2016 Alliance for Global Health and Science Grant Winners
Eight researchers from Makerere University, in Uganda and four researchers from the University of Zimbabwe have been awarded small research grants ranging from $20,000 to $35,000 through the Alliance for Global and Science. The grants are part of the effort by the Alliance to provide resources to support local scientific inquiry in the two institutions. The Alliance seeks to build scientific and public health research capacity in developing nations to address communicable and non-communicable threats to health. The small grant awardees are drawn from a variety of disciplines including basic scientists and physician scientists. Their brief bios are below:
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Alfred Andama is the Principal Medical Laboratory Technologist in the Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Makerere University. He is also currently pursuing a doctorate, with a research focus on biosensing technology, specifically the role of breath biomarkers in screening and diagnosis of TB among HIV-infected and uninfected adults in Uganda. Mr. Andama will apply his Alliance grant towards his thesis research.
Dr. Bernard Bagaya
Dr. Bernard S. Bagaya, PhD, is a Lecturer of virology and immunology in the Department of Medical Microbiology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Makerere University. His research interest is HIV diversity, and development of immune responses. Dr. Bagaya earned his BS in Laboratory Technology in 2003 and MS in Molecular Biology in 2007 from Makerere University. He also earned a doctorate in Molecular Virology and Immunology from Case Western Reserve University in 2014. Dr. Bagaya is currently building his research team and developing a virology research laboratory at Makerere University.
Dr. Felicity Gumbo
Dr. Felicity Gumbo is a pediatrician and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zimbabwe with a focus on pediatric infectious diseases. Her research under the Alliance Small Grants Program will evaluate the use of Interfon Gamma Release Assays in diagnosing latent TB infection in HIV infected pregnant women in the postpartum period. Dr. Gumbo earned her MBchB in medicine and a MMed in pediatrics at the University of Zimbabwe. She also holds a doctorate from the University of Oslo, Norway.
Dr. Moses Joloba
Dr. Moses Joloba is a Professor of Microbiology and Dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences at Makerere University. Dr. Joloba is an infectious diseases expert with a focus on pathogenesis, diagnostics using both phenotypic and genotypic methods, and program implementation. Dr. Joloba received a MBBS from Makerere University. He also has a MS in pathology and clinical microbiology, as well as a PhD in molecular microbiology, from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio. He is a member of the Uganda Medical Association and American Society for Microbiology. His current research activities include a co-investigator role on an HIV and malaria co-infection study in Uganda.
Dr. David Kateete
Dr. David P. Kateete is a Lecturer and Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology at Makerere University. Dr. Kateete’s research interests are focused on infection biology and drug resistance mechanisms in tuberculosis and ‘neglected’ infections in Uganda (e.g. community and hospital acquired bacterial infections). With his Alliance Small Grant award, he will employ bioinformatics approaches to better understand the role of rhomboid proteases in M. tuberculosis virulence.
Dr. Margaret Lubwama
Dr. Margaret Lubwama is a physician-scientist, medical microbiologist and Assistant Lecturer at Makerere University, College of Health Sciences. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Makerere University supported in part by a D43 training grant from the NIH awarded to the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Her research is focused on antibiotic resistance among cancer patients who become immune-compromised and develop secondary infections, particularly in people living with HIV who develop HIV-associated cancers.
Racheal Mandishora is a Medical Laboratory Scientist and faculty member at the University of Zimbabwe. She is currently the Principal Investigator for a study on the molecular characterization and diversity of human papillomavirus in women, and expects to earn a doctorate at the end of the project. Under the Alliance Small Grant award, Ms. Mandishora will embark on a case control study of the role of human papillomavirus intra-genotype and intra-person variance on cervical cancer pathogenesis.
Dr. David Meya
Dr. David Meya is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, and holds an appointment as adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. He has been involved in clinical research of neuro infections and neuro complications, with a focus on HIV Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS), an often deadly complication of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in AIDS patients with opportunistic infections such as cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. He has led epidemiological, translational, basic science and interventional studies in Uganda in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Stanley Mukangayama
Dr. Stanley Mukangayama is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. He is interested in research on biomolecular interactions analyses, with a focus on the interactions of chemicals, natural or synthetic, with cellular bio molecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA and lipids. Amongst the proteins involved are enzymes that metabolise xenobiotics, enzymes involved in the transport of drugs, as well as enzymes that are involved in the protection against oxidative damage to biomolecules. Chief to his investigations are measurements of direct binding of chemical species with target proteins.
Dr. Damalie Nakanjako
Dr. Damalie Nakanjako is an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of the School of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. She is currently involved in translational research to build local capacity to utilize basic science research to improve HIV treatment and prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. She is a trainer, supervisor and mentor of upcoming scientists at Makerere University and is committed to building the next generation of scientists who will combat current and future challenges to global health in Africa. She is also involved in evaluation of health systems and national policy review processes to inform the formulation, revision and implementation of HIV/AIDS care policies.
Dr. Samuel Nsobya
Dr. Nsobya is a Senior Lecturer at Makerere University School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the MU-UCSF Molecular Research Laboratory (MoLab), a collaboration of Makerere University and the University of California San Francisco. His research interest is in laboratory translation research, molecular studies of antimalarial drug resistance and other laboratory based research. Dr. Nsobya has over 20 years of experience in laboratory science with a wide range of expertise in laboratory-based malaria diagnosis including in-vitro studies of antimalarial drug resistance, genotyping of malaria parasites, and identification of molecular markers of drug resistance.
Dr. Fiona Robertson
Dr. Fiona Robertson is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe with expertise in plant molecular biology, in particular plant tissue culture, plant transformation and plant virology. She earned a BS in plant biology at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in plant molecular virology at the University of Cambridge. Her research under the Alliance Small Grant will focus on the construction and testing of CRISPER/Cas constructs for resistance of Nicotiana benthamiana to cassava mosaic viruses.