Professor Damalie Nakanjako, Principal – Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) has been awarded the TWAS – Abdool Karim 2022 Award in Biological Sciences by the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). The award was announced at the TWAS 16th General Conference held on the 21st November 2022. The award named after TWAS Fellow - Quarraisha Abdool Karim was designed to honor women scientists in Low Income African Countries for their achievements in Biological Sciences.
The award is in recognition of Professor Nakanjako’ clinical and translational studies on mechanisms of immune activation, inflammation and recovery of innate and adaptive immunity during chronic HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor Nakanjako is a Professor of Medicine, she trained at Makerere University for her Bachelors’ degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) and Master of Medicine degree (MMED) in Internal Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medical Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is the current Principal of MakCHS, former Dean and Deputy Dean of MakCHS School of Medicine.
Professor Nakanjako teaches courses in Clinical Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, HIV/AIDS care as well as Ethics and Health professionalism courses. She has over 16 years’ experience in Infectious Diseases care, research and training at different platforms including community trials with simple interventions such as safe water and cotrimoxazole prophylaxis to reduce morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV), hospital-based studies to evaluate the implementation of basic tools like provider-initiated HIV testing and routine TB screening to improve access to HIV diagnosis, management of TB-HIV co-infections and timely initiation of anti-retroviral therapy in a hospital setting, epidemiological studies to understand immune recovery in long-term HIV treatment cohorts, laboratory-based studies to understand cellular mechanisms of suboptimal immune recovery, as well as clinical trials on innovative interventions of adjuvant therapy to maximize the benefits of antiretroviral therapy among PLHIV. She is currently involved in translational research in infection and immunity at Makerere University’s infectious Diseases Institute, to build local capacity to utilize basic science research to improve patient care.