Professor Pontiano Kaleebu

Head - Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity Programme

MRC/UVRI/LSHTM Unit in Uganda

I am 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 US CDC, US NIH, MRC-UK and IAVI, as well as national and regional reference laboratories. The MRC 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. He heads the Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity Programme of the Unit.

The Unit became part of LSHTM in 2018.


MRC - Uganda
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


I hold a medical degree from Makerere University and a PhD from Imperial College, London. I am a professor of immunovirology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Department of Infection Biology; a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians-Edinburgh and a Fellow of Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine.


As UVRI Director, I sit on the top and senior management of the Ministry of Health. I lead a number of national and regional networks including the EDCTP East African Networks of Excellence. I am a co-Director of the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research (APCDR) and co-director of the Uganda Medical Informatics Center (UMIC); a computational resource offering data storage and analysis capacity. I also chair the national HIV drug resistance Technical working group under the Ministry of Health and a member of the National Antiretroviral Treatment committee.

Research Area
Health policy
Public health
Disease control
Disease and Health Conditions
Chronic disease
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

The Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition: a unique multisector approach adds to global pandemic preparedness efforts.
Averhoff F; Berg M; Rodgers M; Osmanov S; Luo X; Anderson M; Meyer T; Landay A; Gamkrelidze A; Kallas EG
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Characterization of Near Full-Length Transmitted/Founder HIV-1 Subtype D and A/D Recombinant Genomes in a Heterosexual Ugandan Population (2006-2011).
Balinda SN; Kapaata A; Xu R; Salazar MG; Mezzell AT; Qin Q; Herard K; Dilernia D; Kamali A; Ruzagira E
Rapid Replacement of SARS-CoV-2 Variants by Delta and Subsequent Arrival of Omicron, Uganda, 2021.
Bbosa N; Ssemwanga D; Namagembe H; Kiiza R; Kiconco J; Kayiwa J; Lutalo T; Lutwama J; Ssekagiri A; Ssewanyana I
Emerging infectious diseases
Field evaluation of the performance of seven Antigen Rapid diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of SARs-CoV-2 virus infection in Uganda.
Bwogi J; Lutalo T; Tushabe P; Bukenya H; Eliku JP; Ssewanyana I; Nabadda S; Nsereko C; Cotten M; Downing R
PloS one
Data for: 'Loss to follow-up and associated factors in an HIV vaccine preparedness cohort study in Masaka, Uganda'
Kabarambi A; Kansiime S; Kusemererwa S; Kitonsa J; Kaleebu P; Ruzagira E
First laboratory confirmation and sequencing of Zaire ebolavirus in Uganda following two independent introductions of cases from the 10th Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, June 2019.
Nyakarahuka L; Mulei S; Whitmer S; Jackson K; Tumusiime A; Schuh A; Baluku J; Joyce A; Ocom F; Tusiime JB
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Lipid traits and type 2 diabetes risk in African ancestry individuals: A Mendelian Randomization study.
Soremekun O; Karhunen V; He Y; Rajasundaram S; Liu B; Gkatzionis A; Soremekun C; Udosen B; Musa H; Silva S
Expression of type I interferon-associated genes at antiretroviral therapy interruption predicts HIV virological rebound
Zacharopoulou P; Marchi E; Ogbe A; Robinson N; Brown H; Jones M; Parolini L; Pace M; Grayson N; Kaleebu P
Scientific reports
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