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John Muthii Muriuki

PhD Fellow, Open University (UK), Kenya Medical Research Institute

I’m an epidemiologist with experience in mathematical modelling and analysis of large datasets. I previously worked on modelling transmission dynamics of malaria in an irrigated setting and mapping of the drivers of poor nutritional outcomes in different ecological settings in Kenya. These studies sparked my current interest to research on the complex interactions between nutrition and infections. My PhD project entails investigating whether iron status is causally associated with the risks of malaria and bacterial infections in African children. I’m utilising Mendelian randomization to draw the causal inference. My study will also identify novel genetic variants that alter iron status in a genome-wide association study of African children. Currently, the safety of giving iron supplementation remains a long-standing conundrum among clinicians and policy makers. This study will therefore have an impact on public health policy for managing iron deficiency and the associated infections. In future, I hope to extend this concept to understand how nutritional deficiencies relate to other disease processes.


A comparison of malaria prevalence, control and management strategies in irrigated and non-irrigated areas in eastern Kenya. Muriuki J.M., Kitala P., Muchemi G., Njeru I., Karanja J., Bett B. | Malaria Journal, 2016 15:402 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1458-4
Muriuki John Muthii, Alexander Mentzer, Gavin Band, James Gilchrist, Tommy Carstensen, Swaib Lule, Morgan Goheen, et al. (2019). “The Ferroportin Q248H Mutation Protects from Anemia, but Not Malaria or Bacteremia.” Science Advances 5 (9): eaaw0109.
Muriuki John Muthii, Alexander J Mentzer, Emily L Webb, Alireza Morovat, Wandia Kimita, Francis M Ndungu, Alex W Macharia, et al. (2019). “Malaria Is Causally Associated with Iron Deficiency in African Children.” AAS Open Research.
Muriuki John Muthii, Alexander J Mentzer, Wandia Kimita, Francis M Ndungu, Alex W Macharia, Emily L Webb, Swaib A Lule, et al. (2018). “Iron Status and Associated Malaria Risk Among African Children.” Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Muriuki John Muthii, and Sarah Atkinson. (2018). “How Eliminating Malaria May Also Prevent Iron Deficiency in African Children.” Pharmaceuticals 11 (4): 96.
Muriuki John Muthii, Philip Kitala, Gerald Muchemi, Ian Njeru, Joan Karanja, and Bernard Bett. (2016). “A Comparison of Malaria Prevalence, Control and Management Strategies in Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Areas in Eastern Kenya.” Malaria Journal 15 (1): 402.


  • –present
    PhD candidate, Kenya Medical Research Institute