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.


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
MRC - Uganda


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

Use of propensity score matching to create counterfactual group to assess potential HIV prevention interventions.
Abaasa A; Mayanja Y; Asiki G; Price MA; Fast PE; Ruzagira E; Kaleebu P; Todd J
Scientific reports
Discovery and fine-mapping of kidney function loci in first genome-wide association study in Africans.
Fatumo S; Chikowore T; Kalyesubula R; Nsubuga RN; Asiki G; Nashiru O; Seeley J; Crampin AC; Nitsch D; Smeeth L
Human molecular genetics
Validation of the Asante HIV-1 Rapid Recency Assay for Detection of Recent HIV-1 Infections in Uganda.
Galiwango RM; Ssuuna C; Kaleebu P; Kigozi G; Kagaayi J; Nakigozi G; Reynolds SJ; Lutalo T; Kankaka EN; Wasswa JB
AIDS research and human retroviruses
Quality of life and associated factors among HIV positive patients after completion of treatment for Cryptococcal meningitis.
Kitonsa J; Kiwanuka J; Anywaine Z; Kansiime S; Katumba K; Aeron N; Beardsley J; Kibengo F; Gray A; Kaleebu P
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Gender disparities operate in opposite directions for hospitalizations and mortality among individuals receiving long-term ART in rural Uganda.
Massah G; Zhang W; Birungi J; Nanfuka M; Zhu J; Okoboi S; Kaleebu P; Tibenganas B; Moore DM
HIV medicine
Immune Responses Following BCG Immunization of Infants in Uganda and United Kingdom Are Similar for Purified Protein Derivative but Differ for Secretory Proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Mawa PA; Hasso-Agopsowicz M; Lubyayi L; Nabakooza G; Nakibuule M; Blitz R; Dun L; Govind A; Kaleebu P; Webb EL
Frontiers in immunology
See more Publications