelly Mugo is a Senior Principal Clinical Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington (USA), Department of Global Health. She is actively engaged in clinical trial research; her interest is in sexually transmitted infection with focus on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research. She is a reproductive health specialist, with over 27 years of clinical experience and 2 decades in clinical research. In collaboration with scientists from Kenya, Uganda and USA specifically, the University of Washington, she has led qualitative and quantitative studies of ART for HIV prevention, cervical intraepithelial lesions, PrEP, fertility intention, and contraceptive use among HIV serodiscordant couples at the Thika, Kenya site and at the Coptic Hope clinic, Nairobi. She leads the clinical research team ‘Partners in Health Research and Development’ (PHRD)- KEMRI research team in Thika, conducting high-impact HIV prevention research. They conducted the proof of concept Partners PrEP Study, the landmark clinical trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention among serodiscordant couples, followed by the demonstration project of integrated PrEP and antiretroviral treatment for serodiscordant couples. This work laid the foundation for PrEP implementation in Kenya and globally. The team is currently implementing the Partners Scale up project to assess delivery of PrEP in public health facilities and a clinical trial on HIV self-testing to reduce frequency of clinic visits for oral PrEP users. Specific to cervical cancer prevention, her work includes HPV pathogeneses studies among female sex workers in high density low income settings in Nairobi, evaluation of cervical cancer screening interventions for HIV-infected women and HPV vaccine immunogenicity among HIV-infected adolescents. She provided clinical care for women with precancerous lesions at the Kenyatta National Hospital and provided mentorship and training for undergraduate and post graduate medical students for over a decade. She is currently a protocol-chair for an HPV vaccine single dose trial currently being implemented in Kenya at 3 clinical trial facilities (The KEN-SHE study) and a member of the ‘Single Dose HPV Vaccine Consortium’. Dr. Nelly R. Mugo has contributed to various National AIDS Control and STI Program (NASCOP), Department of Reproductive Health (Kenya), WHO forums and guidelines committees. She has over 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals.