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UGA, Uganda’s Makerere University to expand research collaboration

Kampala, Uganda – A small group of University of Georgia faculty and administrators visited Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in June to talk with officials there about expanding an already active partnership in public health research and education into other areas.

The delegation included David Lee, vice-president for research; Kavita Pandit, associate provost for international education; Phil Williams, dean of the College of Public Health; and James Oloya and Chris Whalen, of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics.

The UGA visitors met with Venansius Baryamureeba, vice chancellor of Makerere University, and William Bazeyo, dean of the Makerere School of Public Health. Dean Bazeyo visited the UGA campus last April along with Ugandan Vice-president Gilbert Bukenya.

The visit was part of an ongoing effort to expand UGA’s international research and education efforts. The group discussed ways to enhance the current partnership in public health and perhaps to expand future collaborations to include agriculture, veterinary medicine and food safety. The UGA visitors met with faculty from the schools of medicine, public health, agriculture and veterinary medicine. They also toured university facilities, including the University of Makerere’s AIDS research and treatment centers.

UGA’s Whalen, who is also an M.D., has been researching HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis in Uganda for more than 20 years. With funding from Fogerty International, he also has been involved in the education and training of Ugandan researchers. Oloya’s work deals with the transmission of zoonotic diseases in Uganda. William Kisaalita, a UGA biological and agricultural engineer, also has been working in Uganda for many years to help farmers develop innovative, low-cost production and storage solutions. The UGA delegation met up with Kisaalita, who was already in Uganda.

“We are excited by the numerous opportunities we see for substantive collaboration with colleagues at Makerere University,” said Lee. “Our institutions have many similarities, and the connections forged by Drs. Whalen, Oloya, Kisaalita, and others provide a foundation on which to build a satisfying and mutually rewarding long-term relationship.”