Cambridge-Africa

THRiVE-2 Fellows' Profiles

THRiVE-2 builds on the success of THRiVE (THRiVE-1) and has been funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) through a DELTAS Africa award to continue to support health research capacity building in East Africa. PhD and postdoctoral fellows receive funding after a rigorous selection process to undertake health related research. As part of the research they are supported by mentors at one of two Northern partner institutions: the University of Cambridge or the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The following thirteen researchers have been successful in gaining THRiVE-2 fellowships and are being supported by their Cambridge mentors. All candidates for THRiVE-2 have been selected, with a total of twenty five THRiVE-2 fellowships being awarded.

Joel Bargul

Dr Joel Ltilitan Bargul, Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentor: Professor Mark Carrington

The role of biting flies (genus hipobosca) in transmission of camel trypanasomiasis in northern Kenya

Dr Joel Ltilitan Bargul is a Lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya). Preliminary findings from Dr Bargul's research imply that hippoboscids could be important vectors of animal trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). This research study will provide information on vectors of animal trypanosomes in northern Kenya and contribute to disease control.

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Associate Professor Moses Galukande, Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentor: Professor Doug Easton

Triple negative breast cancer: oncogenesis and prognostic biomarkers study

Moses Galukande is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. His Postdoctoral research will focus on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC): Oncogenesis and Prognostic biomarkers Study (TOPS).  He will explore new effective therapy opportunities, investigate expression of heat shock protein, a portein that shields TNBC from conventional treatment and TNBC gene mutations patterns in Ugandan women.

His other research interests include Trauma, access to health care and health professions education.

Dr. Angelina Kakooza Mwesige

Dr Angelina Kakooza-Mwesige, Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentors: Professor Ian Goodfellow and Dr Luke Meredith

Zika virus: neurocognitive function and genotype in Uganda

Dr Angelina Kakooza-Mwesige is a Senior Lecturer and Paediatric Neurologist in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda. Her major research interests are in the fields of neurology and infectious diseases, with considerable experience in the field of HIV/AIDS and neurodevelopmental disorders particularly cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy. Her post-doctoral study will establish the seroprevalence of the Zika virus and associated factors among pregnant women in Uganda with a focus on the pregnancy outcomes and neurodevelopmental effects in their children.

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Dr Ireen Kiwelu, Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentor: Dr Nick Grayson

Molecular analysis of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations among patients failing first and second-line antiretroviral therapy in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

Ireen Kiwelu, BSc, MSc, MPhil, PhD is a Principal Research Scientist and Senior Lecturer at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College. She is also the head of Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute-Biotechnology Research Laboratory. For her Postdoctoral fellowship she will focus on the molecular analysis of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations among patients failing first and second-line antiretroviral therapy in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

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Dr Eddie Wampande, Postdoctoral Fellow

Mentor: Dr Sergey Nejentsev

Human genetic determinant in Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex lineage infections

For his Postoctoral fellowship Eddie Wampande will explore the genetic interaction between M. tuberculosis and its host. To do this, the team shall genotype the human and M. tuberculosis strains and look  for associations between host polymorphisms and pathogen genotype. Such findings can be used to understand TB pathogenesis and identification of molecules that can have TB therapeutic potentials.

Peace Bagasha

Dr Peace Bagasha, PhD Fellow

Mentors: Dr Mila Petrova and Professor Stephen Barclay

Quality of life of patients with end stage kidney disease in Uganda.

Peace Bagasha is a Clinical Lecturer in the Makerere University College of Health Sciences Palliative Care Unit.  Her PhD research will focus on the quality of life of patients with end stage kidney disease in Uganda. Kidney disease is the 13th leading cause of death in Uganda and most patients are diagnosed late with very costly treatment options which increase poverty levels for entire communities.  She will compare quality of life in patients on conservative management with that for patients on Hemodialysis. 

Arthur Kwizera

Dr Arthur Kwizera, PhD Fellow

Mentor: Dr Charlotte Summers

Acute respiratory distress syndrome in an African adult population: epidemiology, microbiology and strategies to reduce mortality

Dr Arthur Kwizera is a Lecturer in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Makerere University College of Health Sciences and a staff intensivist at the Mulago National Referral Hospital Intensive Care unit. His PhD research will focus on the microbiology of Acute Respiratory Failure (ARF) and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and will also explore novel low cost strategies to manage acute respiratory failure in the Ugandan (and African) acute care settings.

Richard Kwizera

Mr Richard Kwizera, PhD fellow

Mentor: Dr Robin Gore

Characterisation of chronic and allergic pulmonary fungal infections among Ugandans with severe asthma

Richard Kwizera is a medical mycologist at the Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University. He has experience and skills in HIV, TB and fungal disease diagnosis and management as well as participation in clinical trials. For the THRiVE PhD fellowship, Richard intends to characterize chronic and allergic pulmonary fungal infections in patients with severe asthma under the African Severe Asthma Program.

Dr Jonathan Mayito

Dr Jonathan Mayito, PhD Fellow

Mentor: Dr Stephen Reece

Detection of M.Tuberculoris in preipheral blood pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells in latent Tuberculosis Infection

Dr Jonathan Mayito is an infectious diseases physician and a researcher with PEPFAR Public Health Evaluations at Makerere University Walter Reed Project. For his PhD project, Jonathan seeks to determine whether Mtb is detectable in peripheral blood long term pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells in latent tuberculosis infection and whether it is cleared by isoniazid preventive therapy.

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Mr Gerald Mboowa, PhD Fellow

Mentors: Dr Harriet Groom and Dr Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas

Functional Host Genetic Loci Associated with Paediatric HIV/AIDS Disease Progression in sub-Saharan Africa Populations

Gerald Mboowa is a Human Genetics and Genomics research fellow at the Genomics Laboratory, Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. His interests include utilizing genomics and bioinformatics approaches to understanding the patterns of host genetic determinants of resistance and susceptibility to common infectious diseases. For his PhD research he will be interrogating NextGen Sequence Genomic data using bioinformatics tools to investigate and identify the pathogenicity of host functional genetic variants/loci in pediatric HIV/AIDS disease progression in sub-Saharan Africa populations. 

Imelda

Dr Imelda Namagembe, PhD Fellow

Mentors: Professor Ashley Moffet and Dr Catherine Aiken

Improving maternal outcomes using confidential enquiry into deaths as an add on to maternal death surveillance in a busy African Hospital: A case study of Mulago Hospital, Uganda

Imelda Namagembe is a consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist at Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. For her PhD she will focus on improving maternal outcomes using the confidential enquiry into deaths as an add on to maternal death surveillance in a busy African Hospital. She will be using Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda, a hospital which has one of the highest number of deliveries per year in the world as a case study. 

Caroline Tigoi

Ms Caroline Tigoi, PhD Fellow

Mentors: Professor James Wood and Dr Barbara Blacklaws

Understanding tick-borne zoonotic disease epidemiology within the nomadic pastoral systems in Isiolo, Tana river and Garissa counties of Kenya

Ms Caroline Tigoi has been working for KEMRI/Wellcome Trust as a Research Officer managing a network of laboratories in 5 countries working on a project that is looking at causes of death in malnourished children. As a THRiVE PhD Fellow, her research will focus on understanding tick-borne zoonotic disease epidemiology within the nomadic pastoral systems in Isiolo, Tana River and Garissa counties of Kenya.

Clara Wekesa

Dr Clara Wekesa PhD Fellow

Mentors: Dr Rosalind Parkes-Ratanshi, Dr William Gelson and Dr Edmund Godfrey

Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis among HIV-infected persons in urban Uganda: Prevalence and associated factors.

Clara Wekesa, is a Project Leader with the Medical Research Council, Uganda Virus Research Institute. Her research interest is in the field of non-communicable disease conditions and their interplay with infectious agents. Her PhD research will focus on the evaluation of liver fibrosis non-invasively by using Fibroscan technology among HIV-infected persons attending an urban clinic in Kampala, Uganda.