Ugandan Fellows

Benedict Akimana

I am from Kisoro, South Western Uganda. I received my Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Kampala International University, and my Masters of Medicine in Psychiatry from Makerere University. My research interest is to find out the genetic risk (factors) of anxiety disorders and their impact on quality of life and school performance among college students in Uganda. In five years I envisage myself leading the college surveys and using the data to improve the livelihoods of individuals with mental illnesses in Uganda. I enjoy traveling, watching football and television shows.

Allan Kalungi

I am a Ugandan national and hold both a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology degrees from Makerere University, Uganda. I am currently enrolled in a joint PhD program with Makerere University, Uganda and Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Since 2014, I have been involved in investigating the genetic associations of psychiatric problems (the first East African scientist to do this). In my current PhD project, I am looking at the role of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of internalizing mental disorders (depressive and anxiety disorders) among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. This PhD project is nested in a bigger MRC/DfID funded longitudinal study that investigated psychiatric and neurocognitive disorders among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. In five years, I hope to be a faculty member of either an academic institution such as Makerere University or a research unit (such as the Mental Health Project of the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit), undertaking research into psychiatric disorders. Outside work, you will find me cheering my football club, Express FC.

Emmanuel Mwesiga

I am from the “Pearl of Africa”: Uganda! After receiving a postgraduate degree in Psychiatry, I was offered a lecturing position in the department of Psychiatry at Makerere University. Currently, however, I am a doctoral student at the University of Cape Town. I am studying the role of genetic and environmental predictors on presentation and assessment for cognitive impairment among patients with a first episode of psychosis in an African population. This work is nested in the Neuropsychiatric genetics of African Psychosis (NeuroGAP) which aims to better understand the genetic cytoarchitecture of psychosis in African populations. NeuroGAP ties in closely with my research interests, which include description of psychiatric illness (phenomenology) using neurosciences. I also have great interest in early intervention psychiatry. In five years I hope to have developed a cohort of participants with early onset psychosis that I will be following and describing using various neuroscience techniques. This work will surely keep me busy in the near future but I still hope to have time for family, soccer and drinks with friends