Research facilities

KCRI is a fully operational research institute based in Northern Tanzania with all facilities needed to conduct medical research including a biotechnology laboratory, a clinical trial unit and field sites on a local and international level. Each research team can make use of those facilities. In addition, supporting facilities such as research administration, data management and IT are available. KCRI comprises two buildings, the main building and the biotechnology laboratory building.

The main buildings are based on the KCMC complex and were constructed with funds from NWO-WOTRO (Dutch organization for Scientific Research, department of Science for Global Development) through the APRIORI Program, EDCTP (European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) through the EACCR (East African Consortium for Clinical Research) and VITA Projects and from BMGF  through KCMC-LSHTM (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) collaboration. It accommodates the clinical trial unit, administration and finance offices, IT offices, a video-teleconferencing facility, data management offices, data archiving rooms, electronic library and lecture rooms and the biotechnology laboratory. Additionally, several field sites are available in the Northern Zone of Tanzania.

Clinical Trial Unit

We are in the unique possession of a clinical trial unit. The clinical trial unit accommodates necessary sections required for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) compliant clinical trials; rooms for registration, examination, pharmacy, drug administration, observation and management of adverse events, laboratory, and kitchen. The trial unit has two wards with twelve beds for continuous observation e.g. in continuous pharmacokinetic studies.

Biotechnology Laboratory

The biotechnology laboratory is a high technology laboratory. Over a period, the laboratory has been equipped and staffed by several projects. BL and other research laboratories at KCMC form the KCRI department of Biotechnology and Research laboratories. The range of laboratory equipments available include: equipments for haematology (e.g. Cell Dyn, Beckman Coulter), for biochemistry (Cobas Integra 400plus, Refletron machine), for immunology (ELISA Reader – Bio-Rad, Biotex, BD Facs caliber, Flow Cytometry, ELISPOT Reader, Olympus Inverted microscope, Bio-plex), for bacteriology (Bactec - BACT/ALERT3D, MGIT 960, Fluorescent microscope, p3 safety cabinet, Gen probe loader), and for molecular (HIV RNA sample processor, HIV1 DNA PCR, QIA cube sample processor, Corbett Robotics, Thermocyclers).

Procedures done include Serological tests, HIV testing (ELISA, Rapid tests and Western blot), HIV-1 RNA Viral load – using Abbott M2000RT, HIV1 DNA testing, real time PCR for TB, Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) processing, Phenotypic analysis for lymphocytes, Biochemistry, Microbiology, cultures for serial colon counting, Bacterial and Mycobacterial identification and drug susceptibility testing. 

Sample storage facilities include freezers, deep freezers up to -80◦ C, dry preservation, and liquid nitrogen facility. BL also operates liquid nitrogen and oxygen production plants.

Linked to the BL is an Insectory unit and an animal house, which at present support research operations of the Parasitology and Entomology division.

Field sites

The field sites are strategically located in North-Eastern Tanzania: they are along tarmac roads, cover the stretch of land from the Indian Ocean all the way to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This area has varying geophysical features from highlands, mountainous outcrops and lowlands to the endless plains of the Serengeti National Park. Also, the area has a diverse ethnic population including Nilotics, Bantus, Asians and the Hadzabe tribe. Human occupation is diverse from subsistence farmers, fishermen, and pastoralists to miners at the Tanzanite mining sites. These diversities have contributed to different characteristics of the same diseases. This is important in understanding diseases and their natural course. Such diversity of diseases, occupations, and geographical characteristics makes this location an ideal setting for research that can result into generic findings. KCRI has been able to identify and prepare sites for studies. Sites have been established for research in malaria (e.g. lower Moshi, Rift Valley area, Handeni), tuberculosis (Kibong’oto Hospital, Mererani, Same, Chekereni) and for HIV (Majengo Clinic, Mererani, Same, Chekereni). 

Several other potential sites have been identified, the majority of which have been GPS surveyed. There are also 24 experimental huts for evaluation of insecticides at three sites in lower Moshi.







     Bondo field dispensary                                                 Kibong’oto National Tb Hospital 

Several other potential sites have been identified, the majority of which have been GPS surveyed. There are also 24 experimental huts for evaluation of insecticides at three sites in lower Moshi.

Majengo site-Moshi

                                                                                Lower Moshi experimental huts for entomological research



Research administration and finance

KCRI contains a department for research administration and finance. Administrators and accountants have been educated accordingly. The administrators and accountants have broad experience with administering research projects and have all knowledge about legal issues of research (such as ethics), partnerships, accountancy etc. 


KCRI has workspace available for researchers. Desks are available with unlimited access to internet. One room is specifically dedicated for PhD students.


The main building houses an electronic library where literature can be searched. The library is equipped with desktops where databases such as Hinari, Medline and Cochrane can be accessed.

Information and communication technology

The ICT department of KCRI takes care of all ICT equipment, hardware, software and internet but also the power supply. 


The biorepository unit of KCRI contains a biobank, sample storage, warehouse and cold room.