Investigator Team

Professor David Otundo Ayuku

David Ayuku is an Associate Professor at the Department of Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Moi University. He has been significantly involved in a number of projects among vulnerable children and adolescents including the OSCAR Research project. He is also involved in developing an international research ethics training program for masters level students in collaboration with faculty at Indiana University.

Prof. Ayuku has served as a member of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and School of Medicine, Moi University Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC). His background, experience and knowledge of the local culture gives him a unique understanding of both the ethical and local community perspectives on issues related to human subject research participation, in particular of children and adolescents and the necessary expertise in Indigenous and African ways of knowing and scholarship.

Dr. Paula Braitstein

Dr. Paula Braitstein is an epidemiologist living and working in Kenya since 2007. Originally from Montreal, Paula’s roots are in the community-based HIV/AIDS movement in Canada as an HIV treatment educator and activist. She received her MA in Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), and her MSc and PhD in epidemiology from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver).

In Kenya since 2007, Paula’s major research, education and service priorities have been oriented around major health and social issues in East Africa including HIV prevention and treatment, high HIV risk children and youth including those who have been orphaned (from HIV and other causes), separated, abandoned, and those who are street-connected. She is the Principal Investigator of the “Orphaned and Separated Children’s Assessments Related to their (OSCAR’s) Health and Well-Being Study”.

Affiliations: Dr. Braitstein is Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto (Canada), and a CIHR Chair of Applied Public Health. She is a Visiting Professor at Moi University School of Medicine (Kenya), Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto, Adjunct Professor in the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University (USA). In addition to doing her own research, Paula is Co-Field Director of Research for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) Consortium.

Dr. Braitstein has lately joined “The Homeless Hub“, a resource for researchers and evidence-based policy professionals aiming to find solutions to homelessness.

Professor Lukoye Atwoli

Lukoye Atwoli is the Consultant Psychiatrist and Dean of Moi University’s School of Medicine, and an Associate Professor at the department of Mental Health, Moi University, School of Medicine. He also holds visiting positions with Harvard University’s School of Public Health and Duke University’s Institute of Global Health.

Professor Atwoli received training in disaster mental health, Hyogo Institute of Traumatic Stress, Japan. Further he was awarded a Fogarty Research Fellowship at Brown University, RI, USA.

His current research  focuses on Trauma & PTSD. He is involved in mental health research and development in Kenya and internationally. Projects include the Orphans and Separated Children’s Assessment Related to their health and well being (OSCAR project), the South African Stress and Health Survey (SASH), and the World Mental Health Surveys Consortium.

Professor Atwoli is the PI in the multi-center Neuropsychiatric Genetics of African Populations (NeuroGAP) project, examining genetic factors associated with severe mental illness among Africans.

Prof. Samuel Ayaya

Professor Ayayay is a trained medical doctor specializing in pediatrics and dermatology. Since joining the Department of Child Health and Pediatrics at Moi University in 1994 his research interest has been on children living under extremely difficult circumstances and HIV/AIDS.

Interests are prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV; comprehensive care of HIV/AIDS; TOT for midlevel managers of immunization through the Merck Vaccine Network-Africa (MVN-A);and writing of grant winning proposals among others. He was part of the team that established the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH). This is a care and research group that has provided care to more than 160,000 HIV infected and affected people.

In 2016  Prof. Ayaya established the Pediatric Research Working Group (PRWG) which he has chaired since. Through PRWG more than 100 papers on HIV have been published. He is also a frequent guest at participant at international conferences.

Dr. Omar Galarraga

Dr. Galarraga is an Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University School of Public Healthworks. He teaches classes on Comparative Health Care Systems, Statistical Analysis of Population-Based Datasets, and Global Health Economics. He works in three areas of applied health economics research: (1) behavioral economics including economic incentives for behavior change, (2) evaluation of health care reform initiatives including social health insurance, and (3) financing and cost-effectiveness of health care programs.  His research appears in public health, health economics, and health services research journals. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the International AIDS Society, and serves as Associate Editor for BMC Health Services Research.

Professor Joseph W. Hogan

Professor Hogan’s (Carole and Lawrence Sirovich Professor of Public Health, Professor of Biostatistics) research concerns the development of statistical methods for missing data, causal inference, and sensitivity analysis, with focus on applications in HIV and behavioral sciences. He has a long-standing interest in HIV and AIDS, which still exerts an enormous burden on society, particularly the most vulnerable.

As part of his collaborations in HIV, he serves as Co-Director of the Biostatistics Program for AMPATH, an international consortium of universities in the US, Canada and Kenya focused on treatment and prevention of HIV in Kenya; co-Director of the Biostatistics Core for the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research; and PI for the Biostatistics Core for the Brown Alcohol Research Center for HIV. His basic and collaborative research is funded by the NIH and USAID.

He teaches both introductory and advanced courses in biostatistics, and supervise 1-2 PhD students at any given time. Between 2003 and 2012 he directed the Biostatistics Graduate Program. In addition to teaching and research, a significant recent focus involves biostatistics research capacity building at Moi University in Kenya.

Allison Gayapersad

Allison has a PhD from the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on maternal, child and adolescent health in low-income countries. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow working with the OSCAR research project.

Dr. Mary Ott

Dr. Mary A. Ott, MD MA, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and provides both general adolescent medical care and specialty adolescent reproductive health care at Riley Hospital for Children, the HealthNet Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center, and the Eskenazi Health – Pecar Health Center Teen Clinic. Dr. Ott consults on adolescent health policies and programs at IU Health, locally in central Indiana, and nationally.

Her areas of interests include: Research/Clinical: (Clinical) Adolescent primary care; adolescent reproductive health and gynecology; chronic illness; obesity and eating disorders; Clinical ethics, consent and confidentiality.  (Research) Adolescent pregnancy and STD prevention; adolescent sexual health; Young men’s health; Ethics of research with vulnerable populations; consent and confidentiality; capacity.

Dr. Rachel Vreeman

Dr. Vreeman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, an Affiliated Scientist at the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, and a member of the Riley Children’s Health Services Research Program.  She is also Director of Research at the Indiana University Center for Global Health, Indiana University School of Medicine and the Joe and Sarah Ellen Mamlin Scholar of Global Health Research, Indiana University School of Medicine.  In addition, she is Co-Director of Pediatric Research for the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH), an academic collaboration that provides comprehensive HIV treatment for over 70,000 patients in Kenya.

Dr. Vreeman’s research addresses two key long-term clinical challenges for children living with HIV: enhanced pediatric adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and disclosure of HIV status in AMPATH pediatric HIV/AIDS clinics in Kenya.  In addition, she has provided guidance to pediatric HIV care issues for AMPATH, including developing and implementing pediatric clinical decision support, improving results reporting for HIV-exposed children, and facilitating monthly adolescent support groups.