Professor Pontiano Kaleebu is the Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and Director of MRC/UVRI and LSHTM 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/UVRI and LSHTM 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, emerging and re-emerging infections and non-communicable diseases. The Unit is part of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He heads the Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity Programme of the Unit and is a Professor of Immunovirology at the LSHTM.
He holds a medical degree from Makerere University and a PhD from Imperial College, London; is 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 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.
Internationally, he is a member of Scientific Advisory Committee for the NIH Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID), the NIAID HIV/AIDS Strategic Working Group Steering committee, the UNAIDS Expert Scientific advisory Committee, the EDCTP General Assembly, representing Uganda, the WHO HIV drug resistance ResNet and the WHO Advisory Committee for the R&D, Innovation and Access Accelerator of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being. He is on the advisory Committees and Boards of several other local and international organizations.
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 240 publications in peer reviewed journals and is recipient of numerous Awards including the Joint Third World Academy of Sciences and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology Prize for best young scientists in Uganda (1999), Fellowship of Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine (2010), the Presidential Science Award (2005-6) and the Scientific Achievement Award from Rotary International (2003).
Read Pontiano’s full interview.