We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Damalie Nakanjako as our co-Director from 1st November 2019.
Damalie is a Professor of Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. She is a clinician scientist and researcher in Infection and Immunity at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) where she oversees the translational laboratory.
Damalie has over 15 years’ experience in HIV/AIDS care a and research at different platforms including community trials with simple interventions such as safe water and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis to reduce morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV), hospital-based studies to evaluate the implementation of basic tools like provider-initiated HIV testing and routine TB screening to improve access to HIV diagnosis, management of TB-HIV co-infections and timely initiation of anti-retroviral therapy in a hospital setting, epidemiological studies to understand immune recovery in long-term HIV treatment cohorts, laboratory-based studies to understand cellular mechanisms of suboptimal immune recovery, as well as clinical trials on innovative interventions of adjuvant therapy to maximize the benefits of antiretroviral therapy among PLHIV. In addition, she has been involved in evaluation of health systems and national policy review processes to inform the formulation, revision and implementation of HIV/AIDS care policies. Her current focus is translational research to utilize basic science research to inform HIV treatment and prevention of HIV and its complications in sub-Saharan Africa.
Damalie’s research group focuses on HIV-associated inflammation and immune function recovery during HIV treatment. She has presented at several local and international meetings, peer-reviewed journals and in a book entitled, “Efficient HIV/AIDS care in resource-limited settings”, ISBN 978-3-639-33430-2, a book chapter in the Springer book, “Women, Motherhood and Living with HIV/AIDS’, A Cross-Cultural Perspective, ISBN 978-94-007-5886. Damalie is a stellar example of capacity building in Africa, having joined the IDI as a Sewankambo clinical research scholar in 2007, MUII as a post-doctoral fellow in 2012 and subsequently MUII plus a s a research group leader, and emerge as today’s MUII-co-director.
She is a trainer, supervisor and mentor of other upcoming scientists at Makerere University to build the next generation of scientists that will combat current and future challenges to global health in Africa and worldwide. She has mentored over 40 masters’, doctoral and post-doctoral students at Makerere University, as well as local and international global health fellows. As MUII-plus co-director, her goal is to work with the MUII plus collaborators and affiliates to engage in multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects to improve local approaches and outcomes of the commonest infections in Uganda and the sub-Saharan Africa region.