Two Unit staff receive Crick’s African Career Accelerator Awards

Irene Andia Biraro

Simon Kimuda

Post Date: 
1 month 12 hours ago

Two Unit researchers are among seven scientists to receive the new African Career Accelerator Award Fellowships by the Crick African Network.

Irene Andia Biraro and Simon Kimuda are part of the Network’s final cohort, which aims to promote economic development and healthcare in partner countries by sharing the Crick’s extensive experience researching diseases including HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria.

The African Career Accelerator Awards are designed to help postdoctoral research scientists to become research group leaders on the African continent.

Speaking about the Award, Irene, an infectious diseases physician said, "I am particularly excited to get hands on experience using state of the art technologies to analyse a super wide range of immune biomarkers. I feel privileged to be trained by a world-class immunologist and hope to transfer the knowledge I acquire to my fellow Ugandan scientists."

Irene will study the impact of pregnancy-associated tuberculosis on poor maternal and infant clinical outcomes, especially in the presence of HIV co-infection.

Simon will study the immune response in children that are able to resist TB infection despite being exposed to the disease in order to advance the development of new vaccines against TB.

He said, "I am keen to learn new advanced techniques used to study immune responses to infectious diseases at the Crick and collaborating facilities at King’s College London. I am also looking forward to working with my new collaborators and gaining new insights into new ways of developing new vaccines."

As part of the fellowship, awardees will spend at least six months at the Francis Crick Institute (The Crick) UK. The Crick African Network fellows will also work at one of five African partner institutions, including the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. The Network will support 16 scientists by the end of its 51-months grant in December 2021.