MRC Uganda Our background

The Unit was established in 1988 to improve the understanding and control of the HIV epidemic in Uganda and globally, following a request from the Uganda Government to the United Kingdom (UK) Government. The Unit is based at the UVRI Entebbe campus with established outposts in Kalungu, Masaka, Wakiso and Kampala Districts.

After wide consultations, in the current quinquennium, which started April 2017, we have broadened our work beyond HIV to include other infections, neglected, endemic, emerging and re-emerging infections and expanded our work in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Unit specialises in research on HIV infection and related diseases, contributing knowledge on the evolving epidemic, the evaluation of innovative health care options, treatment and prevention, and the development of health policy and practice in Africa and worldwide.

On 1 February, 2018, the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit formally joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and became The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. The LSHTM and our Unit have therefore created a new partnership that will boost research capacity into some of the current and emerging health issues in Africa and the world.

Our vision

To build on the Unit’s past research achievements, and new opportunities, to contribute to the control of the HIV epidemic, of other infectious diseases, and of non-communicable diseases, in Uganda, the region and the world.

Our mission

  • To conduct research to add knowledge and improve the control of infectious and non-communicable diseases in Uganda, in Africa and globally
  • To contribute to the translation of research findings into policy and practice
  • To build capacity for research in Africa

Thematic approach

We introduced a thematic approach to our research in order to maximise cross Programme fertilisation and to create more opportunities for synergy of skills in the pursuit of the Unit goals.

  • HIV and Emerging Infections
  • Vaccines and Immunity
  • Chronic Diseases and Cancer


Our science is delivered through the following six programmes feeding into each theme:

  • The HIV Epidemiology and Intervention Programme
  • Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity
  • Social Aspects of Health across the Life Course
  • Immunomodulation and Vaccine Programme
  • Cancer Programme
  • NCD Phenotype Programme

Sections and research platforms

The Unit has two sections:

  • Statistics and Data Science
  • Mental Health Section

And two platforms:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Cohorts (includes support to TASO)

Research support services

Our research services/operations under the COO caters for Finance, Procurement, Administration, Human Resources, Engineering and Estates, Information Technology, Transport, Health and Safety and Security, Grants Support Office, Communication and Engagement, and the Clinical Diagnostics Laboratories Services.

We also have a Research Compliance and Quality Assurance section under the Unit Director, and Training and Career Development section.