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  • Pauline Byakika-Kibwika, winner of the HIVRT alumni scholarship to attend the HIV Drug Therapy Congress, Glasgow, 2018.

    HIV Research Trust alumni were asked to complete a survey describing how their HIVRT scholarship had impacted their professional and academic lives allowing Trustees to better understand how it affected patient outcomes in the scholar’s home setting. The Trustees assessed all survey responses and selected Pauline to receive the above award. Her story is summarised below.

    In 2010 Pauline attended a placement at Mahidol University, Thailand to obtain clinical pharmacology analytical skills to assist her in completing her PhD. Pauline’s PhD work contributed to the current knowledge on treatment of malaria in HIV-infected patients who are also receiving antiretroviral treatment. This work has been utilised and referenced by the World Health Organization in the current policy on treatment of malaria in HIV-infected individuals.

    After completion of her PhD, she was promoted to Associate Professor and currently heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Department of Medicine of Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda where they care for those who are affected with HIV and opportunistic infections - more than 200 HIV-infected inpatients and over 300 outpatients are seen each month.

    Pauline is also the Director of the Research Directorate at Makerere where her responsibilities include reviewing and guiding the research framework at the Department of Medicine and supervising Masters and PhD students’ research projects.
  • 2016 Scholars

    Livo Esemu, Graduate Assistant, Cameroon
    To visit the Department of Tropical Medicine at the University of  Hawaii at Manoa, USA to learn bioinformatics and to analyze placenta samples collected from HIV infected and non-infected women using microarray and qPCR. Post-scholarship the use of bioinformatics as a tool to address HIV research questions pertinent to health problems in Cameroon will be continued by the scholar.

    Alex Karabarinde, Survey Coordinator, Uganda
    To visit Karonga DSS, Malawi to get experience of how research is conducted there and specifically how village informants are used in collecting census data. This scholarship is illustrating the importance in building capacity to continue HIV and other related research in the expanded general population cohort.

    Abel Karera, Teaching Assistant/PhD Student, Zimbabwe
    To attend both MRC, Uganda and University of Bristol, UK to undertake training in DXA, hand-grip dynamometry, study set-up and management within a low-income setting, advanced Stata and statistical regression methods, quantification of bone-age and cortical thickness on hand X-rays and benefit from valuable supervision with my UK-based PhD co-supervisor. This scholarship is intended to equip the recipient with the skills and expertise to plan, carry-out and analyse data and to pass these skills on through teaching to other researchers in Zimbabwe.

    Edith Majonga, Teaching Assistant and Research Fellow, Zimbabwe
    To undertake a placement at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Paediatric Inherited Cardiovascular Diseases Unit, UK for training in analysis and interpretation of specialized echocardiography techniques including: Doppler echocardiography (tissue Doppler imaging), speckle tracking, Strain and strain rate imaging. The scholar will be trained in statistical analysis too as part of the programme. The training will strengthen capacity in the scholar’s home department as well as in the teaching hospital for their university where they regularly perform echocardiography scans.

    Kudakwashe Mhandire, Teaching Assistant, Zimbabwe
    To visit the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK to learn human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) typing techniques and analysis, while genotyping samples for Doctor of Philosophy studies. The scholarship will allow the recipient to carry out laboratory work for PhD studies while equipping them with skills that will benefit the individual, the University of Zimbabwe and the wider region. Findings from this study will help understand the contribution of immunogenetics to HIV pathogenesis and disease.

    Phillis Mushati, Research Coordinator, Zimbabwe
    To attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to attend a Masters Module on Social Epidemiology. The course will provide the scholar with the necessary skills to help them to understand the social determinants of “stigma in sex work”.

    Stella Namukwaya, Social Science Research Team leader, Uganda
    To attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK to undertake a taught course on the Sociological Approaches to Health.  The course will provide the scholar with a thorough grounding in the sociology of health and illness, including critical sociological perspectives on health and society and an understanding of the main conceptual and theoretical issues raised by research in this area.

    Moses Nyongesa, Assistant Research Officer, Kenya
    To visit Cape town University, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, South Africa to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills on diagnosing mental health problems among adolescents in the context of HIV and providing adequate support to those experiencing mental health problems through effective interventional strategies. The skills, knowledge and competence gained during the scholarship period will be directly used to address mental health problems in a large upcoming study focusing on outcomes among HIV exposed adolescents (both infected and uninfected). 

    Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire, Research Fellow, Uganda
    To visit the University of  Cape Town, Department of Medicine, Division of  Pharmacology, South Africa to  acquire the knowledge and the skill to carry out complex modeling of pharmacokinetic data which has been collected over the past two years. The placement will also enable the scholar to gain exposure to large pharmacokinetic clinical trials in a more advanced African setting.

    Rawlings Walshak-Datir, Program Officer, Laboratory Research, Nigeria
    To visit Dr. Gupta’s Laboratory at University College London, UK to receive training on: full-length HIV-1 gag genotyping, construction of recombinant vectors, generation of virus stocks and drug susceptibility testing (via phenotyping) and ultra-deep sequencing (to detect minority variants) on Nigerian isolates.

    Christopher Zaab-Yen Abana, Senior Research Assistant, Ghana
    To travel to the Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory of the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, USA to undertake two months intensive training on HIV-2 viral load assay. To learn first-hand from the experts in the field, acquire knowledge and skills that will help establish the HIV-2 viral load assay in the HIV Genotyping Laboratory of the recipient’s home institution.





    • 11th Jan 2021: Applications Open
    • 7th March 2021: Applications Close
    • April 2021: Scholarships announced



    If you are interested in applying for a scholarship find out more below:



    The scholarships are for health care professionals in early/mid-career who are located in resource-limited settings from low-income and lower-middle-income countries working in the field of HIV infection. Read more to see if you are eligible.