Latest Blog List

Lasting Impact

August 29, 2012 - 12:30pm
In my last week at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), I’m looking back over the last three months that I’ve spent here working on the Research strategic plan, while also looking forward to returning home to my project management role with a fresh perspective.  I have learned so much during my fellowship about global health issues, treatment of HIV and how to make the most of constrained... Read More

HIV: still more work to do

August 24, 2012 - 12:30pm
During her August 2-3 visit to Uganda, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called attention to a new survey that shows HIV prevalence in Uganda has increased to 7.3% in 2012 from 6.7% in 2011 and 6.4% in 2005. The survey suggests that behavior is largely driving the increase.  While the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) focuses on biomedical prevention and treatment of HIV,... Read More

HIV and personalized medicine

August 17, 2012 - 12:30pm
Personalized medicine is a hot topic worldwide, offering the promise of tailoring drugs to match the genetic variability of diseases, for maximum efficacy. As a Center of Excellence for HIV treatment, the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) is entering the realm of pharmacogenomics, in seeking to find optimal antiretroviral drug regimens for patients who have developed viral resistance to... Read More

Shifting gears - from planning to implementation

August 10, 2012 - 12:30pm
Last week I traveled to the district of Kibaale in Bunyoro-Kitara, western Uganda, to assess the readiness of some of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)’s Outreach sites for participating in clinical trials.  Now that I’ve outlined IDI’s strategic plan for research it’s time to start working out the detail of how to put the high level plans into practice. During my stay I visited the... Read More


August 3, 2012 - 12:30pm
I returned from a week of travel yesterday to news of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Uganda that has claimed 14 lives in a village in Kibaale district, which is 140 miles or about 3 hours’ drive from Kampala.  The situation in Kampala is tense, since one of the victims, a health care worker from the district, was transferred to Mulago Hospital, the national referral hospital in Kampala... Read More

Expanding Research Horizons – Beyond Clinical Trials

July 27, 2012 - 12:30pm
How do we categorize different kinds of research – and why? In new drug development we categorize research by stage: Preclinical, Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials.  The research question that we ask at every stage is different: does the drug work in a disease model, is it safe in humans, does it work in human disease, and does it have clinically meaningful benefit? At the Infectious... Read More

A day in the life of a Global Health Fellow

July 20, 2012 - 2:25pm
People have started to ask what it is that I do in my office at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) all day, now that I’m at the midpoint of my Global Health Fellowship. A typical day starts before dawn; soon after the sun is up I’m on my way walking to work, which takes 20-25 minutes depending if I walk at an American or African pace.  I pass many of the same people commuting on foot each... Read More

The cost of excellence

July 13, 2012 - 3:00pm
As the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) starts a new fiscal year, all eyes are fixed anxiously on the budget.  IDI is a Center of Excellence, leading the way in defining HIV patient care and treatment through its research activities; but excellence has a certain cost, and IDI’s strategic plan must spell out how that cost will be sustainably met. The situation is similar for HIV care and... Read More

The Human Factor – What Researchers Want

July 6, 2012 - 12:30pm
Do you remember the 2000 movie ‘What Women Want” in which an advertising executive played by Mel Gibson develops the ability to read women’s thoughts after an electric shock in the bathtub? I haven’t been struck by a lightning bolt, but I have developed some insight into what motivates clinical researchers in Uganda, both within the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), and at Mulago Hospital... Read More

Research Relationships

June 29, 2012 - 12:30pm
This week I’ve been benchmarking Centers of Excellence for Research in HIV in Uganda and other African countries to understand the different business models and critical success factors for conducting clinical research.  All these centers share a common tripartite mission of patient care, research and training in HIV / AIDS.  “No man is an island” said English poet, John Donne, and this is very... Read More