Thematic head: Dr. Margaret Oluka


Message from the head of the thematic unit

The unit of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy was established as a section within the then department of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Medicine in 1974.

The unit currently has 13 academic faculty consisting of two (2) Professors, two (2) Associate Professors, four (4) Senior Lecturers and five (5) Lecturers. In addition, the unit has a team of technical staff comprising 1 principal technologist, 2 senior technologists and two technologists. Other staff include animal attendants, office messenger and a cleaner.

The unit encompasses two distinct thematic units of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy that offer both undergraduate and postgraduate training programs.  Undergraduate Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy is offered to Bachelor of Pharmacy students from year II to year V that involves didactic lectures, laboratory practicals and clinical sessions.  We also offer courses to BSc Medical Laboratory and Technology students in the School of Medicine.

We run robust postgraduate programmes in Pharmacognosy and Complementary Medicine, Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance (EPIVIGIL) and Molecular Pharmacology.   The postgraduate thesis involves extensive research and has been a major source of new knowledge supporting policy and practice. Our Registrars also offer clinical services to the Kenyatta National Hospital especially Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in infectious diseases as well as in non-communicable diseases (NCDs)


The unit offers PhD  programmes in Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Complementary Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance, Pharmacoeconomics  and Drug Discovery.


Faculty are involved in extensive research on Antimicrobial Resistance (Fleming Fund), Pharmacovigilance (EDCTP), Drug Discovery, Pharmacognosy  and complementary medicine,  among others.


The unit is strategically located at the Kenyatta National Hospital, on Hospital Road, off Ngong Road.


For more information visit contact:, +254204915027




The thematic unit of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy is now one of the three thematic units within the Depsrtment of Pharmacy, University of Nairobi. The unit has two sections i.e. Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy.

Over the years the unit has evolved and grown, presently consisting of 16 members of academic staff with diverse areas of specialization. These are as follows:  (3) Professors, (1) Associate Professor, (5) Senior Lecturers (6) lecturers and (1) tutorial fellows. In addition, the unit has a team of technical staff comprising of (1) Principal technologist, (1) Chief technologist, (2) Senior technologists and one technologist.  Other staff include a secretary, (1) Junior Technologist, two animal attendants and (1) messenger. 

Thematic Units

Thematic Units
Thematic Units

1. Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Pharmacology and Therapeutics is the study of how chemical agents, both natural and synthetic, affect biological systems, and the application of this knowledge in disease prevention and management. About this Thematic Unit.

2. Pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of crude extracts, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin. It also involves the search for new drugs from natural sources  about this thematic unit.

3. Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance

Pharmacoepidemiology is the study of the use of and the effects of drugs in large numbers of people.Pharmacovigilance is a pharmacological science which focuses on the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects and medication errors caused by pharmaceuticals and medical devices  about this thematic unit.

4. Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics

Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics is a branch of pharmacology that studies how genetic differences can affect individual responses to drugs, both in terms of therapeutic effect as well as adverse effects.  about this thematic unit.