Professor Pontiano Kaleebu

Director MRC/UVRI Uganda Unit, Head - Basic Sciences Programme

Pontiano Kaleebu is the Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and Director of MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit. The UVRI is the largest Government Research Institution in Uganda dealing in health research pertaining to human infections and disease processes associated with or linked to viral etiology and is host to a number of partner organizations including those funded by CDC, MRC-UK and IAVI, as well as national and regional reference laboratories. The MRC Unit is one of the two MRC-UK Units outside of the United Kingdom and is a multidisciplinary Programme studying the HIV epidemic in rural and urban settings, co-infections and non-communicable diseases. He heads the Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity Programme of the MRC Unit.

He holds a medical degree from Makerere University and a PhD from Imperial College, London; an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians-Edinburgh and a Fellow of Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine.

As UVRI Director, he sits on the Top Management of the Ministry of Health. He leads a number of national and regional networks including the EDCTP East African Networks of Excellence. He is a co-Director of the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research (APCDR). He is co-director of the Uganda Medical Informatics Center (UMIC); a computational resource offering data storage and analysis capacity. He chairs the HIV drug resistance Technical working group under the Ministry of Health and a member of the National Antiretroviral Treatment committee.

He is co-Founder of the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program and recently he co-founded the African AIDS Vaccine Virtual Network ( Internationally he is a member of Scientific Advisory Committee for the NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID), NIAID HIV/AIDS Strategic Working Group Steering committee member, member UNAIDS Expert Scientific advisory Committee, Member EDCTP General Assembly, representing Uganda, a member WHO HIV drug resistance ResNet and a member London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Visitation Committee. He is on the advisory Committees and Boards of several organizations including the Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit and the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme.

His main research interests are HIV vaccine research especially understanding protective immune responses, HIV diversity and resistance to antiretroviral drugs. He has co-authored more than 220 publications in peer reviewed journals and is recipient of numerous Awards including the Fellowship of Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine (2010), the Presidential Science Award (2005-6) and the Scientific Achievement Award from Rotary International (2003).