Mercy Yvonne Akinyi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, Eastern Africa. She grew up in Kenya and attended the University of Nairobi from 2000 to 2005 graduating at the top of her class with a Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine (BVM). She then went on to undertake her Master of Science in Medical Physiology (Msc.) degree at the same university from 2006 to 2010. While undertaking her degree, Mercy joined the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) as a veterinarian and an assistant research scientist. While at IPR she received the Government of Kenya, National Council Of Science And Technology, Science, Technology And Innovations (St&I) Grant. She undertook her PhD studies at Duke University, USA and graduated in 2017. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow funded by The Developing Excellence in Leadership and Genetics Training for Malaria Elimination in sub-Saharan Africa (DELGEME) and is based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi, Kenya.
Her research interests are focused on understanding sources of variance in disease risk in wild populations of non-human primates. Research in disease ecology aims to understand principles that influence disease transmission over time and space. Studies of disease ecology are thus central to our understanding of disease prevalence and of zoonoses (diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans).
I am currently working on the following projects;
1) Epidemiological surveillance of zoonotic parasites in wild non-human primates in Kenya
2) Proteomic profiling of the serum of olive baboons (Papio anubis) upon co-infection with Plasmodium knowlesi and Schistosoma mansoni
3) Characterization of AMA1 diversity of non-Plasmodium falciparum malarias in human samples in Kilifi, Kenya
4) Characterization of various malaria drug resistance markers in infected humans in Kilifi, Kenya