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Prof Pontiano Kaleebu joins Aurum Board

Prof Pontiano Kaleebu joins Aurum Board

Aurum is pleased to announce the appointment of renowned researcher Professor Pontiano Kaleebu to its Board of Directors.

Prof Kaleebu is a Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE) African Collaborating Partner and the Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), the largest government research institution dealing with diseases of viral aetiology of public health importance.

Advance

UVRI and Aurum are members of the ADVANCE (Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS epidemic) programme.

Board Chair Phangisile Mtshali welcomed the appointment.

“He comes with vast knowledge and expertise in the field of public health which will undoubtedly make an invaluable contribution in guiding Aurum in its growth strategy.”

Prof Kaleebu is also the Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Uganda Research Unit, an MRC UK Unit which is part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“I have seen The Aurum Institute grow and expand over the years. It has built capacity, supported and conducted a number of important studies that have contributed to the better management and prevention of diseases such as HIV and TB. These are areas that I’m involved in as well,” said Kaleebu.

His main research interest over the years has been in understanding protective immune responses that could lead to the development of an HIV vaccine, molecular epidemiology of HIV and HIV drug resistance. He was one of the investigators in the first HIV vaccine trial conducted in Africa.

Beyond South Africa

“As The Aurum Institute expands its activities beyond South Africa, I hope I can offer my experience of leading another African Institution in Uganda and my experience of working and collaborating with other African scientists and institutions, so that The Aurum Institute can bring more benefits to the continent and globally,” he added.

Prof Kaleebu trained as a medical doctor at Makerere University, Kampala and later obtained a diploma and PhD in immunovirology of HIV. He leads studies ranging from basic science studies, epidemiological to intervention trials, and is the overall coordinator of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) East African Network of Excellence and co-leader of the African Partnership on Chronic Disease Research. Prof Kaleebu also represents Uganda at the EDCTP General Assembly and is a Fellow of Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine and a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP Edin). He sits on several national and international committees including chairing the National HIV drug resistance technical working group of the Ministry of Health and leads the national reference laboratories for HIV drug resistance. Prof Kaleebu has authored and co-authored more than 230 publications in international scientific reviewed journals.