Pauline Wanjiku Kibui

PhD Student


Pauline Wanjiku Kibui
© Pauline Kibui

Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology
Institute of Reproductive and Regenerative Biology
Albert-Schweitzer Campus 1
Building D11
D-48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251/83-

Nationality: Kenyan Ke


  • Since 2022:
    PhD studies in the Institute of Reproductive and Regenerative Biology, Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University of Münster, Germany
  • 2011 - 2016:
    Master of Science in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences and Management (M.Sc.), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
    Thesis: Effects of combined oral contraceptives and estriol on the thickness of baboon vaginal epithelium and reproductive hormonal levels
  • 2013 - 2015:
    Master of Science in Molecular Biology (M.Sc.), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
    Thesis: The effects of menstrual cycle, combined oral contraceptives and local vaginal estriol on steroid hormone receptors in baboon model using immunohistochemistry
  • 2007 - 2011:
    Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory Technology (B.Sc.), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
    Thesis: The analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of methanolic extracts of S. incanum in rats

Work Experience

  • 2021 - 2022:
    Visiting researcher, Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University of Münster, Germany
  • 2021:
    Research associate, Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2020 - 2021:
    Consultant clinical embryologist, Nairobi West Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2018 - 2021:
    Research scientist/embryologist, Department of Reproductive Health and Biology, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2016 - 2018:
    Lead embryologist, Harley Street Fertility Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2016:
    Embryology fellowship – Indonesian Reproductive Science Institute and Merck Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2012 - 2016:
    Research student – Institute of Primate Research, WHO Collaborating Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2012:
    Research assistant – International Livestock Research Iinstitute, CGIAR Group, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2010 - 2012:
    Lead embryologist and research assistant – Assisted Reproductive Technology and Pharmacology Laboratories, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Schlatt, Institute of Reproductive and Regenerative Biology, Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University of Münster, Germany

  • Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kaiser, Department of Behavioural Biology, Institute for Neuro- and Behavioural Biology, University of Münster, Germany

  • Prof. David Okello Owiny, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Gulu University, Uganda

Research interests

  • Early mammalian development

  • Germ cells

  • Translational research

  • Genetic engineering

PhD project description

A multi-faceted approach to differentiation of male germ cells from primates

Pediatric male cancer patients undergoing chemo- and radiotherapy are at a remarkably high risk of developing subfertility associated with gonadotoxic therapy. While they may have an option of cryopreserving testicular tissue prior to oncological treatment, there are no established tissue culture systems able to support complete human spermatogenesis or to reinstate spermatogenesis in vivo. For decades, mammalian ex vivo spermatogenesis has remained elusive. Currently, some of the promising fertility restoration approaches include in vitro testicular culture, testicular grafting and germ cell autotransplantation. In this study, a multi-faceted approach will be used to determine the short term and long term effects of irradiation, spermatogenic restoration and progression factors using immature and mature mammalian testis. Due to ethical concerns and unavailability of human testicular tissue, common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) will be used for its close resemblance of reproductive biology to humans while observing animal experiments regulations. Briefly, xenografting will be used to study long term primate spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis post irradiation. Donor marmoset testicular tissues will be exposed to varying doses of radiation and later xenografted in male nude mice. The short term effects of radiation will be determined using the organ culture system (gas-liquid interphase system) that will be refined to enhance proliferation and differentiation of male germ cells. Additionally, organ-on-chip technology will be employed to build a microfluidic platform to provide a controlled microenvironment in which testis tissue maintains its integrity, architecture and paracrine interactions. The collected blood serum, control and retrieved testicular tissues will be analysed using histology, immunohistochemistry, molecular and endocrine analysis. Testicular germ cell and peritubular cell markers will be used to evaluate spermatogenic progression. Finally, this study will evaluate the effects of microplastics on spermatogenesis using the microfluidic platform as part of a bigger project aimed at developing a valid test system to evaluate potential adverse effects of environmental plastic pollution on male fertility. Eventually, a comparison of male primate spermatogenesis restoration will be made between xenografting, static organ culture system and microfluidic culture system. Establishing an efficient and reproducible ex vivo organ culture systems would be crucial for understanding cellular and molecular signature of primate spermatogenesis, gonadotoxicity as well as germ cell genome editing to correct genetic causes of infertility. Further, the ex vivo culture systems will have a direct clinical relevance to male factor infertility patients, fertility preservation/restoration in cancer patients and perhaps in endangered species conservation.


Tiambo CK, Kibui PW, Kamidi C, Muteti C, Hu T, Kemp S & McGrew M (2021) Laboratory training manual on biobanking and recovery of indigenous poultry genetic resources by cryopreservation of primordial germ cells (PGCs). ILRI Manual 53. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

Kemp S, Yue YJ,  Muteti C, Wilkister N,  Ogugo M,  Tiambo CK, Kibui PW, Whitelaw B, McGrew M, Lillico S, Ballantyne M & Hu T (2021) Biobanking African poultry breeds for the future. Innovation brief. Nairobi, Kenya: CTLGH. Link [pdf]