Meet the Mentors

Dr. Andrew D. Kambugu (MBChB, MMed, FRCP) mentor in Leadership & Administration

Dr. Andrew Kambugu is the Sande-McKinnell Executive Director of IDI and previously was the Head of Research Program at IDI. Dr. Kambugu is also an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA, is an honorary Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. He is a medical doctor with a Masters in Internal Medicine from Makerere University. He also has specialist training in infectious diseases from the Universities of Utah and Manitoba; and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), UK. In his other roles, Dr. Kambugu is the Past Chair, Uganda Society for Health Scientists Board and Vice President of the Researchers for Global Health (R4GH) group. Dr. Kambugu also served as the Prevention, Care and Treatment (PCT) programme lead at IDI for seven years before leading the Research program. He has over 14 years of HIV clinical and programming experience and is a member of two national HIV subcommittees of the Ugandan Ministry of Health. He has made significant research contributions in the areas of antiretroviral therapy and opportunistic infection with over 120 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Andrew Mujugira (MBChB, MSc, MPH, PhD, MACE) mentor in infectious diseases prevention research

Dr. Andrew Mujugira is a Senior Research Scientist at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Uganda. He has 12 years of experience with oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) efficacy trials, demonstration projects, and implementation science and safety studies. His current research focuses on developing methods to build self-efficacy and empowerment, increase antiretroviral adherence and reduce sexual risk behaviours among key populations in Uganda through the use of evidence-based self-controlled HIV prevention tools (HIV self-testing, antiretroviral treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis).

Dr. Agnes Kiragga (B.Stat, MSc, PhD) mentor in Statistics and Bioinformatics

Dr. Agnes Kiragga is a statistician with a doctorate degree in biostatistics from Makerere School of Public Health. Her work has focused on the analysis of large observational HIV clinical databases, with emphasis in the application of methods to deal with missing data as well as methods for causal inference and epidemiology. She provides statistical analysis support to researchers working on several projects and different study designs such as large cohort studies and randomized clinical trials, implementation sciences, public health evaluations and other project designs. She has also research interests in public health work particularly in prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and promotion of male involvement in family planning using digital health, as well as use of data science methods to predict HIV outcomes.

Dr. Christine Sekaggya Wiltshire (MBChB, MMed, PhD, FCP (ECSA)) mentor in TB Research

Dr. Christine Sekaggya is an internal medicine physician with a PhD in TB drug pharmacokinetics. Her research interests are in drug pharmacokinetics and non-malignant hematology like thrombosis and sickle cell disease. She is an investigator in pharmacokinetic studies, clinical trials, studies related to drug-drug interactions, dosing studies and other research projects related to HIV, tuberculosis and hematological disorders.

Assoc. Prof. David Meya (MBChB, MMed, PhD) mentor in HIV-related Meningitis Research

David Meya, MBChB, MMed, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. He has been involved in clinical research of central nervous system infections and complications, with a focus on HIV Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). Dr. Meya has led epidemiological and translational research studies as well as randomized clinical trials in prevention and treatment of Cryptococcal Meningitis. Dr. Meya also has a specific interest in public health interventions to prevent meningitis at population level. He has advocated for cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) screening as a strategy to reduce deaths and hospitalizations from cryptococcal meningitis. Dr. Meya chairs the Advanced HIV Disease Technical Working group at the Ministry of Health. He has been the Principal Investigator on NIH R01, CDC U01, and UK MRC grants and continues to be involved in advocacy to improve clinical care and outcomes in a predominantly HIV-infected patient population with limited resources for health focusing on advanced HIV disease.

Dr. Hellen Byakwaga (MBChB, PhD) mentor in Cancer Research

Hellen Byakwaga received formal training in clinical, epidemiologic, and translational research methods at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney Australia and at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She has extensive work experience in the conduct and coordination of observational and experimental research in the immunopathogenesis of HIV/AIDS and associated opportunistic infections. Her ongoing research is focused on the application of epidemiologic methods to understand the biologic and clinical outcomes HIV infection and its complications, with a primary focus on HIV/AIDS-related malignancies, notably, Kaposi’s sarcoma. In addition, Dr. Byakwaga leads high impact translational research geared towards understanding the role of inflammation and other immunologic correlates of disease in people living with HIV in Uganda.

Dr. Miriam Laker-Oketta (MBChB, MSc, DTM&H, DPPM) mentor in HIV-related Cancer Research

Miriam Laker-Oketta is a medical doctor and clinical research scientist at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere College of Health Sciences. With advanced training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her current research focus is HIV-related malignancies specifically Kaposi’s sarcoma and cervical cancer epidemiology, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. She led the development of training manuals on the early detection of Kaposi’s sarcoma for health care workers; they are now in use in Uganda and HIV clinics in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. She also led the development of media for community education for the early diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma. She is also faculty in the Clinical Epidemiology course of the University of California, San Francisco Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Faculty in the Implementation Sciences program in the School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences.”

Dr. Catriona Waitt (BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), MRCP, PhD, DTM&H, PGCert (Teaching)) mentor in Pharmacokinetic Trials

Dr. Catriona Waitt is a clinical pharmacologist from the University of Liverpool who has been at IDI since 2014 undertaking a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship. Her research interests are the dosing and safety of drugs in special populations who cannot be easily studied in conventional clinical trials, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants, children and adolescents, patients with severe intercurrent illnesses and potentially interacting medications and vulnerable patients in outbreak settings. Her research programme encompasses intensive pharmacokinetic studies, clinical trials and sparse data collection from vulnerable populations with pharmacokinetic modelling to explore differences in drug exposure between individuals and populations.

Dr Barbara Castelnuovo (MD, clinical infectious diseases, PhD) mentor in leadership, long term ART outcomes and aging with HIV, and in capacity building

She is a clinician trained at the University of Milan, and based in Uganda since 2002; she started working at IDI in 2004 as a senior medical officer and contributed to best practices in the scale up of ART in Uganda
She is the current Head of Research at IDI and the Head of capacity building supervising several scholars from Makerere University and international collaborating institutions.
She is the recipient of a senior fellowship from EDCTP on HIV, NCD and aging.

Professor Damalie Nakanjako (MBChB, MMED, PhD) mentor in leadership, translational research, non-communicable disease risk in adults aging with HIV, and in capacity building

Dr. Damalie Nakanjako is the Principal of Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and senior research scholar at the Infectious Diseases Institute where she gives scientific leadership to the translational laboratory. Dr. Nakanjako is a Professor of Medicine, also served as the Dean of School of Medicine at Makerere University. She holds a masters’ degree in internal medicine from MakCHS, a doctoral degree in Biomedical sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and post-doctoral training under the Makerere University-UVRI Infection and Immunity (MUII) program. Her research area is translational research to improve HIV treatment outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. Based at Makerere University’s Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), she has studied the epidemiology of suboptimal immune recovery in African cohorts through the International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS in East Africa (IeDEA) consortium, and biological predictors of suboptimal immune recovery such as persistent immune activation, inflammation and incomplete recovery of the innate and adaptive immune systems, among antiretroviral therapy (ART)-treated individuals. Her current focus is to understand the role of immune modulatory interventions on HIV treatment outcomes and non-communicable disease risk among adults aging with HIV. Damalie is a mentor of masters, doctoral, post-doc and senior faculty at MaKCHS through several degree and non-degree research programs including the AFYA-BORA Consortium for global health leadership training in Africa, the NIH-funded NURTURE Research Training and Mentoring Program for Career Development of Faculty at MakCHS.

Dr. Lydia Nakiyingi (MBChB, MMed, PhD, FCP (ECSA)) mentor in TB diagnostics evaluations and research

Dr. Nakiyingi is an internal medicine physician (infectious diseases), a clinical researcher based at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and a senior lecturer at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. She has been directly involved in implementation of tuberculosis research for the last 10 years. Dr Nakiyingi has been the lead site investigator for several TB diagnostics evaluations including; Florescence Microscopy, Urine TB LAM, TB LAMP tests, BDMax, GeneXpert Ultra and several other molecular TB tests, many of these tests have been rolled out for use by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Lydia supervises study team members to carry out GCP compliant high quality research.

.

Dr. Aggrey Semeere (MBChB, MMED (Int.Med), MAS, FCP (ECSA)) mentor in implementation science and epidemiology of chronic co-morbidities (cancer and cardiovascular disease)

Aggrey S. Semeere is a Ugandan trained Physician and Researcher based at IDI. He obtained his qualification in Internal Medicine from Makerere University, and Epidemiology with Implementation science training from the University of California, San Francisco. He is involved in various research projects that revolve around the epidemiology of chronic co-morbidities (especially cancer and cardiovascular disease) among HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy. His research focuses on prevention and early detection of co-morbidities (e.g. Kaposi’s sarcoma and Hypertension) using advanced epidemiological methods and implementation science based approaches.

Dr. Mohammed Lamorde (FRCP, PhD) mentor in clinical pharmacology research, Global Health Security and health economics evaluations

Dr. Mohammed Lamorde is the Head of Global Health Security at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). He is the Chair of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Africa Network.
Since 2006, he has worked at IDI undertaking clinical pharmacology research in the fields of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and health economics evaluations for interventions relevant to public health in developing countries. He is a clinical investigator on studies investigating drug-drug interactions between antiretroviral drugs and contraceptives, antiretroviral and anti-tuberculosis agents and antiretroviral and antimalarial drugs. Also, his research interests include pharmacokinetics of antiretroviral drugs in pregnancy and postpartum and traditional medicines.
Dr. Lamorde is co-investigator on the Joint Mobile Emerging Diseases Intervention Clinical Capabilities (JMEDICC) consortium which aims to conduct clinical trials on investigational new drugs during filovirus outbreaks. He is Project Director of the CAPA-CT and CAPA-CT II projects (with funding from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships) that aim to establish capacity and conduct research on investigational therapeutics and novel diagnostics for filoviruses in Uganda.

Dr. Miriam Nakalembe (MBChB, MMED OBGYN, PhD) mentor in cancer diagnosis and prevention

Miriam Nakalembe holds a is a senior lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at MakCHS as well as a clinical researcher in the area of cervical cancer diagnosis and prevention. She is leading a study in the community using self-collection of vaginal samples for HPV testing, and a project to develop a smartphone confocal endoscope to diagnose suspected cervical lesions. She is part of the cervical cancer prevention task group at the Ministry of Health. She is one of the lead consultants on the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Global Fund pilot projects introducing HPV self-testing in ART clinics of regional referral hospitals. Currently, she is one of the least technical consultants on the CDC-supported National rollout of cervical cancer screening in over 640 health facilities. Miriam supports other research projects in the area of Obstetrics. She is a co-Investigator on the PROMOTE studies with IDRC exploring the prevention of malaria in pregnancy.

Professor Pauline Byakika-Kibwika (MBChB, MSc, MMED, PhD) mentor in clinical pharmacology, malaria research and ethics

Professor Pauline Byakika-Kibwika is a Physician and Epidemiologist, and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS). She has over twenty years’ experience in clinical care, research, occupational and travel medicine, capacity building, project development and management. Professor Byakika-Kibwika holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Master of Medicine in Internal Medicine from Makerere University and a Doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. She is an infectious diseases specialist and accomplished researcher with over 40 publications in peer reviewed journals. She is the Director of Research and heads the Scientific Review Committee at the Department of Medicine. She is a member of the Accreditation Committee for Research Ethics Committees in Uganda, fellow of Uganda Academy of Sciences, and consultant for Ministry of Health and partners for Malaria and HIV/AIDS Control. Professor Byakika-Kibwika is the Company Medical Advisor to the Oil and Gas Industry in Uganda, specifically; Tullow Oil Uganda Pty and TOTAL Exploration and Production, where she established the occupational health and travel medicine service, drafted travel health guidelines and procedures and provides pre and post-travel consultative services, travel kits, immunizations, screening and treatment for occupational and travel related illness. At regional level, Pauline is a Commissioner on the East African Health Research Commission, where she contributes to decision making on health matters, research and evidence for knowledge generation, translation, policy formulations and practice.