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M U H I M B I L I   M E D I C A L   R E S E A R C H   C E N T R E

National Institute for Medical Research

Muhimbili Medical Research Centre

Staff Profile


Staff Profile

Biography Dr Ndekya Maria Oriyo is a Principal Research Officer with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR). Dr. Oriyo has over two decades of experience in academics and research. She holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology from University College London, United Kingdom, with a diverse background in conducting and managing health and health research projects. She has contributed to various health-related initiatives in Tanzania, including investigations on infectious diseases, epidemiology, and public health interventions. Prior to joining NIMR, Dr. Oriyo was a lecturer in Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Moshi, Tanzania, for 10 years and has served as an honorary lecturer in Clinical Tropical Microbiology at the School of Medicine, University College London. She continues to support academic institutions as an external examiner. Dr. Oriyo has extensive experience in clinical trial monitoring, biosafety and biosecurity, laboratory systems, antimicrobial resistance, one health, and global health security. She has worked as a principal investigator and co-investigator in research studies covering a wide range of topics, including neglected tropical diseases, COVID-19, adolescent mental health, and respiratory pathogens, specifically tuberculosis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. With a strong background in health research ethics and regulatory frameworks, Dr. Oriyo provides capacity-building support in these areas. Dr Oriyo has published in peer-reviewed journals and is on the editorial board of the African Journal of Bioethics and Tanzania Public Health Bulletin. Dr. Oriyo has served on several national and international committees, including the IHR (2005) Technical Working Group (TWG), National Biosafety and Biosecurity TWG, National One Health TWG, the Quality Assurance, Health Security, Emergency and Preparedness TWG, the Medical Devices and Diagnostics Registration Technical Committee, TMDA and the Quality Assurance Committee of the Private Health Laboratories Board (PHLB) among others. She is the Chairperson of the Ministry of Health’s Global Laboratory Leadership Programme Task Force and the Co-chair of the National Biosafety Committee under the Vice-President’s Office. She previously chaired the External Scientific Advisory Panel for the International Multidisciplinary Programme to Address Lung Health and TB in Africa “IMPALA” and was a member of the External Scientific Advisory Panel of the NIHR Global Health Research Group on non-communicable lung disease in Africa. Dr. Oriyo is active in disease surveillance and public health event activities. She is on the World Health Organization roster of experts for the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) for IHR and Global Health Security core capacities and technical areas. She was a member of the technical team that facilitated the Tanzania JEE in 2016, which was the first globally. She has participated in JEE missions for the United States of America and Uganda. She has contributed to the Tanzania National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) (2017-2021) together with the interim NAPHS (2022-23), the One Health Strategic Plan (2021-2026) and the National Action Plans for Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2021) and (2022-2027). In addition to her expertise in health research, Dr. Oriyo is highly experienced in project management. She is a skilled leader with a proven ability to manage cross-functional teams and build strong working relationships with partners, stakeholders, and funders. Dr. Oriyo also has experience in policy engagement & advocacy, knowledge management, health technologies assessment, invitro diagnostics evaluation and health research regulation. She is one of the Councillor for the Tanzania Biological Safety Association (TaBSA). Her contact email is