Kenya Project


The Turkana Kenya project is a part of a collaboration with a larger group of researchers interested in understanding how changes in life way practices could affect health outcomes in Turkana communities that are traditionally agropastoralist as they transition to industrialization. Previous research has indicated that industrialized populations are at an increased risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, diabetes, or hypertension. By examining the ways in which health may change as individuals and communities engage in market integration, researchers hope to isolate important biomarkers for identifying NCD risks and devise preventative measures. The human microbiome and microbial diversity is heavily influenced by environmental, social, and genetic factors, and plays an important role in shaping the body’s response to changes in lifestyle. Research on the oral microbiome has shown connections between oral microbial health and NCDs, as well as mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. By including microbiome analyses in this study of the effects of market integration on health outcomes in Turkana communities, we hope to better establish the connections and relationships between how lifestyle changes can impact the oral microbiome and the body’s response to these shifts, as well as the development of NCDs.

Project Lead

Grace Bowland

For more information, contact Grace.