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MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS celebrates 25 years of research excellence

This November, the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS celebrated 25 years since its inception. Held under the theme, ‘‘Celebrating 25 years of Research Excellence through Partnerships’, the celebrations brought together collaborators, partners and staff to commemorate the Unit’s achievements over the years.

Speaking at the main celebrations held on 6th November at the UVRI campus in Entebbe, the Guest of Honor, Dr. Zerubaberi Nyira the State Minister for Agriculture, who represented the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda commended the Unit for their investment in Research and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Tony Peatfield, the Corporate Affairs Group Director, who represented the MRC Chief Executive Officer, Sir John Savill, congratulated the Unit upon its 25th anniversary and applauded staff and partners for their role in the Unit’s success. “The Unit can be proud of making significant contribution to public health in Uganda over the last 25 years, which would not have been possible without outstanding staff, community support and powerful partnerships”. He reiterated the MRC commitment to the research activities in Uganda. “MRC commitment has been large, with the current five-year (to 2017) research program support of up to £16,215,000 (~£4m pa), considerable research infrastructure as well as substantial training/capacity-building”.

The Unit Director, Dr. Pontiano Kaleebu noted that MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS had over the 25 years of its existence, developed physical infrastructure and human resources that have established it as an internationally recognized center for research on HIV and other communicable diseases, and commended the MRC-UK for their support. “We are very grateful to the MRC-UK that has invested in our infrastructure through Capital development funds and the training funds, without these resources we would not have made all these achievements”. He further reiterated the Unit’s commitment to capacity building. “In all areas, we will make it a priority to build more human capacity to have more senior researchers as future leaders”.

The anniversary celebrations also comprised of a scientific symposium, poster presentations and a dinner at which staff who have worked with the Unit over the last 25 years were recognized.

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