Dr. Thumbi is an infectious disease epidemiologist and zoonologist who studies the relationship between animal health and human health systems. He was recently part of an international team that quantified how co-infection significantly reduces the severity of the African cattle-killing disease East Coast fever (because infections by multiple pathogens are common in nature, the findings can be applied to curbing other parasitic infectious diseases such as human malaria, the researchers conclude).
Thumbi also led a team that found a strong relationship between the number of illnesses among family members and the number of livestock sicknesses and deaths in the same household across western Kenyan villages. He is a clinical assistant professor at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University and a Fellow at the Center for Global Health Research at Kenya Medical Research Institute. Dr. Thumbi is also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Wangari Maathai Institute for Environmental Studies and Peace.