The YAAR! Project team

The core YAAR! project team comprises senior engagement practitioners and researchers based in Wellcome Africa and Asia Programme centres: Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Vietnam and Nepal, Mahidol Oxford Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand and KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KEMRI) in Kenya.

Dr Mary Chambers, YAAR! Project lead - Head of Public and Community Engagement (PCE) at OUCRU

Mary oversees engagement programmes in Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal. She has expertise in using participatory methods to amplify community voices and bring them into conversations about biomedical research. She is co-author of a handbook and online course Practice & Ethics of Participatory Visual Methods. Mary trained as a biomedical scientist but also has experience in learning and training. She was Head of Training at OUCRU from 2005 to 2017. She currently supervises four PhD students, including one DPhil on ‘Community-led PAR approaches to reduce AM usage in Northern Vietnam’.

Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah, YAAR! Thailand lead - Head of Department of Bioethics and Engagement, MORU, Thailand

Phaik Yeong is an internationally recognised expert in engagement in low-resource settings. She leads the strategic planning and implementation of MORU’s engagement programmes, including AMR projects (e.g. AMR puppet show ‘Fishy Clouds’ in Thailand, ‘Antibiotics and fever’ in Myanmar, ‘AMR dictionary’), community advisory boards and stakeholder engagement workshops. She has published widely on these topics. She was recently awarded a grant by Wellcome to deliver the project ‘AMR Responsive Dialogues’ Thailand. 

Dr Alun Davies, YAAR! Learning Framework lead - Head of Schools Engagement Programme, KEMRI / Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK

Alun has over a decade of experience in engagement and evaluation between researchers and school and university students, Young Persons’ Advisory Groups, mixed methods research including participatory video with young people. He established the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme’s School Engagement Programme (SEP), comprising a wide range of engagement activities involving over 4000 school students across over 50 Kenyan schools, and over 200 participating research staff every year. Given that AD’s career started as a school science teacher, and his PhD focused specifically on engagement with school students, he is ideally placed to lead the Framework development and stakeholder consultation and validation.

Professor Sam Kinyanjui, YAAR! Kenya lead - Director – IdeAL, Head of Training KEMRI

Sam has expertise in Infectious disease research, research capacity building, and research partnership establishment. He has a strong background in training, having led the development of IDeAL, a pipeline for attracting young Africans to research through attachments and internships, providing high-quality MSc and PhD training, and promoting retention of African researchers through postdoctoral support. SK also serves as an advisor for the Oxford UKRI-funded group ‘Evidence to help Africa's adolescents achieve sustainable development goals.

Mr Duy Thanh, YAAR! Vietnam lead - Head of Schools and Youth Engagement (SYE), OUCRU Vietnam

Duy Thanh has led the development of the SYE programme to bring young people and scientists together. He has mentored a group of science enthusiasts (aged 19 to 24) as ‘Ambassadors’ to advise the OUCRU PCE agenda and establish youth-led engagement. Duy Thanh has over thirteen years of experience in mobilising national youth networks and working with youth workers across Vietnam and internationally. He is the founder of Youth Focus Vietnam, a youth-led organization to promote the learning and development of Vietnamese young people through informal and non-formal education.

Professor Abhilasha Karkey, YAAR! Nepal lead - Research microbiologist, Director - OUCRU-Nepal

Abhilasha has a long career in research microbiology and working in emergency situations with MSF. She is a keen storyteller and artist and has supported the OUCRU Nepal Public Engagement team, which has a track record of innovative means of actively engaging hospital and public stakeholders in AMR in Nepal.


Young people from the four country sites have come together to give youth and global focus to the project. They have enjoyed meeting other young people from across the Globe and have contributed to the design of the YAAR! engagement activities.  

The YAG members include: 

  • Ammy Dama and Clement Nyiro from Kilifi, Kenya

  • Sumi Rajbhandari and Ayusha Prajapati from Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Tawanrat Marit and Wuttipat Kulkantrakorn from Bangkok, Thailand

  • Vo Quynh Chi, Pham Ngoc Mau Tam and Pham Huynh Thuy Hien from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

This group has been coordinated by Mr Duy Thanh. 



Ms Vu Thi Quynh Giao, DPhil student OUCRU, PCE expert, community-based action against AMU, author of ‘Healthy Chickens Don’t Need Antibiotics

Dr Nguyen Vinh Trung, AMR researcher at OUCRU. His research interests include epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens and dynamics of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial populations

Dr Chung The Hao, postdoctoral scientist at OUCRU, conducting research on the evolution and spread of AMR in enteric bacteria

Professor Sam Kariuki, Deputy Director Research KEMRI, accomplished AMR researcher

Associate Professor Direk Limmathurotsakul (MBBS, MSc, PhD) is the Head of Microbiology at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit. Direk is a researcher and international expert on antimicrobial resistance. He and his team have extensive experience in engaging Thai and global communities with issues around AMR. His flagship projects include the Antibiotic Footprint ( and AMR Dictionary (, which is available online and in print and translated into multiple languages.