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What is today the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry started as a Pharmaceutical Chemistry Section within the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Pharmacy in 1974 with one lecturer and one tutorial fellow.  By 1977, the section had 4 lecturers and in 1995, it was elevated to a full department in the newly established Faculty of Pharmacy with Prof. I. O. Kibwage as the first Chairman. He served in this capacity until 2004 when he was elected Dean, School of Pharmacy. He was succeeded by Prof. G.N. Thoithi who served upto 2007 and was succeded by Dr. K.O. Abuga. The current chairman Dr. S.N. Ndwigah  took over from Dr. Abuga in 2017.

Currently the department has nine members of academic staff consisting of two Professors, one Associate Professor, three Senior Lecturers and three Lecturers, all Kenyans.  The department has seven members of highly trained and experienced technical staff and three members of administrative and support staff.


The Department is actively involved in teaching medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical analysis as well as aspects of good laboratory and manufacturing practices.

The Department is charged with the core functions of training of undergraduate pharmacy students, postgraduate training in relevant specialities, research and provision of consultancy services to both the public and private sector. The Drug Analysis and Research Unit ( within the Department is actively involved in research into the quality of medicines in the Kenyan market.

The Department also houses The East and Central African Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This is a premier international , peer reviewed open access journal in the Great Lakes region. The journal is available at

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